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The VPIRG webinars were, by definition, hosted and arranged by VPIRG. There was no uncertainty about that.

The Wells forum, on the other hand, was advertised and reported on as though it was neutral, while it appears likely to have been anything but. That is my main complaint: "please, tell us enough about this forum for people to be able to put the forum into an honest perspective."

Also, a large part of what VPIRG was doing was reviewing and explaining the details of the legislation that the state had already passed.

We have come to the time when the health insurance industry has begun pouring money into our state in attempts to derail the legislation our lawmakers have already passed. This effort will include creation of many organizations designed solely to raise fears, and concerted other efforts to do the same.

Was the Wells forum part of this effort? I don't know. The Herald either did know, or should have known, and, I think, had an obligation to let its readers know.


At least there was a single payer advocate at this forum to share his views. There were zero single-payer opponents at the two VPIRG webinars. I would encourage open forums around the state with advocates from both sides of the single payer issue to have debates so the general public can be better informed.

Before getting carried away with what this forum supposedly proves, let's get a few things straight. First, every member of the panel except for poor Mr. Kimbell from BISHCA is a pretty well known opponent of anything like universal or single-payer health care.

Second, the Herald article oddly fails to say anything about who sponsored this "forum" or how the panel was chosen. I know it was advertised on the Republican Party's Facebook page.

Third, Wendy Wilton's widespread "calculations" on costs and cost overruns is, as she will tell you herself, based on several assumptions, a fact that tends to get lost in all the discussion that follows her acknowledgement. This is even more troubling in light of the fact that the details of costs and payment mechanisms has not yet even been decided by the legislature or the Green Mountain Board.

So, please, tell us enough about this forum for people to be able to put the forum into an honest perspective. As the Herald story was written, and knowing the beliefs of the panel members, it sounds to me more like a "roast" of Mr. Kimbell than a "forum" on an important issue.

Health care reform actually met opposition LAST YEAR when Barre City residents voted by ballot to change the direction VT was headed in on Town Meeting Day, 2011. Clearly our legislative representation weren't listening since they voted for Act 48 with the exception of one Senator.

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