Wed, Oct 19, 2011 08:13 AM
While we have been hearing sound bits from Montpelier and other
power centers in the state about the impact of Act 48, aka Green
Mountain Care, the legislation passed by the Legislature to enable
a detailed study of single payer healthcare in Vermont, the folks
in Ludlow decided it was time to get down to a fundamental
examination of law.
FOLA (Friends of Ludlow Auditorium) is a group established to
promote the beneficial use of the newly-restored Ludlow Town Hall
Auditorium. Normally the group promotes movies, concerts, and
other community entertainment.
But, after hearing all the misunderstandings and misconceptions
about Act 48, it decided that the Ludlow Auditorium would be an
appropriate place to hold a forum addressing the implications and
direct impact of the legislation.
So FOLA contacted all the leading proponents and opponents of Act
48, asking them to join in a forum that would examine the details
of the law, its meanings to the average Vermonter, and the
likelihood of what would happen to healthcare funding and delivery
systems because of it. In addition, the Rutland Herald agreed
to cosponsor the event with FOLA.
Thursday, October 20 at 7 p.m. this forum will convene in the
Ludlow Auditorium with six panelists representing the two sides of
the issue. Stewart Ledbetter, a WPTZ/WNNE political commentator,
will moderate the forum. It will be one of the first discussions in
the state repreprenting both sides of the issue from people deeply
involved in the debate.
The six member panel, three from each side of the issue, will
consist of Steve Kappel, Dr. Deb Richter, State Senate President
John Campbell, Bob Gaydos, Darcie Johnston and Wendy Wilton.
Kappel was involved in the detailed study leading up to the
formulation of Act 48, Richter has been a long time advocate of a
single payer system, and Campbell, as political leader in the
Vermont Senate, directed the bill through the legislature. On the
other side, Gaydos, a business consultant on human resources, and
Johnston, also a consultant to business, both have led opposition
to Act 48. Wilton prepared a detailed financial analysis of the
funding for Act 48 that alleged the Act would increase the tax
Recognizing that a number of people do not understand this
complicated legislation, FOLA has decided to begin the forum with a
PowerPoint presentation that outlineds the key points of Act
48. To ensure that both the panel and audience started from a
level playing field, the presentation was sent to the panel members
and moderator for approval. This will mean that the forum
will start from a point of full agreement.
The panel, as in most political debates, will be subject to time
limitations for responding to questions posed by both the moderator
and the audience.
Some of the likely questions to be addressed include:
What will the impact be for individuals currently covered by
Medicare or other insurance programs?
Will this program support undocumented people residing in
How will the program be managed?
What will the cost be to Vermonters?
How does the federal healthcare program fit into this?
Will healthcare suffer because of this legislation?
This forum on October 20 in Ludlow will be a rare opportunity for
the public to learn about Act 48 and how it would affect them
personally as well as the state moving forward.
For more information, call 802-228-7239.