(Host) Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle was in Bennington County talking about health care Wednesday. At an open meeting in Arlington he said Vermont should lead the nation in providing affordable health care for all its citizens. He said a worsening health care crisis is the most important problem facing the state and its economy.
Clavelle is pledging to make health care a key issue in his bid to unseat Republican incumbent Governor Jim Douglas in November. And he’s hoping other Democrats will do the same.
(Clavelle) “What we need is the political will to get the job done. And that will does not exist in Montpelier today. The governor does not have that political will, nor does the Vermont House of representatives have that commitment. This is not just about me. It’s about electing people to office that say, we understand that health care is a public good and we’re going to commit to providing that good for every Vermonter.”
(Host) One area where Clavelle and Douglas differ is on the re-importation of lower cost prescription drugs from Canada. Douglas says he supports re-importation but doesn’t want to go against federal government policy.
Clavelle is actively urging people to buy their prescriptions across the border. He called re-importation a ‘necessary Band-Aid’ while Vermonters tackle larger problems that he identified as medical red-tape and counter productive cost shifts.
Several people in the audience said they were already filling their prescriptions in Canada. Mildred Rose of Dorset was there with her chronically ill husband.
(Rose) “We order from Canada all the time. And we’re not getting drugs that are going to kill us. They’re not killing Canadians, they’re not killing us. And this is very important to us.”
(Host) Clavelle will hold a town hall meeting on health care in Brattleboro Thursday evening.