Vermont Business Magazine Matt Dunne, Democratic candidate for governor, today unveiled a comprehensive plan for overhauling the state’s healthcare system. Dunne released his healthcare plan at an event at the State House, where he was joined by universal healthcare advocates, including Deb Richter, MD, and James Haslam, Executive Director of Rights & Democracy.
“Healthcare is a human right, but unfortunately our state policy has taken a wrong turn when it comes to ensuring every Vermonter has access to affordable, high quality care” Dunne said. “As Governor, I will begin on day one to put us back on track, starting by fixing the Vermont Health Connect website once and for all and laying the groundwork to move us to a model of funding public health.”
Dunne’s plan, issued by his campaign, to address the state’s healthcare system is built around three core strategies:
Fix the website. Vermont Health Connect failed Vermonters, resulting in a loss of trust that has set the state back. Dunne will put his unique private and public sector experience to work on fixing the website, building an expert team and holding them accountable. Dunne will take a fresh approach to Vermont Health Connect to ensure both the right people and the right technology are in place and that core operating standards are being met.
Address the cost of healthcare. The state’s healthcare spending is increasing at an unsustainable rate, rising $650,000 per day. Dunne is proposing a shift in the way healthcare providers are reimbursed, moving from a volume based system to a system that pays for positive health outcomes. This will give hospitals and clinics a set amount of resources to deliver the best possible health outcomes for the community they serve. His plan increases support to community public health programs that are proven to help lower healthcare costs and make more Vermonters well and supports the creation of affordable care organizations (ACOs) to allow for the coordination and collaboration among healthcare providers to invest in localized walk-in clinics and other holistic strategies that would avoid expensive emergency room visits.
Move the state to a system of universal primary care. Dunne believes Vermonters are paying too much for something that is a right, not a privilege. As governor, he will support legislation that would provide universal primary care for all Vermonters. Universal primary care will help reduce the overall cost of healthcare in the state, as well, because chronic and emergent conditions will be treated and managed before they become costly health crises.
“The current system is just broken. We need to start paying for public health, not the number of MRIs a hospital can jam in at the end of their fiscal quarter,” Dunne said. “Doctors know what we are doing isn’t sustainable, and the hospitals know it too. My plan will implement practical steps to address the rising cost of healthcare, change the way we pay and ensure all Vermonters have access to affordable, high quality care.”
“Universal Primary Care is the best investment Vermont could make to improve the health of our population, lower overall costs, and improve quality,” said Deb Richter, M.D.
“Healthcare is a human right, and Rights & Democracy was excited to endorse Matt Dunne for Governor because he is committed to putting that idea into action,” said James Haslam, Executive Director of Rights & Democracy. “Matt has been organizing people around that idea for years. He’s the right candidate, with the right healthcare policy to be our next Governor.”
“Matt and I agree that healthcare is a human right. I’ve been a registered nurse in Vermont since 1988, and I’ve witnessed firsthand how a political system hijacked by private, corporate interests has an impact on the health and well-being of Vermonters,” said Mari Cordes, RNIII VA-BC, and former President of the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals. “Matt has a plan to help turn this around, starting with a system of publicly funded universal primary care. He’s also right to prioritize community health programs. Our current system is broken, and we need a new approach to turn it around. I have confidence in Matt’s plan to put us back on track and implement policies that will improve access to high quality care for all Vermonters.”
Dunne has long been an advocate for healthcare for all. As a member of the legislature in the 1990s, Dunne co-sponsored a universal healthcare bill and has fought for healthcare reform throughout his political career. Oversaw the self-insurance contract when he was at AmeriCorps*VISTA and worked on healthcare IT issues in the Senate. More recently, Dunne has served on the board of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.
Source: Dunne Campaign 6.30.2016. http://www.MattDunne.com/healthcare/