Montpelier—Vermont residents at risk of losing Medicaid are calling on lawmakers to protect them by fulfilling the promise of universal healthcare.

Burlington resident Erin Kellar was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes during the pandemic. “Being insured with Medicaid allowed me to adjust to this life-altering chronic illness without financial stress, which would have negatively impacted my condition,” said Kellar. “I would die without insulin, and losing Medicaid means pitting essential basic needs of mine against each other.”

Starting April 1st and running for one year, an estimated 10,000 Vermonters per month will receive a “red stripe letter” indicating that their Medicaid enrollment is being reevaluated. [1] In total, 29,000 Vermonters are expected to lose their Medicaid coverage—among some 18 million low-income people across the country whose coverage will be cut off. [2]

While the decision to end expanded Medicaid was an act of Congress, campaigners argue that by abiding by it, Vermont lawmakers sidestep their moral and legal obligations to protect residents’ access to affordable healthcare. State statute dictates that “[i]t is the policy of the State of Vermont that health care is a public good for all Vermonters and to ensure that all residents have access to quality health services at costs that are affordable.” [3]

State officials claim that Vermonters losing access will be enrolled in private health insurance programs, for which they may be eligible for partial subsidies. They neglect to state the obvious: Medicaid is a far superior option for low-income people, without the thousands of dollars in deductibles and significant co-pays mandated by private insurers. Furthermore, Medicaid includes free dental coverage, which Vermont Health Connect does not. Denying Medicaid from low-income Vermonters will saddle them with medical costs that they cannot pay.

The State’s decision to deny healthcare access to 29,000 residents is part of a broader attack on the well-being of low-income Vermonters. With food prices soaring, expanded food stamp allowances benefitting 68,000 Vermont residents were eliminated in mid-March, leaving recipients struggling to put food on their families’ tables. [4] Unhoused Vermonters have been forced into perpetual limbo as the State refuses to implement permanent solutions to homelessness. [5]

The Nonviolent Medicaid Army, a project of the Vermont Workers’ Center, has been conducting outreach to people at risk of losing Medicaid. Vermonters affected by the Medicaid cutoffs will join the Vermont Poor People’s Campaign Moral Assembly at the Statehouse in Montpelier at noon on April 4th to shine a spotlight on the rollback of pandemic era relief measures and issue a moral call for lawmakers to stand up for the human rights of their constituents. [6]

The Nonviolent Medicaid Army is organizing everyone on or unfairly excluded from Medicaid to build the movement for universal healthcare. It is a multi-state initiative coordinated in Vermont by the Vermont Workers’ Center. For more, visit



  1. From April ‘23 – ‘24, the State plans to initiate 16,475 Medicaid renewals per month; 60 percent are expected to have to submit information as part of their renewal. See: and Slide 13,
  2. “The Impact of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Expiration on All Types of Health Coverage”, December 2022, the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Page 21, Table B.3:
  3. 18 V.S.A. § 9401
  4. “Vermont announces end to pandemic program that provided extra food stamp money”, VTDigger, 7 Feb. 2023.
  5. “Spending package extending emergency housing becomes law without Scott’s signature”, VTDigger, 20 Mar. 2023.
  6. Vermont Poor People’s Campaign Moral Assembly at the State House.