North Country News
6:30 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Vermont Health Care Reforms Move Forward, But Key Official to Leave

Credit Juhan Sonin/flickr

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and administration health officials outlined progress the state has made in its efforts to launch Vermont Health Connect - its version of the federally mandated healthcare exchange. The administration also announced that one of the leaders of the state’s move to a single-payer system is leaving.



State officials say the health care exchange is one step towards their overall goal of implementing a single-payer healthcare system in Vermont. The governor said substantial progress has been made in key areas including access, technology, payment models, and cost controls. Vermont Health Care Reform Director Robin Lunge says the state is on track for the exchange to open on October 1st.

Robin Lunge notes that on Monday the state will announce the preliminary rate filings from the two insurance companies participating in the health exchanges.

Vermonters for Health Care Freedom Founder Darcie Johnston is opposed to the state’s efforts to create a single-payer health care system. She wants the legislature to repeal the law requiring the health benefits exchange.

The Green Mountain Care Board is tasked with leading the state through the transition from  healthcare exchanges to single-payer.  Board Chair Anya Rader Wallach announced Monday that she is resigning in September.

Darcie Johnston is particularly troubled to hear that Rader Wallach is leaving during what she characterizes as a healthcare reform crisis.

Anya Rader Wallach counters that the work will not stop because she’s leaving.

Governor Shumlin plans to replace Rader Wallach with Al Gobeille another Green Mountain Care Board member.

Meanwhile Vermonters for Health Care Freedom plans to launch a Doctor-Patient network that would allow patients to contract with providers outside of any government programs.

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