The proposal would be phased into universal health care, starting with primary care and mental health care

Vermont business magazine Representative Brian Cina is introducing a bill to implement publicly funded universal health care, starting with primary care and mental health care. More than 40 MPs have so far enthusiastically signed up as a co-sponsor. Senator Chris Bray will introduce a companion bill in the Senate.

According to a statement from Cina, the healthcare system is in crisis. Vermonters struggle with high deductible insurance plans and crushing medical debt. Self-rationing of care and medicines is now common. Primary care physicians face inadequate reimbursement levels, increasing workloads and ever-increasing administrative burdens. Mental health care is under pressure. The Accountable Care Organization has squandered enormous financial resources with little result. Hospitals are on shaky financial ground. Staff shortages create waiting times for patient visits. This collapse of our healthcare infrastructure is a disaster that affects us all.

There is a need for a financially sustainable solution and a public consensus is emerging around the idea of ​​revisiting the groundbreaking principles that have been dormant in Vermont’s statutes since they went into effect in 2011. Principle #1 (18 USA §9371) states: “The State of Vermont must ensure universal access to and coverage of high quality, medically necessary health services for all residents of Vermont.

Other principles in the statute on health care reform speak to cost containment, transparency, efficiency, accountability and preservation of primary care. Unfortunately, over the past two years, the legislature has failed to live up to all the principles enshrined in law more than 10 years ago and has supported a system laden with costly bureaucracy rather than proven strategies used around the world to reduce administration, save money, and provide care for all people.

Representative Cina and Senator Bray have asked House and Senate leadership, health care committee chairs in both chambers, and policymakers in the executive branch to recognize the urgency surrounding this issue. Both Cina and Bray believe that Vermonters deserve serious discussion on this issue, bold and creative thinking, and ultimately legislative action to contain costs, redevelop vital health care infrastructure, and ultimately make health care universal.

The press and other media are invited to hear more about this proposal and ask questions at the press/media conference taking place on Thursday, January 26, 2023 in the Cedar Creek Room, on the second floor of the State House.

What: Press/media conference; open to the public

Date and time: Thursday, January 26, 2023 at noon

Location: Cedar Creek Room, 2nd Floor, Vermont Statehouse

Speakers:

Representative Brian Cina, P/D, Burlington

Senator Chris Bray, D, Addison District

Bill Schubart (writer, political commentator)

Mollie Willis (lawyer, Rural Vermont)

Liz Schlegel (The Alchemist Foundation)

Dr. Allan Ramsay, MD (former Green Mountain Care Board member)

Liz Medina (Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, invited)

The proposal would be phased into universal health care, starting with primary care and mental health care

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