YCQM - Jeff Wennberg - April 1, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM - Jeff Wennberg - April 1, 2012

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

April 1, 2012 -- Jeff Wennberg of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom joins Kristin Carlson and Kyle Midura to discuss health care reform.

TRANSCRIPT:

>> Announcer: FROM VERMONT'S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> GOOD MORNING. I'M KRISTEN CARLSON. THANKS FOR JOINING US. OUR NEWSMAKER THIS SUNDAY IS JEFF WENNBERG OF VERMONTERS FOR HEALTH CARE FREEDOM AND JOINING IN THE QUESTIONING IS CHANNEL 3'S KYLE MIDURA. THANKS FOR BEING HERE, MR. WENNBERG.

>> IT'S A PLEASURE TO BE HERE. THANK YOU FOR THE INVITATION.

>> KYLE AS WELL. I WANT TO START WITH, YOU SERVED AS THE MAYOR OF RUTLAND, YOU SERVED AS THE COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION UNDER GOVERNOR DOUGLAS AND WHY HEALTH CARE?

>> IT IS THE ISSUE OF THE DAY, QUITE FRANKLY, AND THE OPPORTUNITY WAS THERE FOR ME TO GET REENGAGED IN VERMONT. I'VE BEEN WORKING FOR A LITTLE LESS THAN FIVE YEARS ON ISSUES UNRELATED TO HEALTH CARE, ACTUALLY CLOSER TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION ISSUES AND ENERGY ISSUES. ALMOST AWE THE WORK OUT OF STATE, AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME REENGAGED IN THE DEBATE IN VERMONT WAS SOMETHING THAT I WAS READY TO DO. I LOVE MY TIME AS COMMISSIONER, I LIKED WORKING IN THE LEGISLATURE, AND I LIKED GETTING TO KNOW THOSE FOLKS AND WORKING WITH THEM AND GETTING GOOD THINGS DONE FOR, YOU KNOW, MY BELOVED STATE, AND THIS HEALTH CARE ISSUE IS ONE THAT WE HAVE JUST ENORMOUS CONCERNS ABOUT WHERE THE STATE IS HEADED AND THE RATE AT WHICH IT'S GOING THERE, AND THERE HASN'T BEEN WHAT WE REALLY DO NEED IS A BALANCED DEBATE. THE DEBATE THUS FAR, SINCE THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE PASSED -- OR EVEN CONTEMPLATED ACT 48 HAS BEEN VERY UNBALANCED, AND OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL, VERMONTERS FOR HEALTH CARE FREEDOM, IS TO TRY TO GET A BALANCED DEBATE WHERE OTHER IDEAS, OTHER APPROACHES, SOMETHING OTHER THAN SINGLE PAYER, FOR EXAMPLE, CAN GET INTO THE DEBATE AND THAT ALL THE STAKEHOLDERS WOULD HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THEIR SAY, WHICH SO FAR HAS NOT BEEN THE CASE.

>> ARE YOU COMING AT THIS FROM A PLACE OF GETTING TO THE POLITICAL FIGHT OVER THERE OR DO YOU ACTUALLY HAVE HEALTH CARE EXPERTISE?

>> I PERSONALLY DON'T HAVE MUCH HEALTH CARE EXPERTISE AND I DON'T PRESENT MYSELF AS AN EXPERT IN THE FIELD. IT'S BEEN A STEEP LEARNING CURVE FOR THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS AS I'VE COME UP TO SPEED, AND ACTUALLY, I WAS HESITANT TO ACCEPT THIS INVITATION FOR FEAR THAT I MIGHT NOT BE QUITE READY, BUT I TALKED TO A FEW PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN WATCHING MY PROGRESS AND SAID THAT THEY THOUGHT I WAS OKAY AS LONG AS I WAS CAREFUL TO OFFER THAT DISCLAIMER. BUT THE GROUP, VERMONTERS FOR HEALTH CARE FREEDOM, HAVE A LOT OF PROVIDERS AND OTHER FOLKS WHO -- LEGISLATORS AND OTHER FOLKS, EMPLOYERS, WHO ARE CLEARLY EXPERT IN THEIR ASPECTS OF THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN VERMONT, AND THEY'RE THE ONES THAT I PERSONALLY RELY ON TO PROVIDE ME WITH THE GUIDANCE AND WHEN THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A FORUM OR A DISCUSSION, IT'S NOT ME UP THERE PRESENTING THE CASE. IT'S PROVIDERS AND WHY THIS GREEN MOUNTAIN CARE PROGRAM IS, YOU KNOW, ILL-CONCEIVED, BUT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE THE TRUE EXPERTS. AND THOSE ARE THE FOLKS THAT WE ASSEMBLE AND PROVIDE FOR THESE OPPORTUNITIES.

>> SO WHAT ARE SOME OF THOSE MAJOR CONCERNS?

