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Vermont Health Care Coalition Title X Statement

June 15, 2018

A diverse coalition of Vermont health care organizations strongly opposes threats to Vermonters’ access to essential health care services proposed by the federal Health and Human Services Department.

Organizations participating include: Bi-State Primary Care Association, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, Office of the Health Care Advocate, MVP Health Care, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, UVM Medical Center, Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, Vermont Care Partners: VT Council of Developmental and Mental Health Services, VT Coalition of Clinics for the Uninsured,  Vermont Medical Society, Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care (VPQHC), and VNAs of Vermont.

Federal Title X funding helps ensure that every person regardless of income or health care coverage has access to basic, preventative reproductive health care. The Health and Human Services administration officials propose changes to Title X rules in violation of medical ethics.  The new rule would do three main things:

  • Impose new restrictions that will  make it impossible for many patients to get birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood;
  • Force doctors, nurses, hospitals, and community health centers to choose between funding and the ability to refer their patients for safe, legal abortion;
  • Deny patients the right to get full and accurate information about their reproductive health care from their providers.

The American Medical Association (AMA) released a statement strongly objecting to the rule, the American Nurses Association (ANA) condemned the rule, and the American College of Physicians (ACP) asked the Trump administration to withdraw the rule. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), the American College of Physicians (ACP), the Association for Physician Assistants in Obstetrics and Gynecology (APAOG), the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH), Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health (NSRH), and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) released a joint statement opposing the rule.

The Vermont coalition echoes the concerns and objections voiced in these communications.

If enacted, the proposed changes will result in the loss of Title X federal funding to health centers such as Planned Parenthood for birth control, STD screenings, and other reproductive health services for low-income patients who may lack health insurance coverage. This will significantly restrict access to necessary care for both women and men particularly in rural, hard to serve areas of Vermont. 

We call on the federal Health and Human Services Department to withdraw this proposed rule in the interest of public health and for the benefit of low income patients of Vermont. 


Coalition Members

Bi-State Primary Care Association
Tess Kuenning |President and CEO
[email protected] | 603-228-2830 x112

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont
Sara Teachout | Director, Government, Public, and Media Relations
[email protected] | 802-371-3254

MVP Health Care
Susan Gretkowski, J.D. | Senior Government Affairs Strategist
[email protected] |802-264-6532

Office of the Health Care Advocate
Michael Fisher | Chief Health Care Advocate
[email protected] | 802-383-2226

Planned Parenthood Northern New England
Lucy Leriche(she/her/hers) |  Vice President of Public Policy Vermont
[email protected] | 802-598-4182

The University of Vermont Medical Center
Jason W. Williams | Director of Government and Community Relations and Interim Director of Marketing and Communications
[email protected] | 802-847-2912

Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems
Devon Green | Vice President of Government Relations
[email protected] | 802-272-4191

Vermont Care Partners: VT Council of Developmental and Mental Health Services
Julie Tessler | Executive Director 
[email protected] |802-223-1773 x 401

Vermont Coalition of Clinics for the Uninsured
Steve Maier | Executive Director
[email protected] | 801-448-4280

Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care
Catherine Fulton | Executive Director
[email protected]  | 802-229-2449

Vermont Medical Society
Jessa Barnard, Esq. | Executive Director
[email protected] | 802-223-7898 x 11

VNAs of Vermont
Jill Mazza Olson, MPA | Executive Director
[email protected] | 802-249-8491