RELEASE: Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign condemns proposed rate hikes, calls for Act 48

Photo of VWC members on statehouse stepsFor Immediate Release: 20 July 2017

Contact: Keith Brunner, 802-363-9615

Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign condemns proposed rate hikes, calls for Act 48

Montpelier - Today over thirty people attended a public forum held by the Green Mountain Care Board to oppose proposed health insurance rate hikes.

The board is reviewing a proposal from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont to raise next year’s Vermont Health Connect rates by an average of 12.7%, a move that campaigners say could prevent thousands of people from accessing the care they need to stay healthy. This year’s rate proposal is the highest since the GMCB was created.

“2017 was supposed to be the year that Vermont’s first-in-the-nation universal healthcare plan came into effect,” said Vermont Workers’ Center president Ellen Schwartz. “Instead, we’re still battling with the health insurance industry over rates that will reduce people’s ability to access healthcare, increase medical debt, and worsen the health and economic well-being of our communities.”

The Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign is calling on legislators and Governor Scott to finish the work of designing and implementing Green Mountain Care, the healthcare system laid out in Vermont’s landmark 2011 healthcare law, Act 48. [1]

“Vermont’s elected officials have a moral obligation to stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable in our state by implementing Act 48, and protecting our communities from Washington’s attacks on our healthcare,” said Genevieve Mertens, a nurse and union member at UVM Medical Center.

The Green Mountain Care Board is holding a second public hearing on health insurance rates on Thursday, July 27th, from 5pm - 7pm, and collecting public comments until July 26th.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. Act 48 states that, “The purpose of Green Mountain Care is to provide, as a public good, comprehensive, affordable, high-quality, publicly financed health care coverage for all Vermont residents in a seamless and equitable manner regardless of income, assets, health status, or availability of other health coverage.” Link: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2012/Acts/ACT048.pdf

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