>> WELL, REALLY, TO BOIL IT DOWN, THERE'S JUST A HANDFUL THAT ARE HUGE. THE FIRST ONE IS THE ONE I JUST MENTIONED, WHICH IS THE DEBATE HAS BEEN UNBALANCED. MY UNDERSTANDING, THAT WHEN THE BLUEPRINT FOR HEALTH WAS DONE, A CLEAR OUTREACH TOOK PLACE TO EMPLOYERS, TO PROVIDERERS, TO PAYORS, TO GOVERNMENT, AND THEY WERE ALL BROUGHT IN AND THERE WASES A HEALTHY BALANCED DISCUSSION ABOUT, YOU KNOW, SOLUTIONS, PROBLEMS, OPPORTUNITIES, AND OBSTACLES. THAT NEVER TOOK PLACE WITH ACT 48, WITH THE SINGLE PAYER APPROACH. ESSENTIALLY WHAT HAPPENED WAS FOR THE FIRST TIME, WE HAD ALL THE LEVERS OF POWER IN STATE GOVERNMENT, GOVERNOR SHUMLIN AND THE LEADERSHIP AND HUGE MAJORITIES IN THE HOUSE AND IN THE SENATE, ALL THE LEVERS OF POWER WERE IN THE HANDS OF PEOPLE WHO WERE COMMITTED TO THE SINGLE PAYER APPROACH. WELL, I MEAN, THAT WAS THE VOTERS' DECISION AND I CERTAINLY DON'T QUESTION THAT, BUT THE POINT IS, THEY WENT IMMEDIATELY TO THIS SOLUTION WITHOUT CREATING THAT BALANCED DISCUSSION, THAT BALANCED CONVERSATION ACROSS ALL OF THE INTERESTED PARTIES AND ALL OF THE STAKEHOLDERS IN VERMONT. AND THAT, YOU KNOW, I WAS MAYOR, I WAS COMMISSIONER FOR A WHILE IN OTHER FIELDS, BUT THE BEST PUBLIC POLICY IS A PUBLIC POLICY THAT COMES OUT OF A HEALTHY AND UNCONSTRAINED EXCHANGE OF IDEAS AND CONCEPTS AND POSITIONS. AND THAT HAS NEVER TAKEN PLACE ON THIS. THEY JUST BULD AHEAD WITH IT -- BULLED AHEAD WITH IT AND FOR THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR THIS FOR DECADES, THAT'S TO THEIR CREDIT THAT THEY'RE ABLE TO DO THAT, BUT IT CREATES, I THINK, ENORMOUS RISK AND PERIL IN TERMS OF GETTING IT WRONG AND GETTING IT WRONG IN A WAY THAT LEADS TENS IF NOT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF VERMONTERS WITH BASICALLY NO OTHER OPTION. I MEAN, WE CAN CRASH THIS SYSTEM IF WE'RE NOT CAREFUL AND SOME OF THE DECISIONS THAT ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BEING MADE RIGHT NOW, WITH THE EXCHANGE BILL, H-559, RUN THE RISK OF CRASHING THE SYSTEM AS SOON AS JANUARY 1st, 2014, SO THAT'S A HUGE ISSUE. ANOTHER ISSUE IS THE "SHOW US THE MONEY" ISSUE. OUR ADS, OUR PAID ADVERTISING IS REALLY FOCUSED ON THE FACT THAT THE SHUMLIN ADMINISTRATION, AGAIN, NOTHING ILLEGAL ABOUT IT, BUT THE SHUMLIN ADMINISTRATION IS REFUSING TO SHOW VERMONTERS WHAT THIS IS GOING TO COST, HOW IT'S GOING TO BE FUNDED, BEFORE THE NEXT ELECTION. THE DEADLINE FOR PROVIDING THAT INFORMATION IS JANUARY NEXT YEAR, 2013, AND THAT'S THREE MONTHS AFTER THE NEXT ELECTION. IT IS ASTONISHING TO ME AS SOMEONE WHO'S BEEN IN PUBLIC OFFICE AND IN PUBLIC POLICY PRETTY MUCH MY WHOLE LIFE, THAT THE LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNMENT WOULD PROCEED FULL SPEED AHEAD, FURIOUSLY, TOWARD THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ALL OF THIS WITHOUT EVER, YET TO THIS DATE, MUCH LESS BETWEEN NOW AND THE NEXT ELECTION THIS COMING NOVEMBER, PRESENTING AND CONSIDERING A BUDGET. WHAT IS IT GOING TO COST AND HOW IS IT GOING TO BE FUNDED? THAT QUESTION HAS STILL NOT BEEN ANSWERED, AND THAT IS NOTHING SHORT OF RECKLESS.

