FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2016
Vermont Legislative Leaders Demand Green Mountain Care Board Oversight of Vermont Health Connect
Montpelier, Vt. – Today Lt. Governor Phil Scott, House Minority Leader Don Turner, Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning and fellow legislators called for the Green Mountain Care Board to conduct an independent assessment of Vermont Health Connect.
On Wednesday, February 17, the House Health Care Committee took testimony from Gartner Consulting, who recommended Vermont conduct an assessment to determine whether it’s more fiscally prudent to fix components of the non-functional Vermont Health Connect, transition to the federal exchange or look for an opportunity to work with another state. Many legislators share Vermonters’ lack of confidence that the Shumlin Administration can steer such a process in an unbiased manner. For this reason, the bipartisan group today strongly recommended that the Green Mountain Care Board, in conjunction with the Joint Fiscal Office, oversee this assessment.
“Vermonters have lost faith and trust in the Administration when it comes to Vermont Health Connect. That is why I don’t believe this assessment should be overseen by the Administration. The Green Mountain Care Board is intended to be an independent regulatory arm for health care in the state, and should be willing to take on this challenge,” said Lt. Gov. Scott.
“It is our belief that, in order for Vermonters to have confidence in whichever path the state takes moving forward, the Green Mountain Care Board must be the one to recommend next steps – and the Administration must follow all of those recommendations,” said Rep. Turner. “Vermonters deserve the opportunity to escape from this maelstrom.”
As the health care regulatory arm of the state, the Green Mountain Care Board is charged with improving the quality of care in the state while stabilizing and controlling costs.
“Vermonters have suffered a long history of broken promises and missed deadlines on this frustrating path to affordable and dependable health care. The Administration has been either incapable of recognizing or purposely choosing not to be truthful about the lack of progress of its efforts,” said Sen. Benning. “It’s time to get a realistic assessment that puts Vermonters first, not politics.”