Press Release | May 9, 2017

Date: 
May 09, 2017

Coalition of Vermont Health Care Organizations Forms to Oppose the American Health Care Act

A coalition of Vermont health care organizations has formed to oppose the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and clearly state that its passage by the United States House of Representatives is a major setback for health care in our country. The AHCA threatens Vermonters’ access to affordable health insurance coverage and violates Vermont’s core values.
 
If it becomes law, the AHCA will severely reverse gains made at the national level by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) including increased coverage levels and affordability, and other protections such as mental health parity. A March 2017 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report found that up to 24 million Americans will lose their health insurance under the AHCA. While the revised bill was passed before the CBO could issue an updated forecast, it is clear that the impact will be significant. The AHCA will increase the number of uninsured Vermonters and harm Vermont’s health care system and economy.
 
The coalition includes Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, the Office of the Health Care Advocate, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the University of Vermont Medical Center, the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, Vermont Care Partners, the Vermont Coalition of Clinics for the Uninsured, and the Vermont Medical Society.
 
Each of these organizations is committed to improving access to high quality, affordable health care in Vermont and continues to work independently and in collaboration toward this united goal. The coalition calls on the US Senate to reject the AHCA and any other efforts to roll back access to affordable, high quality health care.

The Office of the Health Care Advocate (HCA) helps Vermont consumers with a broad range of problems and questions related to health care services and health insurance. The HCA acts as a voice and advocate for consumers in health care policy matters before the Vermont legislature and government agencies that oversee insurance and health care programs. The Office of the Health Care Advocate is a project of Vermont Legal Aid.

Vermont Legal Aid (VLA) is a non-profit law firm that provides legal advice and services to individuals and families throughout Vermont who are facing a civil legal problem that threatens their rights, shelter, job, health or well-being. VLA began serving clients in 1968.

ORGANIZATIONAL CONTACTS:   
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont
Andrew Garland | Vice President of Client Relations and External Affairs
garlanda@bcbsvt.com
802-371-3225

Office of the Health Care Advocate, Vermont Legal Aid
Mike Fisher | Chief Health Care Advocate
mfisher@vtlegalaid.org
802-383-2226

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
Meagan Gallagher | President & CEO
mgallagher@ppnne.org
802-448-9778

The University of Vermont Medical Center
Mike Noble | Senior Media Relations Strategist
milner.noble@uvmhealth.org
802-847-2886

Vermont Association of Hospital and Health Systems
Devon Green | Vice President of Government Relations
devon@vahhs.org
802-223-3461 x104
VAHHS Statement on AHCA: http://vahhs.org/aca-repeal-vote.html

Vermont Care Partners
Julie Tessler | Executive Director
julie@vermontcarepartners.org
802-223-1773 x401

Vermont Coalition of Clinics for the Uninsured
Laura Hale, Executive Director
vtcoalitionofclinics@gmail.com
802-238-7994
Peter Youngbaer, President
phwc@sover.net
802-479-1229

Vermont Medical Society
Justin Campfield | Communications
jcampfield@vtmd.org
802-223-7898
VMS Statement on AHCA: http://www.vtmd.org/vms-releases-statement-ahca