>> I WANT TO FOLLOW UP ON A COUPLE FOIPTS YOU MADE. YOU TALKED ABOUT HOW YOU SAID THERE WASN'T A LOT OF PUBLIC COMMENT ON THIS. I'M SURE SOME VIEWERS WOULD TAKE ISSUE WITH THAT. THEY STUDIED THE ISSUE, THEY HAD A REPORT COME BACK FROM A HARVARD ECONOMIST LOOKING AT THE DIFFERENT MODELS AND THERE WAS SOME PUBLIC TESTIMONY. WHAT MORE DO YOU THINK NEEDED TO HAPPEN? YEAH, THIS IS A -- AS YOU KNOW, SERVED UNDER THE DOUGLAS ADMINISTRATION, HEALTH CARE AND HEALTH CARE REFORM HAS BEEN A HUGE TOPIC. THERE'S BEEN MANY STUDIED LOOKING AT IT. THERE WAS THIS STUDY THAT LOOKED AT IT AND COST SAVINGS AND WHERE THE MONEY SHOULD COME FROM.

>> WHICH IS ADMINISTRATION IS SAYING WILL NOT BE THERE.

>> WHAT MORE DO THEY NEED TO DO IN THEY STUDIED THE ISSUE, THEY HAD A REPORT, THEY HAD SOME HEARINGS. WHAT IS MISSING THAT THEY DIDN'T DO? I THINK SOME WOULD TAKE ISSUE THAT YOU SAID SHE SORT OF -- YOU KNOW, THIS WAS SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED AND THEY RUSHED IT THROUGH.

>> IT WAS. WHAT NEEDED TO HAPPEN IS, YES, THERE WAS OUTREACH TO AND CONVERSATIONS WITH THE STATE'S LARGEST EMPLOYERS AND THAT WAS PERTINENT.

>> FOLKS WITH IBM.

>> WHAT ABOUT THE VAST MAJORITY OF VERMONTERS EMPLOYED BY SMALL,S OR MEDIUM SIZED BUSINESSES? WHERE DID THEY HAVE A VOICE IN THIS DEBATE? WHERE DID THEY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY -- TO THIS DAY, MY PRINCIPAL JOB IS EDUCATING PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON. RIGHT NOW, IT'S ASTON NICHING TO ME HOULTHS THE PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY ON THE FRONT LINES, ESPECIALLY THESE 50 AND UNDER BUSINESSES, HOW LITTLE THEY KNOW ABOUT WHAT'S COMING. THEY DON'T KNOW AND THEY WERE NOT INVOLVED IN THAT DISCUSSION. THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO OFFER THEIR CONCERNS, FEARS, HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS, AND LIKEWISE, I MEAN, I'M SURE THE LARGEST PAY YRS, SHRORS AND SO -- INSURERS AND SO FORTH WERE INCLUDED, BUT I DON'T KNOW THAT THE PAYER COMMUNITY WAS FULLY ENGAGED. WHAT ABOUT THE TOWNS AND CITIES IN THE STATE OF VERMONT?

>> YOU DON'T THINK THEY'RE REPRESENTED BY THE LEAGUE OF CITIES AND TOWNS? THEY HAVE LOBBYISTS THERE EVERY DAY.

>> WHAT WE NEEDED IS TO TAKE -- AND WE STILL NEED TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND LOOK AT ALL THE OPTIONS. THAT WAS CLEARLY NOT DONE. IT WAS CLEARLY NOT DONE.

>> THE MEDIUM SIZED BUSINESSES DID FIGHT BACK. THEY SUCCESSFULLY LOBBIED TO GET OUT OF THE EXCHANGE IN THE FIRST COUPLE OF YEARS.

>> BUT THEY DID THAT THIS YEAR. ACT 48 WAS PASSED LAST YEAR. THIS WHOLE CONVERSATION REALLY NEEDED TO TAKE PLACE PRIOR TO GETTING THE TRAIN ON THE TRACKS. THE ENGINE FUELED AND STARTING HEADED DOWN THE TRACKS.

>> AND WITH THAT ISSUE --

>> THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

>> THE ARGUMENT BEING IN ORDER TO GET FEDERAL FUNDING, WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION IS SAYING THEY WILL BE RELYING ON HEAVILY IN ORDER TO FUND THIS, IN ORDER TO GET SOME OF THOSE FEDERAL DOLLARS, THEY NEEDED TO GET ON TIME TO IMMEDIATE SOME OF THOSE FEDERAL DEAD -- MEET ONE OF THOSE FEDERAL DEADLINES WHICH ARE QUICKLY APPROACHING AND VAT IS ONE OF THE FEW STATES LINED UP TO MEET THOSE DEADLINES, SO HAVING A FUNGIBLE ALTERABLE PLAN WAS PART OF THE PLAN TO SOME DEGREE.

