St. Albans doctor speaks out about unintended consequences of “reform”

by Angela Chagnon

Exclusive TNR Interview

Dr. Bill Roberts, a physician, is a Democrat. In the last election he ran against Rep. Lynn Dickinson (R-Franklin), but did not win the seat. In an exclusive interview with True North Reports, Dr. Roberts voices his concerns about what a single payer health care system could do to Vermont.

Roberts worries that the bill will have, “unintended consequences adversely affecting the ability of young people” to find employment in Vermont. Of his 15 nieces and nephews, four have completed their education and are now employed out of state. “None of them work in Vermont because, simply, there are no jobs available for them,” said Roberts. “Better opportunities were available elsewhere.”

He continued, “I’m afraid that if we’re not very careful about how we make the decisions today with regards to the cost of providing healthcare, cost to the employers, of providing healthcare, that the trend that I see in my own family will be perpetuated or worsened.”

“As I understand it, the current funding mechanisms [such] as a payroll tax for subsidizing the cost of delivering healthcare insurance would be disproportionately distributed,” explained Roberts. “It would create an incentive for an employer to provide their better employment opportunities outside of Vermont and potentially even encourage them to take advantage of the reduced cost of healthcare within the state of Vermont as opposed to other states.”

Roberts said that change was good, and “probably better now than later.” But he warned, “As changes are made let’s carefully consider the outcome as seen in the eyes of the employer and make sure that we don’t provide a disincentive for employers to locate their good-paying jobs outside of Vermont, leaving us the opportunity for our children to only get their educations here and then relocate in order to find a good job.”

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