State of Vermont Archives: on Health Care

Phil Scott: Time to cap annual increases, prioritize prevention

We also need to contain healthcare costs in the long run. With that in mind, I believe it's time to set a cap on annual increases and continue moving to a system where we pay for quality, not just quantity--and do so in a way that prioritizes prevention on the part of the patient as well as the provider. These are the goals of the All-Payer Model, which you might have heard about over the last three years.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Vermont legislature Jan 7, 2021

David Zuckerman: Supports Medicare for All

Healthcare is a human right. Every Vermonter should have access to healthcare when they need it. Healthcare should not be tied to employment. No one should die or be forced into financial hardship or bankruptcy as a result of a health condition. While a national single-payer healthcare system (Medicare For All) is the ideal way to cover all Americans, keep healthcare costs in check, and ensure access to preventative healthcare, there are also steps that we can take here in Vermont.
Source: 2020 Vermont governor campaign website Apr 3, 2020

David Zuckerman: Stop seeing mental health as separate from physical health

We must stop seeing "mental health" as a separate category from physical health. Just as we view environmental conditions as having an impact on our physical health, we must look at some of the environmental conditions that are also impacting the mental health of many. The stress of economic uncertainty is straining many families. Homelessness from economic strain is also compounding mental health issues. We must work to address these areas that are making the mental health crisis worse.
Source: 2020 Vermont governor campaign website Apr 3, 2020

Rebecca Holcombe: Confront out of control costs; coordinate state government

As your governor, I will:
Source: 2020 Vermont governor campaign website Mar 26, 2020

Rebecca Holcombe: Scary anyone in public office would doubt value of vaccines

On the anti-vaxx movement: "In moments like this, we see just how critical it is that we support vaccines and make them as available as possible," said Holcombe. "It's scary that anyone in public office or seeking public office would cast doubt about the value of vaccines. It's unbelievable this is even up for debate."
Source: on 2020 Vermont gubernatorial race Mar 21, 2020

Rebecca Holcombe: Will confront out of control costs of healthcare, drugs

As your governor, I will confront out of control costs of healthcare and pharmaceuticals: Strengthen coordination across state government to make sure critical services from mental health support, to child care, to public health services can be provided in more cost-effective and community-friendly ways.
Source: 2020 Vermont governor campaign website Jan 23, 2020

Rebecca Holcombe: If you can't afford health care, it's sick care

She says health care is a primary struggle. "What I hear is that they're feeling that things are getting worse. Their health insurance premiums have gone up by double digits. If you can't afford health care, it's not health care, it's sick care. People literally can't take care of themselves," Holcombe said. "They need a governor who's going to lean into figuring out bringing down the prices."
Source: WCAX TV-3 on 2020 Vermont Gubernatorial race Jan 20, 2020

Phil Scott: Must increase affordability of health insurance

Vermont has one of the lowest uninsured rates in the nation. But Vermonters still struggle with the high cost of insurance, especially those in our state marketplace. That's why I'll propose health insurance reforms focused on increasing affordability for Vermonters and, specifically, young people, as we work to retain and attract more of them.

When actions in Washington put access to healthcare in jeopardy, Speaker Johnson, Senator Ashe, Republican party leaders from both houses and I stood with Senators Leahy and Sanders and Congressman Welch to protect Medicaid funding. Where else but Vermont would you see such a politically-diverse group joining together to defend access to healthcare?

Source: 2020 Vermont State of the State address Jan 9, 2020

Rebecca Holcombe: Should not have to turn down jobs for healthcare eligibility

Vermont needs a governor who will push back on pharmaceutical and insurance companies and build our health care workforce. It needs a governor who will make sure less wealthy Vermonters don't have to turn down higher wage jobs or reduce their hours to stay eligible for health care. As governor, I will take on the cost of health care, so that Vermonters are free to work, earn and care for their families.
Source: VtDigger commentary on 2020 Vermont Gubernatorial race Nov 7, 2019

Rebecca Holcombe: Health is one sector that touches everything

The underlying cost of health care has gone up 6% in one year. Health insurance rates for qualified health plans have gone up double digits this year. People cannot afford this, particularly younger and working-age people. One-third of people in Vermont that are of working age are under insured. Health is one sector that touches everything. If we want to make Vermont more affordable, we have to do the hard work to make sure healthcare is affordable and accessible.
Source: The Dartmouth on 2020 Vermont gubernatorial race Sep 27, 2019