>> YES, IT WAS PART OF THE PLAN AND THE MEDIUM SIZED BUSINESSES DID EFFECTIVELY PERSUADE THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERS THAT THEY SHOULD GET AT LEAST A REPRIEVE FOR A COUPLE YEARS. YES, AND I'LL BE FASCINATED TO SEE HOW THE GREEN MOUNTAIN BOARD ACTUALLY STRUCTURES THE BRONZE PLANS. I HAVE EVERY CONFIDENCE THAT THEY CAN DESIGN A BRONZE PLAN THAT NO ONE WILL WANT TO PURCHASE, SO YES, THAT WAS A CONCESSION AND WE'LL SEE EXACTLY HOW LARGE OF A CONCESSION IT PROVES TO BE WHEN THEY ACTUALLY RELEASE THE DESIGN OF THE PLAN. BECAUSE IT'S CLEAR THAT THEY DID THE NO WANT TO GO IN THAT DIRECTION. THEY WANT TO ESSENTIALLY OUTLAW HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS APPROACHES, WHICH IN FACT HAVE HAD THE BEST RESULTS IN TERMS OF COST CONTAINMENT OF ANY OF THE INNOVATIVE METHODS THAT HAVE BEEN USED OUT THERE, AND VERMONT IS MOVING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION OF THAT BECAUSE THEY HAVE CHOSEN -- WE HAVE CHOSEN, I THU SHOULD SAY, THE SINGLE PAYER APPROACH MODELED AFTER THE CANADIAN MODEL AND THERE'S SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE CANADIAN MODEL AND WE HAVE NOT CONSIDERED, NOT LOOKED AT WHAT INDIANA IS DOING, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT HASN'T BEEN STUDIED. AND THERE'S ENORMOUS SUCCESS IN SOME OF THE PROGRESS THAT HAD MADE IN INDIANA WITH THEIR HIGH DEDUCTIBLE HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT APPROACHES AND PUBLIC FUNDS.

>> SOME ARGUE THOSE ARE UNDERINSURANCE BECAUSE ONLY 60% OF COSTS ARE COVERED AND --

>> THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORK. THAT'S ACTUALLY NOT HOW IS WORKS. LOOK, IT'S JUST A MATTER -- THIS DEBATE NEEDS TO TAKE PLACE. WE'RE HAVING -- THIS IS A HEALTHY DEBATE, THIS IS A GOOD DISCUSSION, AND I'D LOVE TO HAVE ALL THE FOLKS HERE WHO KNOW FAR MORE ABOUT THIS THAN I DO AND HAVE DIRECT EXPERIENCE ON THIS AT THE TABLE, BUT THIS IS WHAT NEEDS TO TAKE PLACE BEFORE THE LEGISLATURE BASICALLY MAKES DECISIONS THAT WILL MAKE THIS INEVITABLE AND WE'RE VERY, VERY CLOSE TO DOING THAT, ESPECIALLY WITH H-559, BECAUSE THE WAY IT'S STRUCTURED NOW AND THE WAY THE GOVERNOR WANTS IT STRUCTURED IS IT WILL DISMANTLE FOR THIS 80,000-PLUS POPULATION OF VERMONTERS THAT WILL BE THRUST INTO THIS BRAVE NEW WORLD AS OF JANUARY 1st, 2014, FOR THOSE 80,000, THE WAY IT'S STRUCTURED RIGHT NOW, THE PRIVATE INSURANCE SYSTEM WILL BE DISMANTLED AND IT WILL BE OUTLAWED AND THEY WILL NO LONGER HAVE ACCESS TO THAT. AND ALL THAT THEY WILL HAVE ACCESS TO IS THE EXCHANGE. IT'S IMPORTANT TO POINT OUT HERE THAT THAT IS EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT CONGRESS INTENDED WHEN THEY PASSED OBAMA CARE, EXAM THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE PRESIDENT INTENDED AND IT IS IN FACT THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT 49 OTHER STATES -- WELL, NOT ALL OF THEM ARE PROCEEDING AT THIS POINT BECAUSE THEY'RE WAITING TO SEE WHAT THE SUPREME COURT IS GOING TO DO, BUT ULTIMATELY IF THE SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS OBAMA CARE, 49 STATES WILL DO IT THE WAY CONGRESS INTENDED AND ONLY VERMONT IS GOING TO USE THIS EXCHANGE, WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE AN EXPANSION OF CHOICE AND AN EXPANSION OF TRANSPARENCY IN THE MARKETPLACE FOR HEALTH INSURANCE, ONLY VERMONT WILL USE IT TO CONSTRAIN CHOICE AND TO CONSTRAIN TRANSPARENCY BY ELIMINATING THE OPTION OF PRIVATE INSURANCE. THAT IS RECKLESS AND PERILOUS TO THIS STATE TO DO. WE DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO GET THE EXCHANGE UP AND RUNNING CORRECTLY PROPERLY, LET'S JUST SAY, BETWEEN NOW AND 2014, AND CREATING A SITUATION WHERE THIS 80,000 VERMONTERS WILL HAVE ESSENTIALLY NO OTHER PLACE TO GO IF THAT EXCHANGE IS A FAILURE, IF IT DOESN'T WORK IN VERMONT, THEY'RE GOING TO BE TRAPPED IN A BROKEN SYSTEM WITH NOWHERE ELSE TO GO AND THAT IS RECKLESS AND COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY.

>> WOULD YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE THAT THE CURRENT HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS BROKEN AND THAT TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VERMONTERS ARE CURRENTLY IN A BROKEN SYSTEM?

