State health plan heading in right direction
Editor of the Reformer:
In his recent opinion piece (July 23), Jeff Wennberg has criticized recent actions of the Shumlin administration with regard to the road forward to a single payer health care system.
Mr. Wennberg criticizes the administration for applying for federal grants for health care. It's true that the Shumlin administration has applied for money from the federal government. Much of this will help to implement the exchange which is required by federal law in 2014. But some of these funds can also help us transition to single payer. What's wrong with getting financial support from the feds?
Mr. Wennberg also criticizes the Shumlin administration for finding out if we can get a head start on single payer before 2017. The administration has asked a study group from UMass to see if we can create a publicly funded pool to cover the health care costs of at least some Vermonters before 2017. The aim is to get all of us into the pool by 2017. That sounds like a good idea to me.
Public financing will always be more cost effective than private insurance, with its many different plans and administrative costs. Ultimately, pooling all our funds, and cutting out the unnecessary administrative costs of private insurance will allow us to create a health care infrastructure that serves all Vermonters. And, what is wrong with getting professional help in coming up
Middlebury, July 24
Support for Galbriath
Editor of the Reformer:
I want to thank Senator Peter Galbraith for so ably representing all of us in Windham County during his two freshman years in the Senate. He has certainly kept his campaign promises by working for the welfare of our state -- especially so on behalf of the following four key issues: (1) its environmental integrity; (2) an improved economy; (3) a just and workable single-payer health plan; and (4) the reform needed in campaign financing.
To highlight one of Peter's various legislative actions on behalf of Vermont's environment (a fundamental concern of mine), he introduced and successfully promoted through to enactment a ban on fossil-fuel extraction by hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" (a process potentially dangerous especially to the groundwater of our state), thereby following all of France in this and setting an example for the other 49 states. Moreover, he introduced a bill that would prohibit the commercial development of State Parks and other protected lands under the control of the Agency of Natural Resources (an action that would undermine the very purpose of those so importantly designated lands). And he has been working hard to curtail forest fragmentation (a trend inimical to the future of that ecosystem, the very basis of both our state's physical and social well-being as well as for the continued flourishing of our tourist industry).
And when it comes to Vermont's economy, we all know that the business world is becoming ever more dependent upon fast and reliable access to the internet -- extremely valuable for our state's many small and often home-based enterprises. Here, by way of example, Peter co-sponsored and has vigorously supported legislation that would bring broadband to our entire county by the end of next year.
Peter is again one of three candidates in the Primary race on the 28th of this month, vying for one of the two slots to represent the Democrats of Windham County in the general election. Peter's innate intelligence, educational background, wide-ranging professional experience and ability to work well with colleagues from both sides of the isle -- together with his drive, independence of thought and principled actions -- clearly make him my top choice for re-election, and I very much hope yours as well.
Arthur H. Westing,
Putney, Aug. 1
Support for O'Connor
Editor of the Reformer:
What a pleasure it is to support Kate O'Connor for the Vermont House of Representatives, Windham 2-3 district.
I grew up next door to Kate, shared a sandbox and swing set with her and her siblings, went to the same schools right here in Brattleboro and to this day enjoy her witty contributions to our classic, over the fence, neighbor to neighbor ribbing about everything from Harmony Parking lot decorum to state and national politics.
She has spent years supporting the democratic process in Vermont and nationally, while maintaining her close connection to our neighborhood and town. I've admired her ongoing commitment to local issues and community contributions and participation over the years -- she's a Town Meeting Representative, July Fourth parade volunteer and member of the Building a Better Brattleboro board, to name a few -- and I am pleased to see that she continues to step up to serve.
As our representative in the Vermont State Legislature, I believe she will champion the interest of our district with dignity and expertise gained in her years of service for all of Vermont. Vote Kate O'Connor for Windham 2-3 District, Vermont State Representative
Brattleboro, Aug. 1
Support for Goodwin
Editor of the Reformer:
I was delighted to read that Charles (Tim to me) Goodwin is running for the Vermont House seat that represents the towns of Jamaica, Londonderry, Stratton, Winhall and my own dear Weston.
My first experience with Tim was when I directed a Christmas play for the grade school in Weston, which Tim played a role in. The school was located in what is now referred to as "The Little School" -- needless to say, it predated Flood Brook significantly. We performed the play in the Weston Playhouse, which at the time was in a building that well predated the fire that took the old playhouse. Nobody sat still; it was too cold.
Little did I anticipate that years later I would represent Jamaica, Londonderry, Weston and the surrounding community as a Democrat in the Vermont House of Representatives. It was in this capacity that I came to know Tim, now an adult, in his role as a community leader.
It was Tim who urged me to join the Weston Planning Commission because he felt my voice and knowledge of Vermont statutes concerning planning could be an asset to the commission. I was persuaded, Tim was grateful, and I soon found that Tim had an equally good understanding of statutes applicable to the planning process.
Over the years, I have enjoyed the many conversations Tim and I have had concerning policy issues confronting our state and our community. While we have not always agreed on every point, I have always had the greatest respect for his intellect, his deliberative manner, and his open-minded approach to complex issues. These attributes have helped Tim earn the trust and respect of people from a variety of political backgrounds; moreover, these attributes are exactly what will make Tim the right person to represent the people of Jamaica, Londonderry, Stratton, Weston and Winhall in Montpelier.
It is truly unique and special to have someone that Democrats, such as myself, Independents and Republicans can rally around. Tim's choice to run as an Independent makes clear his commitment to bring an even-hand and an open-mind to Montpelier. Tim likes to see things work, and he knows how to bring people together.
I know that if elected Tim will be a hard-working, passionate advocate for us. He has my full support and I look forward to voting for him this November.
Weston, July 31