Issue Position: Health Care
"We should move towards a health care 'system' that includes every Vermonter in one insurance pool: a Vermont self-insurance plan that provides care for all of us based on our ability to pay. It is not too different than how we pay for police or fire protection. We may not need it now, but we chip in because it is important to have it when we do. It means switching to more public funding. But, it also means your premiums will go down significantly, maybe disappear completely."
You Deserve Affordable Health Care: Under Douglas' watch the number of uninsured in our state has actually increased, while the average Vermont family will pay $13,000 - $15,000 for health care alone this year. This amounts to over 25% of the average family income. As a state, we will pay an estimated $4.6 billion for health care this year, almost twice the $2.8 billion spent in 2002, the year "Governor Affordability" took office. And it's estimated that as much as a third of every dollar spent on health care goes to paperwork, bureaucracy and insurance company profits. This is unacceptable; health care costs are out of control and catchy slogans will not solve the problem.
Vermonters are Ready for Real Solutions: Governor Douglas and Speaker Symington claim there isn't the political will to take on the status quo because the only solution will cost taxpayers more than they are willing to spend. Here they play the fear card, yet, when the population is polled on health care reform around 70% support change "even if it means higher taxes." Unlike my opponents, I will make the issue of affordable health care the priority it should be.
A Vermont Self-Insurance Plan: As Governor, I would travel the state for a series of public discussions. We have to get together and decide what our Vermont-based solution will look like. But we must build from certain principles, such as: one insurance program, so all Vermonters get the same care, whether employed or not, and everyone should pay according to his or her ability. We need to take health care decisions out of the hands of insurance companies and put them back where they belong - in your hands. We need to lower the overall costs of health care and a Vermont self-insurance plan that puts all Vermonters in one insurance pool, taking the burden off of employers as well as school and town budgets, will ultimately save businesses, families and taxpayers money.