Rebecca Holcombe: State's mental health system is underfunded

The state's mental health system is underfunded. Schools can only treat children but can't treat family. What we really need to do is help the families of the kids exposed to trauma. We can treat children, but if we send them back to a family struggling, then the child will just be re-exposed to trauma. Instead of trying to treat people after they are hurt, we need to go to the source and find out what is hurting people in the first place.
Source: The Dartmouth on 2020 Vermont gubernatorial race Sep 27, 2019

Eddie Melton: Rejects increased Medicaid funding, should deal with costs

Scott is rejecting a push from state regulators to dramatically increase Medicaid funding, disputing their argument that the underfunding of the program is the reason for rising commercial insurance rates. The governor said that in recent years the state has increased the rate that Medicaid pays providers, while the number of Vermonters in the program has decreased. "The root of the problem" is that the cost of health care is too high--not that the state's Medicaid program has been underfunded.
Source: coverage of 2020 Vermont Gubernatorial race Sep 12, 2019

Keith Stern: Healthcare the community way through medical cost sharing

Healthcare reform must occur. Current system is rigged against the middle class, lining the pockets of the wealthy insurance companies. Now is the time for a new affordable way to offer citizens healthcare. The community way is through medical cost sharing.˙It removes over billing by insurance companies and is a free-market solution. With a claim system and a price adjudication system bills get˙reduced˙keeping costs down. Holding the feet of the provider to the fire to get a fair price.
Source: 2018 VT Gubernatorial campaign website Sep 18, 2018

Christine Hallquist: Wants to lay groundwork for universal healthcare system

Work with like-minded states to lay the groundwork for a universal healthcare system--despite Vermont not having achieved this in years past, it must still be our goal. Work with Vermont's congressional delegation and like-minded leaders of other states to fight any cuts to Medicare or Medicaid. Support current legislation, S.53, relating to access to universal primary care in Vermont, that has passed out of the Vermont State Senate.
Source: 2018 VT governor Campaign website Sep 1, 2018

Brooke Paige: Reject single-payer healthcare and Vermont Health Connect

Source: 2018 Vermont Senate campaign website Aug 14, 2018

Lawrence Zupan: End mandate; start interstate competition

Zupan said his strategy for health care would be to open up interstate competition for all health insurance companies in the nation. Under the current system, Vermonters only get to choose between˙Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont and MVP Health Care.˙In addition, he wouldn't force Americans to purchase insurance, which he said is unconstitutional. "Anything that I have to be forced to buy could not be that good or I'd buy it on my own," Zupan said.
Source: True North Reports on 2018 Vermont Senate race Aug 10, 2018

Eddie Melton: Signed state individual mandate; goes into effect in 2020

Vermont and New Jersey have passed state laws that require people to buy health insurance. These individual mandate laws are meant replace the now-repealed federal requirement. Scott signed an individual mandate bill in late May, but it won't take effect until 2020 and many of the details, including the penalty and enforcement mechanisms, still need to be decided.
Source: The Hill coverage of 2020 Vermont Gubernatorial race Jun 2, 2018

Phil Scott: Replace dysfunctional Vermont Health Connect with subsidies

Q: How do you think Green Mountain Care should be financed?

Scott: The single-payer proposal under the Green Mountain Care plan was abandoned by the sitting governor in 2014. The models that experts were using indicated that the plan would require an 11.5% payroll tax. I believe the decision to abandon this model was the correct one, and continuing down that road would have generated further uncertainty in Vermont's economy. However, we need to continue to work on proven models that increase access and reduce costs. We need to move off the dysfunctional Vermont Health Connect, which costs millions each year. In 2006, when I was in the State Senate, I supported legislation which expanded access to health care by providing subsidies to uninsured Vermonters to purchase insurance on a sliding scale basis. The act also cut costs through healthy lifestyle discounts to those who participated in programs that improved wellness. Within two years, Vermont's uninsured rate declined by 25%.

Source: LWV's on 2016 Vermont Gubernatorial Race Sep 19, 2016

Scott Milne: Promises of cost savings are likely a pipe dream

The administration missed its Jan. 1, 2013 deadline to reveal the financial plan for our state's health care system, and 19 months later we are no closer to knowing how or whether it will work. The state is hiring more consultants to fix the problem, and there is no end in sight. Promises of cost savings are likely a pipe dream. Vermonters deserve better than to be used as guinea pigs for an experiment that is likely beyond our means.
Source: 2016 Vermont Senate campaign website Aug 8, 2016

Sue Minter: Focus on containing costs in Vermont Health Connect

Rising healthcare costs are burdening our budgets of our schools and families. We must ensure that Vermont Health Connect works, but we cannot stop there. I will focus on containing costs by enhancing primary and preventative care, improving the integration of health care & social services, and supporting the transition to a more efficient healthcare delivery system. Payment reform should reward health outcomes rather than the current system that rewards more visits, procedures and prescriptions
Source: 2016 Vermont gubernatorial campaign website May 25, 2016

Bruce Lisman: Repeal the mandate to purchase insurance

We must repeal the mandate to purchase insurance from Vermont Health Connect and transition to the federal exchange. Our health care system must deliver quality, choice, and security to all Vermonters.
Source: 2016 gubernatorial campaign website, Mar 6, 2016

Phil Scott: Affordable health care? Yes; single-payer? No

Lt. Governor Phil Scott believes Vermont should have affordable health care that covers everyone. Unfortunately, the current system does not achieve these goals. Costs are too high and the peace of mind of having insurance is not available to everyone.

Advocates of single-payer health care, however, have not demonstrated how they will lower costs, guarantee coverage at all times for all medically necessary procedures, enhance the quality of care while preserving access to the doctor and hospital of one's choice, and strengthen the economy. In Lt. Governor Scott's view, these are the criteria that any credible reform plan must meet.

Source: 2016 Vermont Gubernatorial campaign website Sep 9, 2015

David Zuckerman: Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare; but no mandate

Q: Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?


Q: Expand access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?


Q: Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?


Q: Do you support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act?


Q: Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?


Q: Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?


Source: Vote Smart Vermont State 2014 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2014

John MacGovern: Dislikes President Obama's health care act

On the issues, the two primary contestants tout similar conservative views. Both dislike President Obama's health care act, want a drastically smaller federal government, oppose abortion in most cases and are critical of the use of American soldiers to conduct nation-building in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.
Source: Burlington Free Press, on 2012 Vermont Senate debate Aug 27, 2012

Larry Drown: Healthcare that works for everyone

Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, Jun 24, 2006

Matt Dunne: State should provide universal access to health care

Source: Vermont Congressional 2002 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2002

Howard Dean: Universal access for all Vermonters; insure the last 6%

I propose that our achievement-the achievement of this biennium-is to design and implement a better system of health care in Vermont. We have one of the lowest numbers of uninsured citizens in the country. But the fact that you are one of only 6% does not pay the doctor’s bill.

This biennium our goals for health care are finding ways to control costs, helping small businesses afford private coverage for their workers, and making government-guaranteed insurance for children, seniors and working Vermonters sustainable.

This also means assuring access to health care for every Vermont citizen. We will never control costs without universal access. Vermont deserves a health care system where small businesses are not bankrupted by trying to treat their employees responsibly, and Vermont deserves a system where all Vermonters have access to health insurance and to quality care.

Source: State of the State Address to 2001 Vermont General Assembly Jan 4, 2001

Howard Dean: Keep “community rating”: insure older people at same rates

Let me talk for a moment about what will not work. Vermont has a system of community rating where all age groups are charged the same for their coverage, despite the fact that older people use more health care than younger people. Some insurance companies left the state because they wanted to avoid insuring older people so they could make plenty of money by only covering low-risk Vermonters. Eliminating community rating will not make health insurance more affordable or accessible. It will simply add on another cost shift, causing those employees over 50 and their employers to pay even more money so that costs can be reduced for those under 35. I don’t believe Vermonters want this solution.

Our challenge is to find solutions that will work. I am appointing a special Governor’s Commission on Health Care Availability and Affordability, to find ways we can achieve the dual goals of controlling costs and guaranteeing universal access.

Source: State of the State Address to 2001 Vermont General Assembly Jan 4, 2001

  • The above quotations are from State of Vermont Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
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Page last updated: Oct 14, 2021