Date: February 26, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VTGOP CHAIR DAVID SUNDERLAND’S STATEMENT ON STUDY LISTING VERMONT AMONG TOP 10 MOST EXPENSIVE INSURANCE MARKETS
Montpelier, Vt. — An important goal of any health care reform initiative must be lowering costs while increasing access and improving — or at least maintaining — healthcare quality for consumers. Vermonters expect and deserve this and it should be the requirement of any healthcare reform to deliver it.
Unfortunately, it is now becoming increasingly clear that the Affordable Care Act is not lowering costs for Vermonters at all. A new study reported in Kaiser Health News (Kaiser Health News, The 10 Most Expensive Insurance Markets In The U.S., Jordan Rau, February 3, 2014) earlier this month lists Vermont among the top 10 most expensive insurance markets in the country — even after application of government subsidies. The study compared the prices of the lower cost mid-level “silver plan” which is, according to the report, the most common plan selected by consumers and based the pricing on a typical 40-year old consumer.
Chairman Sunderland said, “On top of the numerous delays in implementation of the insurance exchange — and the multiple security breaches that have exposed Vermonters’ private information to the public — we now learn that the premiums for Vermonters are among the highest in the country. This is completely unacceptable and Governor Shumlin must respond with immediate corrective action.”
Vermonters are already facing a crisis of affordability in our state due to the high tax, high fee policies of the Shumlin administration. They are already being asked to swallow higher property tax rates, higher gas taxes, and higher energy costs that have made our state less affordable for working Vermonters and families. Asking them to also pay some of the highest health insurance costs in the country is out of the question and needs to be changed immediately. Higher insurance costs make health care less available for Vermonters, not more.
With Vermont’s economy continuing to struggle and recent news of even more jobs leaving our state, Vermonters need a new plan and a new vision. It’s time to move our state forward in a new direction, abandoning the failed policies of the past and leading with strength and a new vision for a brighter and more affordable future for our state.