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vt.Buzz ~ a political blog

Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Health care at home

While Washington wiggles its way through health care, the debate goes on in Vermont too.

William Hsiao, a Harvard economist who specializes in health care, will speak to Senate and House health committees at 2 p.m. Thursday in Room 11 of the Statehouse. Hsiao helped design Taiwan’s universal health-care system, based on the Canadian system.

“Dr. Hsiao has the skills to redesign
our health care system and I am hopeful that legislation will be passed
this year that will begin that process,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Shumlin, D-Windham, a candidate for governor.

In a November New York Times interview, Hsiao said, “You can have universal coverage and good quality health care while still managing to control costs. But you have to have a single-payer system to do it.” To see the interview, visit HERE.

Meanwhile, Sen. Doug Racine, D-Chittenden, another gubernatorial candidate, is drumming up support for his legislation to create a panel to come up with three detailed options for universal coverage. He asked supporters to sign on to the bill as “citizen co-sponsors” on his campaign Web site.

Before it can reach the Senate floor, Racine’s bill has to go to the Senate Appropriations Committee, where Chairwoman Susan Bartlett, D-Lamoille, is also a candidate for governor.

- Terri Hallenbeck


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