At some point or another most Vermonters will cross paths with the Agency of Human Services. The agency is home to some of the the largest entities of state government — the Department of Health; Department for Children and Families; Department of Vermont Health Access; Corrections; Mental Health; and the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living operate under its organizational umbrella.
Last December, Gov. Phil Scott picked former Green Mountain Care Board Chair Al Gobeille to lead the agency. Gobeille brings years of management experience to the position, from operating Gobeille Hospitality, his Burlington-based restaurant business, to overseeing hospital budgets and insurance company rate-setting as chair of the Green Mountain Care Board.
In this episode of Vote for Vermont, co-hosts Pat McDonald and Ben Kinsley interview Gobeille about his recent work, which ranges from implementing the Affordable Care Act in Vermont to addressing the opioid crisis.
On the fate of Obamacare, Gobeille says it needs to be “fixed and repaired,” not taken back to where health care stood before the health law passed. “The Affordable Care Act took about four years to implement. … It would take equally as long of a time period to unwind it,” he said.
Speaking about the opioid crisis, Gobeille says it “has had an impact in every corner of our state and in everything that AHS does.”
Vermont’s Human Services secretary also discusses state mental health challenges, pre-kindergarten and meeting seniors’ needs in what is now the second oldest state in the nation by age demographics.
Watch full episode: