Transcript from House Heath Care Committee Meeting: Rep./Dr. George Till calls out his colleagues for contaminating a survey

By Rob Roper

Representative George Till has taken a lot of heat from proponents of the single payer health care bill for his role in conducting a survey of physicians throughout the Vermont to gage their support (or lack thereof) for the concept.

Writers for the Progressive Democrat website Green Mountain Daily are calling on the Doctor to change his name to “Shill.”

Below is the transcript from the April 8 meeting of the House Health Care Committee in which Till calls out the assistant minority leader and others for intentionally contaminating the survey results. It is a powerful exchange.

What is truly shocking in this story is how it reveals that legislators are not interested in the truth. They are not interested in enacting sweeping legislation based on accurate information. And we’re being told we can trust these people with our lives?

Rep. George Till: I have just been informed by the Assistant Majority Leader that he went on and contaminated my survey intentionally. He intimated that there were a number of other people that he knew who had done that.

Rep. Mary Morrissey: He did what?

Till: He went on and answered the survey, the physician’s survey. And I just want to know, is there anybody else in this room who has done that?

Rep. Mike Fisher: I looked at your survey.

Till: Did you answer those questions?

Fisher: And I answered undecided on every one so that I wouldn’t change it.

Till: Can I ask why you thought that was appropriate?

Fisher: To see it, not to change it. Um, I initially thought that I had to–actually, I’m not sure that I did it on every one–I, it wasn’t until I got partway through that I realized that I could get to the next page–often on these things you can’t get to the next page without–um–answering one of them. Toggling one of the switches. Um, so–uh, I was going on it to see what the questions were.

Till: But I shared the questions with you.

Morrissey: The questions were here and he shared them.

Till: I just want to know why you thought it was appropriate to answer questions on a physician’s survey.

Fisher: (Clears throat) I didn’t answer any questions inaccurately. I said ‘undecided’ on everything.

Till: Nonetheless, whether you said undecided…

Fisher: Right.

Morrissey: But that puts you in a position in which you are not. That would concern me that to taint this purposefully by people who are not physicians so that it would not be a valid…

Till: Has anyone else in this room done that?

Committee members: No.

Morrissey: No, you shared everything with us here.

Till: I just want to tell you I find that extremely offensive, I find that incredibly inappropriate, I find it incredibly inappropriate that some of our leadership has done that, um, and, you know, I’m not sure what I do with this now. But uh, I cannot tell you how inappropriate and hurtful I think that is. So…that’s all I have.

Woman: I’m sorry that happened, George. You put a lot of time and money and effort into doing an honest (inaudible)…

Rep. Mark Larson: Anything else before we break for the day?