Several hours after his healthcare presentation to the legislature, Dr. William Hsaio, joined by Democratic leaders, answered questions from the media regarding his proposal.
“Some Vermonters have [a] very minimum, or inadequate benefit program, [and] some have very complete [packages],” said Dr. Hsaio. “The one we propose is to provide a benefit at the current average level.”
House Speaker Shap Smith (D-Morristown) opened the conference, asserting that Vermonters wanted a plan that had “universal coverage, containment of costs, and maintaining and improving the quality in our system.” Smith said that Dr. Hsaio’s healthcare plan “met those principles,” and that, “We’ll start working on it immediately.”
During the questioning, Hsaio and Speaker Smith (who was running interferance for the more difficult questions) admitted that there were some things that needed to be worked out, but that the problems were similar to those the legislature had faced with Catamount, a previous healthcare program enacted by the legislature.