>> THAT'S ABSOLUTELY TRUE. YEAH, BROKEN IS AN INTERESTING TERM. CLEARLY THERE ARE TWO -- THE MAIN GOALS OF THE REFORMERS, WE HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO OBJECTION TO OR DISAGREEMENT WITH. HEALTH CARE COSTS ARE RISING AT AN UNSUSTAINABLE RATE, ABSOLUTELY TRUE, AND WE NEED TO REFORM THE SYSTEM IN ORDER TO CREATE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR COSTS TO GO UP AT A RATE THAT IS AFFORDABLE TO SOCIETY. LET'S JUST PUT IT THAT WAY. I'M TRYING NOT TO PUT JUDGMENT TERMS ON MY RESPONSE. AND THE SECOND THING IS THAT WE STILL HAVE A SMALL NUMBER, BUT STILL THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS THAT DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THAT COVERAGE AND WE ARE VERY CLOSE TO CLOSING THAT GAP AND WE OWE IT TO OURSELVESES TO THEM IN PARTICULAR, THOSE FAMILIES, TO FIND SOLUTIONS TO THAT PROBLEM SO THAT EVERYONE HAS ACCESS TO COVERAGE. AND WE DON'T HAVE ANY OBJECTION WITH THAT. IT'S HOW IT'S BEING DONE AND THE PACE AT WHICH IT'S BEING DONE THAT OUR -- WE SERIOUSLY OBJECT TO HERE IN VERMONT.

>> SO I'M CURIOUS, NOT THIS SYSTEM, NOT THIS MODEL, IS WHAT VERMONTERS FOR HEALTH CARE FREEDOM ARE SAYING. IF NOT THIS, THEN WHAT?

>> WELL, IT'S A GENERAL TERM. IN GENERAL TERMS, FIRST OF ALL, OUR STRATEGY IS THAT THIS IS SO MUCH OF A FREIGHT TRAIN HEADED DOWN THE TRACKS, THE SINGLE PAYER APPROACH THAT THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE ARE PURSUING, AND THAT THERE HAS BEEN SO LITTLE ATTENTION OR CONSIDERATION GIVEN TO ALTERNATIVES, THAT OUR FIRST GOAL IS TO, FIRST OF ALL, EDUCATE VERMONTERS AS TO THE PERILS OF WHERE WE'RE HEADED AND TO TRY TO GET THIS CONVERSATION SO THAT THERE WILL BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO CONSIDER THOSE ALTERNATIVES. SO THE NUMBER ONE THING THAT WE HAVE TO DO IS POINT OUT THE FLAWS WITH THE CURRENT SYSTEM. WE VERY MUCH LOOK FORWARD TO THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE A CONSTRUCTIVE PARTICIPANT IN PART OF THAT DEBATE THAT WE SEEK. BUT TO GIVE YOU AN ANSWER, IN GENERAL, WE THINK THAT THE, THAT THE INCENTIVE-BASED SYSTEMS SUCH AS WHAT THE STATE OF INDIANA IS DOING, SYSTEMS SIMILAR TO WHAT SWITZERLAND HAS DONE, ARE MUCH, MUCH, OF BETTER MODELS. NOT ALL OF THOSE FEATURES WOULD MAKE SENSE HERE, BUT MUCH BETTER MODELS FOR REFORM IN VERMONT AND HAVE PROVEN AT LEAST IN INDIANA TO HAVE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE RESULTS RELATIVE TO, IN THE CASE OF INDIANA, CONSTRAINING COSTS.

>> BUT SOME OF THOSE INCENTIVES YOU'RE SPEAKING OF, SPSKALLY HERE IN VERMONT, WE ARE MOVING FORWARD WITH SOME PILOT PROGRAMS, SPECIFICALLY BUNDLE PAYMENTS AND WHAT NOT, TRYING TO SET BUDGETS AND THEN ALSO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE ABLE TO QUANTIFY THE LEVEL OF CARE. SO RATHER THAN PAYING FOR SERVICE, YOU'RE PAYING FOR THE QUALITY OF CARE. ARE YOU IN FAVOR OF ANY OF THOSE PILOT PROGRAMS OR ARE THOSE NOT HITTING THE INEND CENT TIFS YOU'RE LOOKING FOR?

