Pollina Calls Douglas on State Hospital Failure
Anthony Pollina issued the following statement today regarding the failure of the Vermont State Hospital to gain federal certification, which results in the loss of Medicaid funding. Pollina was joined by employees of the Vermont State Hospital.
"The failure of the federal government to certify the Vermont State Hospital is a major failure on every level for the Douglas Administration.
The loss of certification will cost $7 million this year, but has cost Vermonters more than $30 million over the last 5 years. That is more than the cost of a new State Hospital. Instead of acting we have wasted the money and gotten nothing for it.
While the loss of money is most important in the short term, the lack of certification reflects failure on every level. It is a failure to mange the situation, a failure to invest in infrastructure and a failure to respect the mental health needs of Vermonters, patients, providers and staff.
The Douglas Administration has wasted time and money, making lots of promises and excuses, all the while undermining mental health services. We need to act.
As Governor I would develop a plan to meet our mental health service needs with a new State Hospital, most likely located in Waterbury. The plan would include cooperation with private hospitals and intermediary facilities as needed with a state of the art Vermont State Hospital at the center of the system.
Douglas has also failed to lead us toward broader health care reforms that include mental health. It makes no sense to talk about health care and mental health as seperate issues. As Governor I will work to create a new Vermont health care system that saves money, controls costs, and includes mental health services."