While S. 53, the Universal Primary Care (UPC) bill, passed unanimously out of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on March 2, this bill has a long way to go before becoming law as it now moves to two more committees – Senate Finance and Senate Appropriations.
We’ve heard some officials say that they do not believe there is an access problem in Vermont. That’s why we need people to tell the Senators about their personal stories of how out-of-pocket costs have kept them from getting primary care.
Please let these Senators know before they return to work on Tuesday, March 13th that Vermonters need access to primary care with no out-of-pocket costs.
Senate Finance Members
- Sen. Ann Cummings, Chair
- Sen. Mark A. MacDonald, Vice Chair
- Sen. Virginia "Ginny" Lyons
- Sen. Anthony Pollina
- Sen. Michael Sirotkin
- Sen. Brian Campion
- Sen. Randy Brock
Senate Appropriations Members
- Sen. Jane Kitchel, Chair
- Sen. Alice W. Nitka, Vice Chair
- Sen. Dick Sears Jr.
- Sen. Robert Starr
- Sen. Dick McCormack
- Sen. Tim Ashe
- Sen. Richard Westman
Telling your personal story, or the stories of people you know, will inform these Senators about why access to universal access to primary care is a critical need in Vermont. Here are some other key points to relay:
- UPC will ensure access to primary care for all Vermonters, including mental health and substance abuse services.
- UPC ensures Vermonters can seek primary care when they need it most and not worry about out-of-pocket costs.
- UPC will attract more primary care providers to Vermont by simplifying paperwork and payment processes.
- UPC is a crucial first step to creating the true public universal health care system Vermonters want, and what is spelled out in Act 48.
- UPC will save lives because people won’t delay care.
- UPC will save money because people will be treated earlier before they end up in emergency room and/or their conditions are much worse.
If S. 53 passes these committees in timely fashion, and then passes the entire Senate, it will be sent over to the House before the end of the session!
So besides contacting the Senators listed above, also contact your own Senator(s), because it's important that every Senator understands why we need Universal Primary Care.
Ellen Oxfeld & Barb Wilson, members, Rights & Democracy Vermont