Dear Governor Phil Scott,
Since well before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Vermont has been a national leader in its commitment to universal health care and ensuring its residents have access to high quality health care.
Unfortunately, this long tradition of Vermont prioritizing the health of its people and communities is currently under threat. A proposal by GOP Congressional leaders and the Trump administration that recently passed the House to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and roll back the expansion of Medicaid, would eliminate coverage that more than 70,000 Vermonters* rely on. This could have a direct impact on Vermonters’ physical well-being and quality of life. Moreover, these proposals will cut at least $200 million from our already overstretched state budget, cost our state jobs, undermine our health care providers, and compromise Vermont’s efforts to address the opiate epidemic.
A new Health Care for America Now (HCAN) report, A Cost Too High: The Financial Harm of the Republican Plan to Eliminate Health Care, lays out this grim picture in further detail. We ask you to seriously consider the risks that Affordable Care Act repeal poses to Vermonters’ health and economic security, which are detailed in this report.
As a Republican governor, your opinion is of unique importance to the Trump administration and Congressional leaders. Other Republican governors have voiced their opposition to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and as our Governor, you have a unique opportunity to stand with Vermonters in resisting these harmful policies.
Following the lead of other Republican governors, we call on you to protect Vermonters’ health care by:
(1) Telling President Trump, Speaker Ryan, and Senator McConnell that you oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, including the repeal of the Medicaid expansion,
(2) Publicly opposing any effort to turn Medicaid into a block grant or to cap federal funding for Medicaid,
(3) Supporting the efforts of Vermonters to improve our state’s health care system and ensure high quality health care is accessible to us all, today and in the future.
When it comes to health care security, Vermonters have always led the way. We urge you to continue this leadership and stand up for Vermont values. We ask that you use your unique position to resist the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Congressional Republicans’ proposed changes to Medicaid and Medicare, which will do irreversible harm to thousands of Vermonters you have the distinct privilege to represent.
*This figure comes from the Vermont Agency of Human Services, Department of Health AccessBudget Document, State Fiscal Year 2018 figures onthe "new adult group" covered under the expansion (page 71) and the "premium assistance group," (page 86) who receive financing assistance from Vermont. This is not the full amount of Vermonters who get coverage through Vermont Health Connect.