Caught the Speaker of the House's Friday "brown-bagger" via telephone today. And Gaye Symington said some things that certainly made my ears stand up. Sure sounded like she conceded they - the Democrats - have left a whole lot undone healthcare-wise. Said Speaker Gaye:
"We passed what was a fairly comprehensive approach to restructuringhow we would pay for and deliver healthcare in this state [in 2005]. The Governorvetoed that.
"We were not able to override that veto.
"And we made adecision a year later to make an enormous compromise, which was to usethe healthcare insurance as the delivery mechanism. And the bottom linefor us has been that it needed to be comprehensive healthcare. Andwe’re on that road and once you make that decision you have a lot ofwork ahead of you to make that work."
Speaker Gaye acknowledged H.304, Rep. Topper McFaun's healthcare reform bill that yours truly wrote about in this week "Inside Track." That's the healthcare reform bill providing hospitalization coverage for all Vermonters that wasn't supposed to see the light of day, the one that will be getting some attention after all. Said the House Speaker:
“I know [House Healthcare Committee Chair] Steve Maier is taking a lot of testimony about that bill and there are significant questions around H.304. I think H.304, I mean regardless of the details of it, step back from the details - H.304 basically reflects people’s impatience with the pace of healthcare reform and their impatience with using this compromise we made after the original veto."
Good observation, Madame Speaker!
P.S. Want to get up to speed on H.304 AND see Chairman Maier on the hot seat in his hometown? Check out this meeting on healthcare reform that was shot in Middlebury at the end of November. No beating around the bush....