>> GLOBAL BUDGETS WILL BE A DISASTER, AN ABSOLUTE DISASTER. AGAIN, ANOTHER ELEMENT OF THIS PROGRAM THAT WE THOROUGHLY DISAGREE WITH AND ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS LOOK AN HOUR OR TWO NORTH TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS. THERE'S A FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM WHEN POLITICS -- WHEN A GOVERNMENT CONTROLS THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, THERE'S A FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM. POLITICIANS, I HAVE BEEN ONE SO I KNOW WHAT OF WHAT I SPEAK. POLITICIANS LOOK TO PROVIDE THE GREATEST GOOD TO THE GREATEST NUMBER. THAT'S HOW YOU GET RE-ELECTED. AND YOU HAVE RIGHT NOW SOMETHING AS A NATIONAL AVERAGE, SOMETHING LIKE 4% OF THE PEOPLE DEMAND HALF OF ALL OF THE HEALTH CARE SPENDING. THESE ARE PEOPLE WITH KRONIC AND ACUTE ILLNESSES THAT REQUIRE EXTRAORDINARILY EXPENSIVE TREATMENTS AND CARE. AND THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE THE APPROPRIATE PERCENTAGE, BUT CLEARLY, THERE ARE PEOPLE WITH SERIOUS CONDITIONS THAT ARE GOING TO REQUIRE A LOT MORE, THAT SMALL POPULATION AND WE WANT TO MAKE IT SMALLER AND SMALLER WITH FEWER AND FEWER PEOPLE GETTING SICK, BUT THE INCENTIVE IN POLITICS, WHEN POLITICS GETS INTO IT, IS TO SHIFT RESOURCES TO THE GREATEST NUMBER. SO THERE'S A SHIFT TO BASICALLY PROVIDING HEALTH CARE RESOURCES TO HEALTHY PEOPLE, AND THAT MAKES THE GREATEST NUMBER HAPPY AND THOSE RESOURCES GET -- AND THE RESOURCES ARE LIMITED AND THEY GET SHIFTED AWAY FROM PEOPLE WHO REQUIRE THESE EXTRAORDINARILY EXPENSIVE TREATMENTS. AND IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT THAT DOES BY JUST LOOKING TO THE NORTH AND WATCH WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, PEOPLE WHO ARE SERIOUSLY ILL IN QUEK BECK ARE IN -- QUEBEC ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. THEY CAN TAKE UP TO THREE TO FIVE YEARS TO GET A COLONOSCOPY. AND WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT LOW RISK PEOPLE. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HIGH-RISK PEOPLE WAITING 24 TO 36 MONTHS AND THAT'S NOT EXPENSIVE TREATMENT. IT CAN TAKE YEARS TO GET A NIR UP THERE. BARIATRIC SURGERY, THE GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY, AT SOME HOSPITALS, IT'S A 10-YEAR WAIT. IN MONTREAL, IT'S ABOUT A 5-YEAR WAIT TO GET THAT, SO WHAT HAPPENS IS CARE IS RATIONED ON THE VERY EXPENSIVE ACUTELY ILL END OF THINGS AND THAT IS AN UNACCEPTABLE OUTCOME, BOTH FROM A PROVIDER STANDPOINT AND FROM A CONSUMER STANDPOINT, BUT THAT'S WHERE THAT PARTICULAR MEASURE LEADS AND ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS LOOK TO THE NORTH TO SEE IT.

>> WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A GREEF BREAK AND CONTINUE OUR DISCUSSION WITH FFFFFFFFFF

>>> WELCOME BACK. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE AND HEALTH CARE REFORM AND THE PACE OF REFORM IN VERMONT WHICH JEFF WENNBERG. HE HAS NOW TAKEN OVER THE GROUP VERMONTERS FOR HEALTH CARE FREEDOM. AND KYLE MIDURA IS JOINING US FOR THE QUESTIONING. THANKS FOR BEING HERE AGAIN. THIS IS A LETTER YOU RECENTLY SENT OUT, PROBABLY ONE THE FIRST THINGS YOU HAVE DUNE FOR -- DONE FOR FEW WEEKS AND ONE OF THE THINGS, YOU'RE ASKING TO MONEY. ASKING TO CONTRIBUTIONS OF 500, A THOUSAND, AND YOU SAY THERE'S NO LIMIT ON THE AMOUNT AN INDIVIDUAL CORPORATION CAN CONTRIBUTE AND ALL DONATIONS ARE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL BY LAW. WHY WON'T THIS GROUP DISCLOSE WHERE YOU'RE GETTING YOUR MONEY?

>> OKAY. THIS IS THE RED HERRING THAT THE FOLKS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS DEBATE, MOST OF THE SINGLE PAYER ORGANIZATIONS, HAVE THROWN UP. LET ME EXPLAIN THIS. FIRST OF ALL, IT'S PERFECTLY LEGAL. WE'RE A 501(C)(4) --

>> MY QUESTION IS NOT --

>> I KNOW. I WANT TO STATE AFFIRMATIVELY --

>> OKAY.

