Robert Maynard
Vermont as a "laboratory for change"
By Robert Maynard
December 15, 2010

The pro-freedom movement has done a good job so far of resisting Obamacare. The new House majority has the ability to de-fund much of it. Officials at the state level have already started the process of legal challenges. On Monday the 13th, a federal judge in Virginia ruled that the insurance purchase mandate in the bill is unconstitutional. Numerous corporations are asking for an opt-out option, as are some states. The whole thing is headed to a "death by a thousand cuts" if this trend continues. Since some of the worst features do not kick in until 2014, we might even have the whole thing repealed before they kick in, if we keep up our momentum in 2012. Of course none of this is guaranteed, so we must keep up the pressure. In keeping up the pressure through the obvious avenues, we need to be aware of back door avenues.

Not all of the states looking to opt out of Obamacare are likely to put forward a free market alternative. Here in Vermont, the objection of the state's "progressive" leadership is that Obamacare does not go far enough toward a full single payer system. Vermont is one of the states looking for an opt out. The intention is to institute a full-blown Canadian style single payer system. The following quote is from a Bennington Banner article: "Throughout the gubernatorial campaign Shumlin said he would seek a single-payer health care system for Vermont. That requires federal waivers, however. Shumlin said the administration is open to ideas as long as health care standards are not lowered." Local critics of Vermont's push for a single payer system have pointed out provisions in the federal law that say a state can't adopt any health care plan not approved by the federal government until 2017. It looks like Governor elect Shumlin has found a way around that problem. The other matter that local critics have pointed to is that it cannot happen because Vermont simply does not have the money. Shumlin appears to have that covered as well. Here is a quote from the same article:

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden spoke to newly elected governors at Blair House in Washington Thursday, pledging cooperation as states continue to face lackluster revenues and large budget gaps. Shumlin said he was impressed by their words.

"The president and the vice president were nothing short of sensational today, in both understanding the challenges facing governors and their willingness to work with us," Shumlin said in a conference call with reporters.

He even seems to be working on a scheme as to where the federal government is going to get the money to support Vermont's schemes. Here is how he proposed that they fund early education programs:

Early education was also discussed, Shumlin said. Duncan will be seeking $300 million from Congress to implement early education programs across the country, according to Shumlin. He said he urged Duncan to require states to provide matching funds because it will likely increase Vermont's share.

"I've made very clear that Vermont wants to be an active partner with him to make sure that we get our share," Shumlin said. "Many of the governors were swept in Tea Party electoral landslides. I don't think you'll see many of them committing state funds. A lot of these tea party states, I do not believe, will have the political persuasion to do it."

Shumlin was coy, however, on where Vermont will find state dollars for early education. "We're working hard on trying to find the money. Let's remember that we have to cut $112 million in the budget," he said.

In other words, if Vermont cannot come up with the money, get the feds to take it from the states where the Tea Party has elected more frugal leaders. The key is in a partnership between Shumlin's administration, Vermont's Congressional delegation and the Obama administration:

"We have a White House, the best congressional delegation in the country and a really thoughtful and talented cabinet that shares the goals that we've been talking about in the last couple of months," Shumlin said. "They're saying the door is open and we look forward to making change with you."

"Our biggest challenge is to design a system that works. The minute we do that we'll be down in Washington continuing to cultivate those relationships. I don't believe our biggest problem is Washington," he added.

You can be sure that this scheme is where the funding will come for what Shumlin expects to be the first single payer health care system in the U.S. See this article in the Boston Globe: "Governor-elect Peter Shumlin yesterday announced his appointments to a team he hopes will lead Vermont to become the first state with a single-payer health care system." He sees the Vermont effort as a "laboratory for change" that the administration is looking for and will not hesitate to ask for funding for it that would otherwise go to other states. This quote is from a Burlington Free Press article: "He said Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made it clear that they see states as laboratories for change." Vermont's Congressional delegation has already asked the Department of Transportation to send money to Vermont that was rejected by other states. See this article. The DOT turned down that brazen request, but who is to say that the administration would turn down a request to fund a program that would be billed as a model for the nation to follow?

Such efforts in the past to enact a left wing agenda have served as a test case to give these schemes momentum nationally. The left knows this and pumps large amounts of resources into this state to use it as a testing ground for their latest schemes. The examples of a progressive agenda being promoted in this state with the aid of LARGE amounts of outside money pouring in are too many to elaborate on in detail, but here is a site that touches on the subject: The point here is that the pro-freedom opponents of things like Obamacare need to learn from the left and take an interest in what is happening in places like Vermont that are being used as a launching pad for progressive schemes. What happens here has a national impact. Stopping the push for a full-blown single payer system in the place that the left is using as a launching pad would have a national impact as well.

Pro-liberty activists here are already working on a strategy to expose the push for a single payer system by being the first state in the country to purchase a license to show the movie "Sick and Sicker" all around the state in as many venues as we can come up with. In addition to showing the movie, we intend to get some of the Canadian doctors who testified in the movie to come and speak here. A concentrated effort here exposes the agenda that the left has as an end goal as it deals with a proposal for a full blown Canadian style single payer system. It would make strategic sense for the pro-freedom movement nationally to get behind the effort of the pro-freedom forces here in Vermont who are once again engaged on the front line in a "David vs. Goliath" battle against the progressive agenda."

© Robert Maynard


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