For Immediate Release
April 6, 2016
Contact: Rep. Don Turner
House Approves Republican Proposal to Audit VHC
Montpelier, Vt. – On Wednesday April 6, 2016, the House of Representatives passed an amendment that authorizes an independent review of Vermont Health Connect (VHC). The state-run healthcare exchange has struggled with ongoing functional and financial turmoil since its launch in 2013.
For the past two years, House Republicans have called for a third party to conduct an unbiased audit of VHC, and provide recommendations to solve its chronic dysfunction. For example, in February this year, Republican legislators held a joint press conference with Lt. Governor Phil Scott, urging for an independent assessment of the exchange.
In a bipartisan effort to emphasize the importance of reviewing VHC despite persistent opposition, Rep. Cynthia Browning (D-Arlington) worked tirelessly with Republican legislators who serve on the House Healthcare Committee – Rep. Doug Gage (R-Rutland) and Rep. Robert Bancroft (R-Westford).
Rep. Browning noted, “I am glad that this study has been funded, so that Vermonters can be better served. It is a first step toward reforming our present system, and will shed light on essential but unanswered questions – including whether we can apply our existing software in a more effective way following the example of Hawaii, or if we should switch to another system altogether. I hope that the Senate and the Shumlin Administration will ultimately agree that we need informed guidance with regards to either repairing or replacing Vermont Health Connect.”
Rep. Gage added, “Vermonters have suffered for too long as a result of VHC and its many troubles. An independent review has been overdue. I appreciate that this review will now take place. This is a victory for all Vermonters!”
House Minority Leader Don Turner (R-Milton) concluded, “Republicans are committed to restoring the healthcare independence of Vermonters. This study is a move in the right direction toward developing a path forward that will allow greater access to more affordable healthcare plans.”