“ENOUGH WITH THE SECRECY!”

by Vermonters for Health Care Freedom

Vermonters for Health Care Freedom today called upon Vermonters to call the State House and demand that Legislators and the Shumlin Administration be honest about how they intend to finance their risky single-payer plan.

The urgent call to action comes on the heels of news that the Shumlin Administration and their special interest allies are fighting feverishly against efforts to amend the single-payer bill in a key committee. In so doing, the Governor and his allies have let us all in on Montpelier’s worst-kept secret:

The Governor’s single payer plan will be funded by a payroll tax, just as envisioned in the Hsiao report. That means BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN NEW TAXES for Vermont employers and Vermont employees!

For months, the Governor and his special interest allies have been trying to convince Vermonters that there was no funding plan yet, and the question of how to pay for this multi-billion-dollar scheme would be left up to the Governor’s infamous “Jedi Council.”

But in the last few days, the curtain of secrecy has been pulled back to reveal that waiting in the wings is the economy-crushing double-digit payroll tax as envisioned by Dr. Hsiao:

· In an email to Senators this past weekend, Deb Richter of VT Health Care for All expressed alarm over an amendment seeking to exempt employers covered by the federal ERISA consumer protection law from Shumlin’s single-payer scheme. Richter called this “a direct attack on the viability of single payer financing.”

· The Shumlin Administration doesn’t like the amendment either, though they didn’t spill the beans like Richter did. They just said the amendment was “problematic under ERISA” and asked the Committee to reject it.

“These two startling developments are all the evidence we need that the Governor has swallowed the Hsiao Report hook, line and sinker,” said Darcie Johnston, Executive Director of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom. “If there is no funding plan on the table, why is the Administration rejecting an amendment that would exempt self-insured employers from his plan? Is it because, as Ms. Richter indicated, it is a direct attack on the ultimate funding plan?”

“It’s time for the Governor and his allies to end the secrecy over how this plan will be financed,” Johnston continued. “All signs seem to suggest that it will be a payroll tax, just as Dr. Hsiao recommended. If that’s the case, he should just admit it, so Vermont can have a more rational and fact-based discussion about health care financing.”