>> -- THAT WE HAVE EVERY LEGAL RIGHT TO CHOOSE TO DO. AS FOR THAT MATTER, DOES ZEPERG, AS VERMONT WORKERS CENTERS, AS DOES HEALTH CARE FOR ALL, AND TO MY KNOWLEDGE, THEY DO NOT RELEASE FULL COMPLETE DONOR LISTS EITHER. SO THE FOLKS ON THE OTHER SIDE ARE CHOOSING, WHICH IS THEIR LEGAL RIGHT AND I HAVE NO OBJECTION OR COMPLAINT ABOUT THAT, TO NOT RELEASE THEIR DONOR LISTS OR AT LEAST TO MY KNOWLEDGE, THEY HAVEN'T RELEASED THEIR DONOR LISTS, AND THERE'S A GOOD REASON WHY WE CHOOSE TO DO EXACTLY THE SAME THING. WHICH IS NOT TO RELEASE OUR DONOR LIST. THAT REASON IS THIS. THERE'S A LOT OF PASSION AND EMOTION IN THIS DEBATE AND IT'S PROBABLY BEST IF THAT GETS PERHAPS CONSTRAINED A LITTLE BIT, BUT THERE'S AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF THAT, AND AS OF LATE, EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE A NUMBER OF MULTIPLE ORGANIZATIONS IN VERMONT THAT HAVE BEEN PUSHING FOR DECADES IN SOME CASES FOR THE SINGLE PAYER PROGRAM, VERMONTERS FOR HEALTH CARE FREEDOM, WHICH IS BY THE WAY, YOU CAN FIND OUT NOR ABOUT US AT VTHEATHCAREFREEDOM.ORG --

>> OKAY.

>> -- SHAMELESS PLUG.

>> BUT LET'S GET TO THE MONEY ISSUE. I HEAR YOU SAY RED HERRING, JEFF, BUT IS THE MONEY COMING FROM INSTATE OR OUT OF STATE? BECAUSE WE'VE SEEN --

>> QUEF HUNDREDS OF DONORS FROM INSTATE.

>> HOW MANY FROM OUT OF STATE.

>> I'M NOT GOING TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION BECAUSE I'M NOT OBLIGATED TO ANSWER THAT WE. LET ME JUST EXPLAIN TO YOU WHAT'S HAPPENING. RIGHT NOW WE'RE RUNNING ADS ON WCAX, WE'RE RUNNING ADS ON THIS TELEVISION STATION. THERE ARE FOLKS ON THE OTHER SIDE WHO DISAGREE WITH THE MESSAGE THAT WE'RE TRYING TO GET OUT TO VERMONTERS TO LOOK AT THIS THING, THAT FEEL SO PASSIONATELY THAT WE SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO COMMUNICATE THAT MESSAGE, THAT THEY HAVE ACTUALLY CALLED FOR, DEMANDING THAT RADIO STATIONS AND TV STATIONS REFUSE TO CARRY OUR MESSAGES AND THAT IF THOSE STATIONS DO NOT ACCEDE TO THAT DEMAND, THAT THEY BE PICKETED, AND THAT THEY BE BOYCOTTED. OKAY. WCAX-TV AND OTHER MEDIA OUTLETS ARE NOT DONATING -- THEY'RE NOT SUPPORTING US, NOT DONATING TO US. THEY'RE TAKING OUR MONEY AND RUNNING OUR ADS LIKE THEY DO FOR ANY OTHER ADVERTISER OR ADVOCACY GROUP THAT MIGHT WANT TO RUN A PAID ADVERTISEMENT. AND IF THE FOLKS ON THE OTHER SIDE ARE SO CONCERNED ABOUT VERMONTERS NEVER BEING ALLOWED TO HEAR THE MESSAGE THAT WE WANT TO BRING, THAT THEY'RE PROPOSING TO BOYCOTT OR BRING ECONOMIC HARM TO INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT SIMPLY TAKE MONEY TO RUN THOSE ADS, WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO TO THE DOZENS OF PROVIDERS AND HUNDREDS OF SMALL BUSINESSES OR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE CONTRIBUTORS IF THEY GET AHOLD OF OUR LIST? HOW MUCH ECONOMIC HARM COULD THEY THREATEN THOSE PEOPLE WHO WOULD BE OUR CONTRIBUTORS IF THEY'RE WILLING TO THREATEN ECONOMIC HARM TO, YOU KNOW, A TELEVISION STATION FOR SIMPLY RUNNING THE ADS THAT WE PAY FOR? THIS IS NOTHING SHORT OF BLATANT AND HEAVY-HANDED ATTEMPT TO SQUELCH DEBATE, SO STIFLE FREE SPEECH AND WE'RE BY LAW ALLOWED TO PROTECT OUR DONORS FROM THAT KIND OF PRESSURE AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO SURRENDER THEM TO THE MISGUIDED PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS DEBATE. I RESPECT AND SUPPORT THE PEOPLE ON VEPERG AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS NOT TO RELEASE THEIR FULL DONOR LISTS AND WE ASK THEY DO THE SAME.

>> JUST QUICKLY MAYBE TO QUELL MUCH THOSE RUMORS, MOST OF YOUR MONEY STATE, OUT OF STATE?

