Health Care for All Town Hall April 20

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Where:  Montpelier High School | When: Thursday April 20th, 6 - 8PM (doors open at 5:30PM)

MONTPELIER - Despite the failure of the Trump administration and Republican Congressional leadership’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), the GOP has not abandoned its war on health care, putting the lives of thousands of Vermonters at risk of losing needed medical services. In the face of this threat, the Health Care for All Town Hall will give Vermonters a chance to voice their concerns about how the Republican agenda will impact themselves, their loved ones, and their communities, and ask questions of leading state experts and legislators.

To ensure that our elected officials respond to the needs of Vermonters, attendees will have the opportunity to share their experiences with the current health care system and their hopes for how health care can be improved in our state.There will also be updates on several key pieces of health care legislation being considered in Montpelier, including Universal Primary Care. A representative from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ office will talk about the senator’s national Medicare for All proposal.

Lt. Governor David Zuckerman will address the town hall about the importance of grassroots advocacy to make public policy changes.

Governor Phil Scott has not yet responded to an invitation to the event. We hope that Gov. Scott will join us and answer the call of thousands of Vermonters, who in the past three months have signed Rights & Democracy’s petition asking him to stand up for health care.

Speakers and sponsors include Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, Jessica Early, RN, Rights & Democracy, Dr. Deb Richter, State Sen. Anthony Pollina, and others. Sponsors include Rights & Democracy, Vermont Interfaith Action, Vermont Health Care for All, Vermont State Labor Council Afl-Cio, Vermont Center for Independent Living, Voices for Vermont’s Children, Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund, and the Office of the Health Care Advocate.

BY THE NUMBERS: THE GOP ATTACK ON

VERMONT’S HEALTH CARE

Under the guise of health care reform the GOP would like to:

  • Shift $2 Billion in Medicaid Costs to Vermont, resulting in thousands losing coverage and access to services. This would effectively end Medicaid expansion by requiring the state to spend up to 4.6 times more to cover people who enroll starting in 2020. Low-income adults who’ve newly gained coverage under the expansion would lose it.

  • Cap annual federal Medicaid funding for Vermont and other states by forcing each state to choose between a “per capita cap” or block grant. Under either policy, federal Medicaid funding would grow more slowly each year than states’ actual Medicaid costs, leading to deeper cuts over time. Breaking the link between federal funding and the actual needs of states and beneficiaries would leave Vermont holding the bag.

  • Jeopardize the health and well-being of seniors, people with disabilities, children, and adults who rely on Medicaid. The cuts would be deepest precisely when need is greatest, since federal Medicaid funding would no longer increase automatically when public health emergencies like the opioid epidemic, or a disaster, increase state costs.

  • Raise total out-of-pocket health costs – premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance – by an average of $3,239 per year for people with coverage in Vermont’s health insurance marketplace. For an older Vermonter premiums (after accounting for tax credits) would rise by $2,805.

  • Provide huge tax cuts to the wealthy including 7,700 Vermont high-income filers averaging about $5,490 each year. The top 1 percent in Vermont would fare even better, generally getting an average of $12,790 a year, while low- and middle-income Vermonters would receive nothing.

Under various GOP proposals, insurance companies could also impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage — including for people with job-based coverage. These protections are critical for Vermonters:

  • 280,700 Vermonters have a pre-existing condition, according to Department of Health and Human Services estimates. Without the ACA protections, they could be denied coverage or charged unaffordable prices in the individual market.

  • 209,700 Vermonters – most of them people with employer coverage – had plans with lifetime limits before the ACA barred these limits, according to Brookings Institution estimates. That meant their insurance companies capped the total amount they were willing to spend, so even people with health insurance could be one major illness away from medical bankruptcy.

Sources: Center on Budget Policy and Priorities, The Urban Institute, Congressional Budget Office, Center for American Progress, and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Date: 
Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 6:00pm