Astroturf Update: Soros Care

by Robert Maynard

Robert Maynard

In an earlier True North commentary, I wrote about the astroturf movement that is behind the rush to hastily push a single payer approach to healthcare through the Vermont political process. This commentary takes a closer look at the players involved.

A good source of information on this subject is contained in the Front Page Magazine article entitled “Soros Care“. As pointed out, the national movement to push for a government takeover of the healthcare system really got ramped up in 2009. As I mentioned in my previous commentary, the 800 lb gorilla in this fight is Health Care for America Now! (HCAN). They describe themselves as a:

national grassroots campaign of more than 1,000 organizations in 46 states representing 30 million people dedicated to winning quality, affordable health care.”

The Front Page article notes that:

“Most of its component organizations have two things in common: they have no experience or expertise in health care, and virtually all received large, tax-exempt grants from far-Left billionaires like George Soros and Teresa Heinz Kerry. Like the “grassroots” movement for campaign finance reform a decade ago, the public demonstrations for health care reform are largely a Soros-financed operation.”

As I mentioned in my previous commentary, HCAN received $5 Million in funds from George Soros in 2009 alone. That same year they received $3.3 Million from the far left Tides Foundation and about $25.6 Million in total revenue. That was just in 2009 alone. IRS 990 forms are not yet available for 2010, although campaign funding records show that then candidate for Governor Peter Shumlin received the maximum campaign donation of $2,000 in October of 2010 from a Jonathan Soros of New York, NY. George Soros just happens to have a son named Jonathan Soros, who is from New York City. Governor Shumlin, of course, has been one of the major backers of the single payer push among Vermont politicians.

As overwhelming as all this may seem, it is only a small part of what the left has planned in an effort to push their plans for a government takeover of the healthcare system. Here is how the Front Page magazine article describes the scope of their plans:

“Former Governor Howard Dean announced HCAN’s mission on the first night of the annual “America’s Future Now!” conference (formerly the “Take Back America” conference), hosted by the Campaign for America’s Future in June. Dean pledged to spend up to $82 million to advance socialized medicine. HCAN rallied 15,000 people in D.C. in April, 10,000 more in June, and with state affiliates like the Maine People’s Alliance, hundreds more in state capitals in July.”

With Obamcare meeting opposition in court from states around the country and in danger of being defunded by a Republican controlled U.S. House of Representatives, the attention has shifted to Vermont as a laboratory for reform. HCAN is represented here in Vermont by VPIRG’s Susan Baker, a fact that they brag about on their own website:

“VPIRG leads the Vermont state coalition for the national Health Care for America Now (HCAN). Health care advocate, Susan Baker, (picutred left with Sen. Leahy and coalition parnters) was joined by Vermont representatives from AFL-CIO and TrueMajority to attend the rally and lobby our federal delegation.”

This was back in 2009, but even then they foresaw the coming role that Vermont would play in this battle:

“While Susan was in D.C., VPIRG health care advocate Stefanie Sidortsova held a local press event right here in Vermont. Stefanie was joined by Speaker of the House, Shap Smith, Chair of the Senate Health & Welfare Committee, Doug Racine, and some of the 131 state legislators who recently supported a public health insurance plan option. We commend their leadership on this issue. They recognize that even though Vermont is a national leader in health care reform, we need federal legislation that can take us even further and we need it now.”

VPIRG itself has a history of pulling in money from around the country to support left wing cause in Vermont. Besides them, the other groups who represent HCAN in Vermont are:

Vermont NEA

AFL-CIO

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England

Democracy for Vermont (Vermont arm Howard Dean’s “Democracy for America”)

Vermont State Employee’s Association

To sum things up, those in Vermont who are fighting for real free market reform and against a government takeover of our healthcare system are in a David vs. Goliath battle against a VERY well funded nationwide movement. Anyone have a few pebbles and a slingshot?