Vermonters for Healthcare Freedom: Senate ignores Vermonters, goes for the gold and thumbs its nose at federal law through passage of H.559

For immediate release
April 25, 2012

Contact
Vermonters for Health Care Freedom
[email protected]

The Vermont Senate is nothing if not consistent. Following yesterday’s three hours of debate on H.559, the Health Care Exchange bill, senators debated for an additional two hours on Tuesday before ultimately passing the bill on a 20-7 vote.

The debate over an amendment to allow small businesses and individuals to remain with their current (or any other) off-exchange insurance plan for one year following the start of the Exchange provided new insight into how the Shumlin Administration intends to use the Exchange to finance Green Mountain Care, the government monopoly single payer health care scheme approved last year. The success of their plan depends upon forcing as many people as possible into the Exchange on day one, and encouraging as many small businesses as possible to drop their health insurance employee benefits. The amendment was defeated in a close vote.

The question of whether the federal Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) even allows states to do this was also raised, but left unresolved.

A detailed summary and commentary on the senate action is available on our website at this link: http://vthealthcarefreedom.org/news/2012-04-24/senate-ignores-vermonters-goes-gold-and-thumbs-its-nose-federal-law-through-passage-

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26 Comments on "Vermonters for Healthcare Freedom: Senate ignores Vermonters, goes for the gold and thumbs its nose at federal law through passage of H.559"

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Barbara Morrow
4 years 1 month ago

Boy, I’m glad this is clearly marked “Press Release” with the source.

Kelly Cummings
4 years 1 month ago
EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT!!! “SENATE IGNORES VERMONTERS” Well geez Mr. Wennberg that sounds just downright awful!! But it’s just not true!!!! When you say Vermonters….who exactly do you mean? Because surely you don’t mean all those Vermonters who showed up to testify in favor of healthcare for all do you? You know….the ones who shared their very own powerful stories about how their lives and their children’s lives have been negatively impacted from the lack of affordable healthcare? Or how about the thousands who have worked so tirelessly for years to show up to rallies, and forums, to… Read more »
Walter Carpenter
4 years 1 month ago
“The Vermont Senate is nothing if not consistent” And I thank them for their consistency. They stood up for the Vermonters who are getting screwed by the system, who pay outrageous premiums with thousands in deductibles; they stood up for those who cannot get insurance because it costs too much, they are ineligible. They stood up for the Vermonters who, when the lose their jobs, lose their health insurance if they ever had it to begin with; they stood up for Vermonters who get their claims denied while CEO’s rake in huge salaries. They stood up for us, not the… Read more »
Al Walskey
4 years 1 month ago
Some people refuse to be confused by the facts. Well folks it looks like the time has come to take a deep breath, slowly count to 10 or 20 if you’re really ticked off and start to begin to get ready to live up to the axiom which goes like this “The ultimate test of adulthood is the ability to live without anger in the midst of lying and unjust (wo)men.” Another axiom that comes to mind is: ‘There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what… Read more »
Kel Varnsen
4 years 24 days ago
Nice try Al. First, we do not have a democracy in this country and never did. We have a constitutional republic. More to the point about your misleading missive however, is your contention that legislators listen to voters. This if a farce and a fable and you know it, at least in terms of the current democrat supermajority of our government. Legislators “listen” to everyone, but they only hear those who agree with them, in this case being largely that government is the solution to all problems and knows better than you how to live your life. So the pretend… Read more »
Gary vincent
2 years 10 months ago

Al,were you in korea in 1965

Craig Powers
4 years 1 month ago

Health care for all will eventually bankrupt VT businesses and its citizens (See the current state of Medicare & Medicaid). Until the proponents of single payer come clean with how this will be financed, (and who specifically will be paying and how much) they should continue to understand that many people are skeptical.

David Schoales
4 years 1 month ago

So the Senate decided it would be better to have lots of people in the insurance system so the costs could be spread more broadly, and that is wrong? And the availability of federal subsidies through the exchange to help employers offer better coverage is not important enough to include in the press release?
I don’t understand.

Jason Kelley
4 years 1 month ago

How ironic! A Republican organization that supports the Affordability Care Act!

Walter Carpenter
4 years 1 month ago
“Health care for all will eventually bankrupt VT businesses and its citizens (See the current state of Medicare & Medicaid).” The current state of Medicare and medicaid is largely hype from people —the republican party and their corporate allies — who desire to destroy them so that they can take advantage of all those medicaid and Medicare dollars, Neither, of course, has been helped by the great recession, or that every attempt to do something to bring us out of it has been blocked or thwarted by the GOP controlled house. We currently spend $5 billion a year on health… Read more »
Craig Powers
4 years 1 month ago

Please provide concrete proof of your statement that small business will not be adversely impacted by higher taxes and enlighten us all on how VT single payer will be financed now. Not in two years, or after the election. Did the pea soup fog miraculously lift?

walter carpenter
4 years 1 month ago
The proof is all around you if you choose to see it. Are small business’s adversely affected by Medicare, Medicaid, other than that they are paying for it and cannot use it unless they are old enough or their income falls below a certain threshold? What are the administrative costs of medicare (excluding the privatized medicare plans) versus private insurance? Admin expenses for private health plans in Vt are about 30% now. Here is what the differences were several years ago for some of the big insurers versus medicare nationally. http://healthcarereform.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004083 Higher taxes. First of all, we are already paying… Read more »
Lee Russ
4 years 1 month ago

A solid 20-7 majority of duly elected state senators votes, in public, to pass a law that has long been available for public view, and this is portrayed as “thumbing their nose” at the people of the state?

