VTAFP joins coalition seeking sugar sweetened beverage tax

The Vermont Academy of Family Physicians today joined 37 other organizations in Alliance for a Healthier Vermont, a group seeking new sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) tax legislation.  During a press conference this morning at the statehouse, the coalition called on the tax in order to address the state’s growing obesity rates and associated health care costs.

See a letter released by Vermont Academy of Family Physicians, Vermont Medical Society and American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter supporting the SSB tax here.

Lead sponsor of the legislation, Representative Dave Sharpe of Bristol, said, “"We have a large and growing obesity problem in Vermont and in our nation that is contributing to the high cost of health care. We need to start to address this problem and taxing beverages that have sugar added is a first step which deals with one of the significant contributors to obesity."

In addition to advocating for the health benefits that such a tax could create, the group suggested the tax could keep health care costs down for low income Vermonters; an issue that has recently arisen due to the projected rise in out-of-pocket expenses for VHAP and Catamount beneficiaries as they transition the Health Insurance Exchange in 2014.  The group released a letter to the Governor signed by 108 Vermont physicians and health care providers, and 700 petitions from Vermonters calling on elected officials to ensure that health care is affordable by further lowering out of pocket costs for low income Vermonters transitioning into the Exchange.

Contact Information

President: Carol Blackwood, M.D.

Executive Director: Stephanie Winters

Telephone: (802) 223-7898

FAX: (802) 223-1201

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 1457
Montpelier, VT 05601

Email: swinters@vtmd.org