A conservative advocacy group will launch a robocall on Tuesday morning, urging Vermonters to call Gov. Peter Shumlin demanding repeal of the state’s health care exchange law.
The call urges listeners to tell the governor to “grant a waiver now to allow your current insurance plan to renew for another year so you won’t be stuck in January.”
The message continues: “People in the other 49 states can buy insurance through the exchange OR keep what they have! You deserve the same choice.”
The robocall is sponsored by Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that has long opposed the governor’s plans to use the federal exchange as a stepping stone toward the development of a single payer health care system.
Darcie Johnston, executive director of the group, says the calls to 30,000 “Vermonters who we believe share our position” will cost $800.
The robocall claims that Vermonters will be “left uninsured in just three months” because the exchange “won’t be ready in time.”
The robocall blames that uncertainty on the Shumlin administration, which pushed for passage of the law that makes participation in the exchange mandatory. In other states, participation is voluntary. About 100,000 Vermonters must buy medical insurance through Vermont Health Connect by Dec. 21.
The VHC tech project has been plagued by delays. The state is launching the Vermont Health Connect website on Tuesday, and the Shumlin administration says the website will be ready to accept insurance plan purchases on Nov. 1.
Johnston, a Republican operative, was the campaign manager for Randy Brock, Shumlin’s Republican challenger in the last election cycle.
In a commentary, Brock blasted the Shumlin administration for failing to meet key deadlines for the Vermont Health Connect website. In a counter-commentary, Mark Larson, the commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access, points the finger at Brock for playing politics.
Vermonters for Health Care Freedom’s “live” robocall with patch through to governor’s office
Vermonters for Health Care Freedom voicemail robocall