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Shumlin: Thousands of Vermonters could lose health coverage - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Shumlin: Thousands of Vermonters could lose health coverage

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Gov. Peter Shumlin contends president-elect Donald Trump will be bad for Vermont's health.

Shumlin says he feared the worst, but did his best to hold out hope for a moderated President Donald Trump.

"I'm giving up some hope for the best, it's looking pretty bleak," said Shumlin.

At a morning press conference, Shumlin suggested 25, 000 Vermonters could lose the health coverage they've gained if national Republicans defund subsidies.

Shumlin also warned that 200,000 Medicaid beneficiaries could see their benefits cut.

"Obamacare matters to Vermont. It matters to all of our communities. We've got to fight for it together," said Shumlin.

The governor bases his concerns on campaign rhetoric and Trump's pick for health secretary, the avowedly anti-Obamacare congressman and doctor Tom Price.

"It's hard to know what the new administration will do," said governor-elect Phil Scott, R-Vermont.

Scott disavowed Trump early and often in his run for governor, but Scott says the Affordable Care Act won't be repealed or gutted without a suitable replacement.

"I believe that there will be an off-ramp that will protect them, we'll make sure there is," said Scott. "I believe they'll craft legislation that will work for individual states, we're not the only ones that are relying on the ACA.

The outgoing and incoming governors also disagree on the status of the state's exchange: Vermont Health Connect.
     
Shumlin concedes issues still exist, but says they're a fraction of the previous problems.

"I believe we've gotten as close to perfect as you can get," said Shumlin.

Scott says his team's still inspecting under the $200 million projects hood, but says he'll know problems are solved when there's a drop in the number of complaints flowing into his office

Shumlin says he's not nearly as concerned that the Trump administration will back out of the state's new agreement to pay for care based on quality rather than quantity.
     
Scott says guessing what's coming in that regard is just as fraught with peril as guessing what's next for the Affordable Care Act.

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