We have great news in the fight for publicly financed health care for all Vermonters. A new bill, H129, has been introduced with 48 co-sponsors in the Vermont House! This bill proposes creating an operational plan for a publicly financed primary care system that would provide primary care, plus outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment with no out of pocket costs to all Vermonters! I have tri-partisan support! This is a way to move forward on the roadmap laid out in Act 48 to create health care as a public good in Vermont.
Every Vermonter would be entitled to free primary care with no barriers. Accessible primary care has been shown in numerous studies to be the single best step to improving population health.
It can also:
- Reduce the need for expensive hospitalizations and emergency room visits by preventing disease and treating conditions earlier.
- Lower health care premiums for all! (Vermont law does not allow premium rates to reflect services private insurers do not pay for).
- Be financed for relatively little, an Agency for Administration study in 2016 shows that Universal Primary Care for the entire state, including outpatient substance abuse and mental health care, can be financed for under $175 million per year. This is less than 5% of our total health care spending in Vermont each year.
We will keep you up to date on specific actions you can take to help us pass publicly financed primary care for all Vermonters.