(Host) Congressman Bernie Sanders says he’ll ask the Legislature to make substantial changes to the Board of Trustees of Fletcher Allen Health Care if the current Board does not implement these changes on its own.
Speaking last night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Sanders said he doubts that the current controversy surrounding significant cost over runs at the hospital would have taken place if Fletcher Allen had consumers and health care advocates as Board members:
(Sanders) “The lesson to be learned from this fiasco, a very costly fiasco, for the taxpayers of Vermont and the health care consumers of Vermont. Insurance rates are going to go up, there will be cuts in health care because of that, and the lesson that should be learned is, how did this happen? Who runs the board of trustees and how can we improve it?”
(Host) Sanders also strongly criticized the Dean administration for not keeping a closer eye on the Fletcher Allen project:
(Sanders) “And I remember Governor Dean saying when it began, he made the right point. He said, this is going to cost health care dollars but then he suddenly withdrew from the issue. Of course they should have been militant in watching this and having impact. Let’s be clear: every nickel spent on that project, and some of it is perhaps needed, is a nickel that will not be spent for primary health care, disease prevention, dental care for kids who today can’t find a dentist. Every nickel spent will raise health care rates in the state of Vermont.”
(Host) Sanders will be holding a special Town Meeting on the Fletcher Allen controversy next week in Burlington.