Gov. Phil Scott: Do More to Oppose GOP Health Care "Reforms"

DDa0-kmXUAAsBqC.jpgOn the heels of a rally with more than 75 people on Wednesday, June 28 in downtown Burlington, the following organizations delivered this letter to the office of Gov. Phil Scott urging him to do more than to send letters to Congress, but to take a bold leadership position against this disastrous federal legislation.

 

We are encouraged that the Governor is beginning to take the concerns of Vermonters to heart as it relates to the disastrous federal health care legislation moving through Congress, however Gov. Scott should stand with Vermonters publicly to denounce the pending federal legislation that could eliminate health care for 51,000 Vermonters, and potentially throw tens of thousands of Vermonters off Medicaid.

 

As organizations that work tirelessly to build a better Vermont for today and for future generations, we are joining these Vermonters—already speaking up in unprecedented numbers—in demanding that you to take bold action to resist your party’s assault on Vermonters’ health care.

 

We look forward to having Gov. Scott join us at a public event to hear from Vermonters and stand with us as we continue the fight forward for universal and equitable health care in Vermont, and we'll keep you posted on any public events.

 

Nearly 3500 Vermonters have signed a petition calling on Gov. Scott to play a leadership role in stopping this legislation. Consider signing on!

 

June 29,2017

 

Dear Governor Scott,

 

We, the undersigned organizations, represent a diverse array of Vermonters who believe that the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) proposed in the US Senate, as well as the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the US House of Representatives, are a direct attack on the health and well-being of the people and the communities of the Green Mountain State.

 

We are therefore calling on you as our Governor to publicly stand with us in opposition to a Republican agenda for our health care system that would directly threaten the quality of life of tens of thousands of Vermonters.

 

The plan proposed by members of your party in the US Senate will take away h19437274_1979768505575256_4924051776589456409_n.jpgealth care from 22 million Americans, weaken coverage and consumer protections for everyone with private health insurance, raise premiums for older adults, increase deductibles, and defund Planned Parenthood. It will eliminate enhanced federal funding for the Medicaid expansion and cap federal funds for all Americans who receive coverage through Medicaid. By creating a financial crisis for state budgets, the BCRA will force states to gut Medicaid coverage for 74 million Americans including working families, children, seniors,  people with disabilities and veterans (nearly 2 million veterans rely on Medicaid for care). The GOP plan will also threaten the financial security of hospitals, community clinics, and other health care providers, as well as cost millions of health care jobs.

 

While Medicaid beneficiaries and state budgets will suffer under what the Congressional Budget Office has reported to be the BCRA’s $772 billion cut to Medicaid, America’s most wealthy individuals, drug companies, and insurance corporations will get $541 billion in tax breaks. Both the BCRA and AHCA represent the single largest transfer of wealth from poor and working families to the wealthiest people and corporations in our nation’s history.

 

In Vermont specifically:

  • 51,000 Vermonters are projected to lose coverage (30,100 from Medicaid alone, along with 5,800 who are privately insured, and another 15,700 people who buy from the individual market).

  • $2 billion in new state revenues would need to be raised in the next 10 years or coverage for the 206,000 Vermonters on Medicaid would need to be reduced or eliminated.  

  • Vermont’s ability to respond to health emergencies like the current opioid crisis would be crippled.

 

In short, under the Republican plans, the toll on individual Vermonters’ health and our state’s other key priorities—investment in infrastructure, our education system, and environmental protection—will be tremendous. Vermonters will go without access to needed care and some will die unnecessarily. And this harm would all be done so that 490 of Vermont’s top earners (all earning more than $1 million a year) will receive nearly $41,000 in tax breaks.

 

Given the threat to tens of thousands in this state, to our economy, and to our communities, thousands of Vermonters are calling on you to act and many of them are sharing their health care stories so you can better understand how their lives could be wrecked as a result of either the House of Senate proposal.

 

As organizations that work tirelessly to build a better Vermont for today and for future generations, we are joining these Vermonters—already speaking up in unprecedented numbers—in demanding that you to take bold action to resist your party’s assault on Vermonters’ health care.

 

We ask you to:

 

Governor Scott, the time is now for you to act with us—and to act decisively and publicly—to resist the GOP health care agenda which would fundamentally restructure health care in Vermont and across the country in ways that would do irreversible harm to people’s health and jeopardize countless lives.

 

We look forward to you joining us.

 

Rights & Democracy

Vermont Center for Independent Living

Green Mountain ADAPT

National Association of Social Workers, Vermont chapter

Justice For All

Vermont State Labor Council, AFL CIO

Vermont Workers’ Center

The Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Vermont Works for Women

Peace & Justice Center

Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club

Green Mountain Self-Advocates

The Vermont State Association of Letter Carriers AFL CIO

Migrant Justice

American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont

Lake Champlain International

Vermont Public Interest Research Group

Vermont National Education Association

Outright Vermont

 

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