I have to join Kelly Cummings in asking for which “people” Vermonters for Health Care Freedom claims to speak? And exactly which “freedom” does it claim to represent? The freedom to pay ever-higher health insurance preiums for ever-smaller coverage?

Makes you wonder exactly who would support that kind of “freedom” enough to fund Vermonters for Health Care Freedom.

Ellen Oxfeld
4 years 1 month ago
The fact of the matter is we are all paying for our health care now…The question is how to we want to fund this? Publicly funding a health care system for all Vermonters, or do we want to stick with our patchwork and therefore expensive system of multiple private insurance plans? Exchange is not single payer, and it is a temporary stage that we have to enact according to federal law. It is just a way to purchase insurance that will minimally allow some people to get subsidies for the private insurance they purchase. That’s all. Those subsidies will be… Read more »
Paula Schramm
4 years 1 month ago

Craig Powers writes:
“Please provide concrete proof of your statement that small business will not be adversely impacted by higher taxes”.

I looked in vain among all the comments for anyone that made this statement. Just couldn’t find it anywhere !
I would ask in return: “Please provide concrete proof that you are interested in a rational discussion” I can’t seem to find that anywhere either.

Craig Powers
4 years 1 month ago
Ms. Schramm your reply was rude and condescending. I am trying to have a rational discussion and asked two simple questions. I guess you do not like the questions and therefore have to attack me? Is that a rational discussion in your book? I simply asked Mr. Carpenter to provide proof of his statement that businesses would not as adversely impacted by health care reform (which he stated). I also asked for financing details. If Mr. Carpenter is so sold on this idea, and is such a staunch defender, he should be able to answer my questions now…not in two… Read more »
Doug Hoffer
4 years 1 month ago

Mr. Powers

Single payer cannot be implemented for at least five years. Therefore, there is no real urgency to the question of financing. When the numbers are presented, there will be plenty of time (several years) to discuss the options and have a robust public debate.

Kel Varnsen
4 years 24 days ago

Yes, let’s not worry about where the money will come from for government-run health care until the day the bill is due. Good plan. By the way, the term “robust public debate” is getting tedious. I think what you mean is hearing from all the folk who have been convinced they have a “right” to have someone else pay for their health care. In the mean time it would be interesting to hear you list all the programs government runs more efficiently and cost-effectively than the private sector.

walter carpenter
4 years 22 days ago

“list all the programs government runs more efficiently and cost-effectively than the private sector.”

Medicare. 6% admin costs versus 30% for private insurance; medicaid, with the same. Social Security. The military-industrial establishment, completely run and paid for by the federal guv for the benefit of private enterprise…the list could go on and on. The private sector has done nothing but crash the economy and plunge the world into a great recession.

Bill Gardyne
4 years 1 month ago
We’ll just see what the political landscape looks like when the full financial details come out about Green Mtn.Care. The ultimate price tag will make our current system look like a bargain. Utilization is what drives the increasing cost of healthcare and single payor will open the floodgates. When the gatekeepers see that happening, rationing will become a reality that many of you single payor cheerleaders won’t much like. It boggles my mind that there at least a few clear thinkers left in Montpelier who can’t see where this is inevitably headed. What happens when the Supreme Court strikes down… Read more »
Doug Hoffer
4 years 1 month ago

All of the previous studies on single payer (Lewin, Thorpe & Hsiao) too account of the expected increase in utilization. It is a short-term phenomenon.

BTW – I hardly think anyone will say that “the ultimate price tag [of single payer] will make our current system look like a bargain.” Indeed, the cost of the current system has doubled in less than a decade and is now almost 20% of the state’s entire gross state product.

4 years 1 month ago

Exchange planning is underway in several states. What kinds of real-world questions are states considering? http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=4008

Paula Schramm
4 years 1 month ago
Mr. Powers – I’m sorry my reply seemed rude and condescending. I did not mean to make a personal attack, but to attack what you were doing. You illustrated my point in your response when you gave an accurate version of the statement in question, rather than the one you created earlier to put your own slant on it. I’m actually the one being condescended to. I’m one of those Vermonters who wants to see the affordable, universal health care in this state that “Vermonters for Health Care Freedom” is trying so hard to thwart, and I don’t appreciate their… Read more »
Craig Powers
4 years 1 month ago

I appreciate your response and understand your position.

walter carpenter
4 years 1 month ago

“When the gatekeepers see that happening, rationing will become a reality that many of you single payor cheerleaders won’t much like.”

Try not having insurance and see what rationing is like. Try getting onto programs like catamount only to be told the income is too high, as a small biz woman told me today. That is rationing at its best.

Al Walskey
4 years 29 days ago
This just in from PBS (April 27) regarding health care trends. High deductible plans have increased to the point where up to 30% of employees have opted for high deductible plans of $1,000 or more just to get a premium they can afford. More are expected to opt for even higher deductible plans as health care INSURANCE premiums continue to grow at an unsustainable rate. From my personal experience as an IBMer with vested rights they’re way behind the times on increasing employees health care costs. Back in 1994 IBM surreptitiously converted the health insurance that came as a benefit… Read more »
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