Main Street Alliance working to defend Green Mountain Care in Vermont.
Editor’s note: This commentary is by Lindsay DesLauriers, who is the director of Main Street Alliance of Vermont, a non-profit organization focused on elevating the voice of small business owners on public policy issues.
Vermont’s unexpected election results have led to a lot of speculation among Vermonters and in the media. Many have asked whether this election should be interpreted as a reflection on Green Mountain Care, Vermont’s proposed universal, publicly financed, single payer health care system. My response to this is: Yes. The election results suggest we should move forward.
It’s no secret that the implementation of Vermont Health Connect, our execution of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) – sometimes called Obamacare, has been problematic and troubling to many people. The election is very likely, at least in part, a reflection of people’s dissatisfaction with the rollout of Vermont Health Connect. But that dissatisfaction does not include Act 48, the legislation that established our intent to enact Green Mountain Care, the first universal, publicly financed health care system in the country. On the contrary — the Legislature, the administration, and the advocacy community should feel encouraged, if not compelled to redouble efforts to move forward with Act 48 and Green Mountain Care.
Moving forward with Green Mountain Care is our way and the best way to move beyond Vermont Health Connect and the ACA and actually improve health care. Specifically, implementing Green Mountain Care: a true universal, publicly financed health care system, promises to decouple health care from employment, decrease administrative overhead, lower cost to consumers, improve access to health care, and improve health outcomes.