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VT Business Talks Long Term

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Universal access will improve economy, make Vermont healthier

Burlington, VT – Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) issued the following statement Friday in response to this week’s election results.

“This year’s election was not a referendum on the policy and advantages of affordable and universal access to health care. Vermonters and Vermont businesses are still in need of quality care and comprehensive reform.

But problems with our present health care system persist and must be dealt with. If Vermont does not stem the tide of rising health care costs and bring coverage to the state’s uninsured and underinsured populations, health care will overwhelm our economy. Health care reform is a non-partisan issue. Doing nothing or going backwards are not solutions.

VBSR member businesses are doubling-down on health care reform. Vermont’s businesses community needs a level-playing field by removing the link between insurance and employment. We call on the Vermont Legislature to reaffirm the values of Act 48 – values that an overwhelmingly majority of Vermonters agree with – and build a universal health care system, funded fairly and sustainably through public dollars and decoupled from employment.

VBSR sees several positive economic outcomes that stem from comprehensive health care reform:

– Delinking heath insurance from employment will allow businesses to do what businesses do best – expand operations, create jobs, and increase the wages of hard-working Vermonters. The weight of our current system forbids this.

– Expanding coverage to all Vermonters can cut our long-term health care costs by reducing expensive emergency room visits and the health and economic consequences of delaying needed health care.

– Health care reform will allow tomorrow’s entrepreneurs the safety net to start new businesses and expand the Vermont economy. Under the present system, job- creators cannot gamble with their health care to start new companies.

VBSR members expect Gov. Shumlin and the Vermont Legislature to adopt a comprehensive financing plan for universal health care this biennium. We expect to see a plan that addresses the significant cost shifts in our system and funds public health care fairly, sustainably and transparently.

A good plan will grow jobs, expand the economy and result in a healthier state. We look forward to working with the Governor and the Vermont Legislature to pass this plan.”
– Andrea Cohen, Executive Director Daniel Barlow, Public Policy Manager


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