Gov. Peter Shumlin today applauded the Obama Administration for finalizing a federal rule granting states, including Vermont, more flexibility in efforts to control health care costs for families and businesses, and guarantee that affordable coverage is available to more Vermonters. The rule would allow states to obtain a waiver from certain requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act and implement reforms that deviate from the federal model.
"Vermont is moving aggressively to control health care costs for individuals and small businesses, and to get the cost of health care off the backs of employers," Gov. Shumlin said. "I appreciate the President's recognition that states like Vermont have good ideas for going beyond the requirements of the ACA to cover everyone and control costs. States should be able to move further, faster in tackling this problem."
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the final rule recently, which in part "provides states with additional flexibility to improve healthcare for their citizens in a way that works for them while retaining the basic protections" of the federal health care law. Gov. Shumlin has spoken with the President and administration officials about Vermont's plans.
In announcing the final rule, the Obama administration reiterated its support for making the state flexibility waivers available sooner than currently allowed under federal law.
"The President understands the urgency of this problem," Gov. Shumlin said, "and he understands that states have good ideas for solving it."