(Host) Progressive Anthony Pollina says the failure of the Legislature to pass a comprehensive health care reform bill means that he’s likely to run for lieutenant governor next year.
Pollina says the compromise adopted by lawmakers and vetoed by the governor falls far short of the steps that are needed to deal with the state’s health care crisis.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports:
(Kinzel) It’s becoming increasingly clear that there’s going to be a crowded race for Lt. Governor next year. Incumbent Republican Brian Dubie may or may not be a candidate for re-election. Dubie is considering a race for the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House. He could also retire from politics.
Several Democrats are eyeing the race including Windsor senator John Campbell. It’s very likely that Progressive Anthony Pollina will also run for Lt. Governor. Pollina received roughly twenty-five percent of the vote in 2002 in a contest with Dubie and Democrat Peter Shumlin.
Several weeks ago Pollina vowed to run if lawmakers didn’t create a publicly financed state health care system that would provide benefits to all Vermonters. The final legislative compromise, which was vetoed by the governor, was targeted at providing coverage to uninsured Vermonters.
Pollina says he’s very disappointed with the lack of progress at the Statehouse.
(Pollina) “So my position is still that the Legislature did not come through for Vermonters on the issue of health care as well as a number of others. And for that reason, I’m still seriously considering entering a statewide race.”
(Kinzel) Pollina says his major role as Lt. Governor would be to push for a single payer health care system:
(Pollina) “If I were to serve as Lt. Governor I would use that office to completely reshape the debate at the Statehouse to see to it that the voices of Vermonters are heard loud and clear. They will tell you that they support providing health care to every Vermonter. And they understand that in order to do that, we’re going to have to have a system of public financing using some broad based tax. Yet that was not the result of the legislative debate it should have been. And if I were Lt. Governor it would have been.”
(Kinzel) Pollina says he doesn’t expect to make a formal announcement about his campaign for several months.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.