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Press Release

    Vermont Report August 18th

    08/18/2005

    Governor to Host Health Care Forums

    Speak Now, or Forever Hold Your…
    Government-Issue, Health-Care-Waiting-Line Access Card

    Governor Jim Douglas is hosting Six Regional Forums on Health Care between now and October. The first will be Monday, August 22, at the Mount Anthony Union Middle School in Bennington, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. It is critical that everyone opposed to the socialization schemes of House and Senate leadership attend these meetings and make your voices heard.

    Governor Douglas is looking to “gather more information on constructive proposals and ideas that were largely overlooked by the Legislature.”

    “Overlooked” is the euphemism of a polite politician. Gay Symington and Company will not give you any opportunity to raise hard questions or propose common sense solutions to health care issues we face. This is your chance. Don’t overlook it!

    For more information please contact: the Governor’s Office at (802) 828-3333.

    To read FreedomWorks’ open letter to Bernie Sanders regarding a common sense alterative to a universal takeover, the Health Care Choice Act, go to
    http://www.freedomworks.org/newsroom/press_template.php?press_id=1398

    To read a list of 12 hard questions to ask about taxpayer funded healthcare, go to: http://www.freedomworks.org/informed/issues_template.php?issue_id=2237

    Actively Stifling Debate

    One reason it is so important to attend these forums is the reality that Speaker of the House, Gay Symington (D-Jericho) and her allies have been actively hostile toward any idea that competes or conflicts with their own narrow-minded quest for a full government takeover of Vermont’s medical community.

    During the Legislative Session, Symington and Company refused to allow time to discuss alternative health care proposals, and the committee itself was stacked with known supporters of a taxpayer funded, government-run system. Now, the current commission looking at Health Care reform (which is costing the taxpayers $800,000) is also unbalanced and unrepresentative of Vermonters’ diverse opinions on the issue. The Governor’s office was flat-out denied any voting rights on the commission, and of the two Republicans allowed on, Topper McFarland, is an outspoken advocate of Symington’s scheme. The other is Senator Kevin Mullin (D-Rutland), who deserves cards of both sympathy and support.

    Symington’s Secret Plan?

    Speaker Symington’s strangest behavior in the Health Care debate surrounds an “independent contract” she made -- at taxpayers’ expense -- with Paul Cillo study the Health Care reform issue. (Cillo is the architect of Act 60, which should scare the bejesus out of everybody in and of itself.)

    What is truly outrageous is that whatever Cillo did, whatever he found out, how he did it, how much he got paid for it, and where exactly whatever he produced is… is currently unknown to all but Cillo, Symington and the Chair of the Committee, Rep. John Tracy. Republican Leader Peg Flory (R-Pittsford) and other House members opposed to government-run care asked to have input into Cillo’s studies and were flatly denied by Symington. They asked to see Cillo’s final report, and again were flatly denied.

    This is not kosher. Whatever Cillo learned should be public record and open to debate.

    One can conclude that Paul Cillo either made negative recommendations regarding government run health care, or discovered a broad lack of support for the scheme by Vermonters in general. It’s safe to say that if he found anything favorable about the plan, the Speaker and her supporters would be shouting it from the rooftops. She and they are not. Either way, the public cannot have confidence in a process where relevant information is being actively hidden from them.

    Support for “Universal” Care Is Not Universal

    The Speaker’s closed minded approach to the issue and arrogant heavy-handedness is designed to obscure the fact that several business groups (including the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries of Vermont, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses), nearly half of doctors in the state (according to Vermont Health Care for All’s own statements), and a large percentage of citizens are adamantly opposed of a government health care takeover at all.

    Please Contact: Gay Symington (speaker@leg.state.vt.us; 899-3324) and tell her that Vermonters deserve to know what they paid for. Let us see the results of Paul Cillo’s work! To find all others visit: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/

    Please Contact: Your local and statewide media. This is a story that needs to be reported, but is being purposefully ignored by the mainstream media in Vermont. Tell your local editors that you deserve to know more about Symington’s contract with Paul Cillo, and what it produced. To find contact information, goto: http://www.freedomworks.org/vermont/media.php

    Getting the Message, and Giving the Message on Early Ed

    Letters are flying around Vermont about the taxpayer-funded takeover of the private preschool industry.

    Vermonters are learning the truth about how Senators Collins, Jim Condos (D-Chittended) and Susan Bartlett (D-Lamoille) slipped the funding language that will allow school districts to take money from the education fund to start publicly financed preschool programs into the Budget Bill. By calling into radio shows, writing letters, and sending emails, regular Vermonters are making these officials take responsibility for their actions, and are forcing them to respond.

    Sadly, the recent letter and op-ed by Rep. George Cross (D-Winooski) and Sen. Don Collins (D-Franklin) are less that truthful. The line they seem to have agreed upon is, “I’m proud of what I did, but I didn’t do it. Wendy Wilton did it! Blame her!

    Senator Wendy Wilton (R-Rutland), of course, was opposed to the funding language going into the budget bill – she was not responsible, even in part, for its going in. Senator Wilton has responded with a very strong letter of her own. Both men owe Senator Wilton an apology.

    For all their protestations and lamentations, however, none of the proponents of this policy has been able to explain or answer the question: If these programs were being legally funded in the first place, why did they need to slip funding language for them into the Budget Bill at all?

    In the immortal words of Ralph Kramden: “Humina, humina, humina, humina.”

    Look for Our Ad in the Vermont Times

    FreedomWorks continues to press this issue aggressively, and we have placed a full page ad on the back page of the Vermont Times (August 17th edition, Burlington) taking Sen. Jim Condos and Rep. George Cross to task for their roles in the preschool takeover.

    The ad begins: “Property taxes are rising by double digits. The Schools [Burlington’s] are facing a $2.3 million deficit. Any sensible person would realize this is neither the time nor place to expand the public school system by two years at taxpayers’ expense. But, that’s just what Senator Jim Condos and Representative George Cross are doing….”

    I urge you to pick up a copy to the VT Times, pass it around, and let Jim Condos and George Cross know you saw it.

    Please Contact: Sen. Jim Condos (D-Chittenden): jcondos@leg.state.vt.us, 863-4654; George Cross (D-Winooski) – gcross@leg.state.vt.us, 655-4611.

    Notes & Events

    Friday 8/19
    8:00-8:30 am – State Director, Rob Roper, will be on “Charlie & Ernie in the Morning” WVMT 620 AM in Burlington.

    Monday 8/22
    6:30-8:00 p.m. The Governor’s Health Care Forum, Mount Anthony Union Middle School in Bennington.

    Highlights from the FreedomWorks National Page

    Why do we Regulate, by Richard W. Rahn
    http://www.freedomworks.org/informed/issues_template.php?issue_id=2333

    FreedomWorks Cheers Senator Frist's Call for Full Repeal of Death Tax, by Matt Kibbe
    http://www.freedomworks.org/informed/issues_template.php?issue_id=2327

    Please Contact:
    Your likeminded friends and neighbors. Forward them this edition of the Vermont Report, and encourage them to join FredomWorks’ growing email list by signing up at www.freedomworks.org/processor/signup.php or by contacting State Director, Rob Roper directly at rroper@freedomworks.org or 802-999-8145.