Republicans distressed by unknowns (and knowns) in Green Mountain Care

by Rob Roper

Representative Heidi Scheuermann (R-Stowe) said the Democrats’ jubilation at the passage of H.202 reminded her of something she heard Warren Buffett say: “It’s like a guy jumping out of a fifty story building. For the first forty-five stories he thinks he’s flying.”

Senator Randy Brock (R-Franklin) laid out the problems succinctly. “At the beginning of this process, people asked me, how much is [single payer health care] going to cost? Who’s going to pay for it? How’s it going to be paid for? What’s going to be covered? Can I keep my present insurance? What’s going to happen to providers and their compensation and reimbursement? And, today, we know even less perhaps then we did when we started. They’ll tell us at some point in the future.”

Brock continued, “But in passing this bill, we have now created a board that will have from day one the ability to set wage and price controls for providers and that will design a system because we are now on a pathway in which it will be unlikely or at least extremely difficult for us to choose another course. I’m concerned about these uncertainties. And the only uncertainty that has been resolved in the conference committee is that now we know it’s likely that illegal aliens will be covered.”

VTGOP Chairwoman, Pat McDonald echoed Brock’s concerns about illegal aliens in a press release. “We know we can’t use federal monies to pay for illegal aliens. So this new cost will fall to Vermonters. To expect taxpayers to foot this bill is simply outrageous. Vermont should not be disregarding federal immigration law. Immigration is an issue for Congress and, as such, the Vermont Legislature would better spend its time focused on what is within its authority.”

Minority Leader Don Turner (R-Milton) saw political pitfalls ahead and issued a warning to the governor, “We call upon Governor Shumlin to resist temptation and refrain from appointing campaign contributors and career politicians to the board of Green Mountain Health Care.”

Turner also noted that not a single House Republican supported H.202 (and only one Senate Republican voted for it, Kevin Mullin of Rutland).

Click image to hear Sen. Brock’s full comments