>> I'M NOT GOING TO ANSWER THE QUESTION BECAUSE WE START DOWN A SLIPPERY SLOPE AT THAT POINT. WE HAVE HUNDREDS OF DONORS FROM VERMONT, SMALL DONORS, PROVIDERERS, SMALL BUSINESSES, INDIVIDUALS WHO SHARE OUR CONCERN THAT THIS STATE IS HEADED FOR A VERY SERIOUS SET OF CRISES AS A RESULT OF THIS SINGLE PAYER FREIGHT TRAIN THAT IS NOW HEADED DOWN THE TRACKS, AND RIGHT NOW, VERMONTERS FOR HEALTH CARE FREEDOM IS THE ONLY ORGANIZATION THAT IS DEDICATED TO, AND SOLELY DEDICATED TO BRINGING THE MESSAGE THAT THIS IS UNWISE AND INAPPROPRIATE FOR THIS STATE AND THAT WE NEED TO HAVE -- TAKE A BREAK, WE NEED TO SLOW DOWN THE FREIGHT TRAIN AND WE NEED TO HAVE A BALANCED PUBLIC DEBATE ABOUT HOW BEST TO APPROPRIATELY REFORM HEALTH CARE IN THIS STATE.

>> ONE OTHER THING JUST REAL QUICKLY ON THIS POINT. YOU HAVE SEEN THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS WHERE A SINGLE DONOR CAN FLOAT NUNS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. IS THE KIND OF STRATEGY THAT VERMONTERS FOR HEALTH CARE FREEDOM WOULD REJECT IF THERE WERE SOMEONE FROM OUT OF STATE PUMPING IN A LOT OF MONEY TO KEEP THIS GOING?

>> I'M NOT GOING TO REJECT AN OFFER OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE OR A DONATION FROM ANYONE WHO'S LIKE-MINDED AND WANTS TO SUPPORT WHAT WE'RE DOING. I'M NOT GOING TO TURN IT DOWN. POINT BLANK, WE'RE ON A MISSION TO TRY TO BALANCE THE DEBATE IN THIS STATE AND THAT CAN'T BE DONE WITH ALL THE LEVERS OF POWER IN STATE GOVERNMENT IN THE HANDS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS ISSUE, AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN FUNDED BY -- I MEAN, YOU KNOW, HAS ANYBODY ASKED THE VERMONT WORKERS CENTER WHERE GEORGE SORRELLS HAVE SENT ANY MONEY TO THEM? I'M NOT ASKING THAT QUESTION. THE QUESTION IS, THE SAME THING COULD BE DONE ALL THE WAY AROUND. THEY HAVE AROUND FOR YEARS AND YEARS.

>> WE DON'T HAVE MUCH TYPE LEFT, BUT I WANTED TO ASK IS THERE ANY ELEMENT OF THE REFORM THAT'S PROPOSED SO FAR OR CURRENTLY IN THE LEGISLATION, THAT YOU DO SUPPORT?

>> ACTUALLY, THE EXCHANGE AS DESIGNED AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, NOT BEING IMPLEMENTED IN VERMONT, BUT DESIGNED AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL IS A HEALTHY THING. WE SEE THAT AS A POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT, SO THERE ARE ELEMENTS OF THIS THAT WE THINK CAN -- THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER FEATURES --

>> BET MANY VERMONTERS COMPLAINING THAT THE NATIONAL LAW AS IT WAS DEBATED BECAME LESS AND LESS EFFECTIVE AS IT WAS COMPROMISED MORE AND MORE. I MEAN, IS IT SURPRISING THEN THAT VERMONT, WE HAVE SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS ACTIVELY SAYING FEDERAL HEALTH CARE REFORM DOESN'T GO FAR ENOUGH AND SIT SURPRISING THAT VERMONT IS GOING BEYOND THE FEDERAL STANDARD?

>> I THINK THE STATES, I DEFEND THE RIGHT OF THE STATES TO BE EXPERIMENTS AND SO FORTH, AND IF THE PEOPLE OF VERMONT, AFTER A FAIR AND FULL AND INFORMED DEBATE ON THE SUBJECT, DECIDE THAT THIS IS THE WAY THEY WANT TO GO, THEN SO BE IT, BUT THAT HAS NOT BEEN THE CASE, AND WE FEEL THAT THIS STATE IS HEADED FOR ECONOMICAL LAMB MITT AND -- ECONOMIC CALAMITY AND HEALTH CARE CALAMITY IF WE CONSIDER DOWN THIS POINT. THERE ALREADY MORE UNINSURED IN VERMONT THAN THIS IS TODAY. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS LOOK AT THE INTENT IN THE SYSTEM AND IT'S ALMOST INESCAPABLE TO SEE THATS THE FINANCES OF THIS ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE BASED ON WHAT LITTLE THEY HAVE TOLD US TO FAR AND WHAT ILLUSTRATION WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO GLEAN.

>> WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO SLOW DOWN THE FREIGHT TRAIN AS YOU CALLED IT?

>> WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO RAISE MONEY. THAT LETTER WENT OUT TO A GREAT MANY PEOPLE AND WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO RAISE MONEY AND AGAIN, YOU CAN DONATE AT VTHEATHCAREFREEDOM.ORG.

>> YOU CAN FIND THE GROUP. WE HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE. THANKS VERY MUCH, KYLE MIDURA. THANKS FOR JOINING IN THE QUESTION. HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY AT HOME. THANK YOU FOR WATCHING, EVERYONE.

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