Lt. Governor Disappointed In Legislature’s Rush To Pass Health Care Bill

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(Host) Lt. Governor Phil Scott says he’s disappointed that lawmakers rushed to pass a major health care bill in the first year of the legislative session.

Scott says there are too many questions about the new law and he thinks Democratic leaders should have studied the issue for another year.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports:

(Kinzel) Scott says there wasn’t any reason for Democrats at the Statehouse, and the Governor, to rush this bill through the Legislature.

He says the new law leaves many policy questions unanswered and he thinks waiting for the answers would have been a much better approach:

(Scott) "How are we going to pay it is it going to be a tax an employee and employer tax is that the way we’re going to fund this ? And we could have done some numbers based on what we know trying to get a total projection of the costs."

(Kinzel) Scott also says he’s not sure that the law makes financial sense.

(Scott) "I question the math in terms of the $500 million worth of savings in the first year and whether that’s going to continue – that’s just a one year fix. There are just a number of issues that I think we should have addressed a little bit more before we passed the law in the first half of the biennium."

(Kinzel) Last week, a group of Republican leaders held a private meeting to discuss possible GOP candidates for Governor and U.S. Senate in 2012.  Scott says he made it very clear that he’s interested only in seeking re-election.

(Scott) "I’m happy doing what I’m doing right now. In the future who knows what’s going to happen but in this next cycle I think I’m doing an adequate job. I think the role suits me well and I probably will stay right where I am if they’ll have me."

(Kinzel) When the Governor is out of state, Scott becomes the acting governor and that’s what’s happening this weekend because Governor Shumlin has left for a short vacation in Nova Scotia.

Scott is a race car driver and he’s scheduled to race on Sunday afternoon at Thunder Road in Barre.  He thinks it may be the only time in the country that a governor or acting governor has participated in a professional car race while in office but he doesn’t think he’s taking much of a risk.

(Scott) "I don’t think it’s any more dangerous than anything else that any of us do. I put on quite a few miles cycling across the state so that’s a danger in and of itself I guess…it’s part of life and I don’t think that it’s any more risky than anyone else."

(Kinzel) Scott says he seriously doubts that any of his competitors on the track will cut him any slack because he’ll be Vermont’s acting governor during the race.

For VPR News, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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