These bills phase in a universal health care system, starting with Universal Primary Care, including outpatient mental health and substance use disorder treatment. The bills propose adding preventive dental and vision care in the second year, and incorporating additional health care services in later years until we have universal access for all sectors of care.
In the first phase of implementation, 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. Click here for talking points, and here for a more detailed FAQ. Please contact House Health Care Committee and the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. Let these committees know you would like this bill considered and passed out of their committee.
The bill will 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 6% 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 health care for all Vermonters.