Jim Douglas: Healthcare Reformer? | Freyne Land

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Friday, December 1, 2006

Jim Douglas: Healthcare Reformer?

Posted By on Fri, Dec 1, 2006 at 10:03 AM

I know. Y'all thought that House Speaker Gaye Symington and the Democrats were the ones behind healthcare reform, right?

Wrong!

The edition of AARP's monthly magazine that arrived in U.S. mailboxes yesterday gave that honor to Republican Governor Jim Douglas:

Putting health care before politics

Sometimes politicians can rise above politics. That certainly was thecase this year in Vermont, where no one expected much from the state government.With a Republican governor and a Democratic legislature, gridlock seemedinevitable. But in May, after two years of negotiations, Governor Jim Douglassigned groundbreaking legislation that makes affordable health insuranceavailable to everyone in the state. The new universal health care law, consideredthe most progressive in the country, also includes a series of cost-savingreforms. It is particularly important in the Green Mountain State, whichhas 61,000 uninsured citizens and a growing senior population. While thebill was clearly a bipartisan effort, much of the credit goes to Douglas,55, for refusing to give up. "This was such a key issue," he says. "The needwas so great in terms of containing costs and providing coverage to uninsuredVermonters that we just couldn't fail."—Joe Treen

Refusing to give up, eh?

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About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

Bio:
Peter Freyne, 1949-2009, wrote the weekly political column "Inside Track," which originated in the Vanguard Press in the mid 1980s; he brought it to Seven Days in 1995. He retired it shortly before his death in January, 2009. We all miss him.

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