March 11 Senate health and Welfare Happenings

Long day in the committee room. Senator Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland, read a letter that I believe came from a constituent of his. This person was writing about how ridiculous it is to keep jumping back-and-forth from Catamount and Vhap, each time his income rose or fell. The constituent complained how each time that this happened, he had to get new insurance cards, and was paying different premiums, deductibles, and co-pays with each one. The Rutland constituent was furious that some things covered under one program, were not under another; that he had to come up to reviews every six months. It was strange that Senator Mullin read this. Senator Mullin has been by no means a supporter of single-payer and has objected to the language of health care being a human right. I wanted to pigeonhole Senator Mullin to tell him how I am constantly tossed back and forth between the two, but I was unable to get him.

After this the committee started off at 1:30 with introduction of s.247 by senator Ginnie Lyons. This bill, called in the legislative description as "an act relating to bisphenol," According to Wikipedia, this is "Bisphenol A, commonly abbreviated as BPA, an organic compound with two phenol functional groups. " It is used primarily to make plastics and is a key component of epoxys resins. Wikipedia wrote of its potential for harm, especially in young babies and young children: "Suspected of being hazardous to humans since the 1930s, concerns about the use of bisphenol A in consumer products were regularly reported in the news media in 2008 after several governments issued reports questioning its safety, and some retailers have removed products made of it from their shelves. A 2010 report from the FDA raised further concerns regarding exposure of fetuses, infants, and young children." This bill would work to ban the use of bpa's in Vermont. A proponent for the bill, Dr. Cheryl Gibson, Medical Director, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, testified that this BPA has "found its way into breast milk," and that exposure to this toxin is "linked to many diseases."

Lobbyists against the bill came from chemical and plastics manufactures and even from a grocery association. Among other things they argued that the bill's implementation would cost jobs in Vermont. Since areas like Shelburne and Franklin County have plastics manufacturing centers, they kind of directed these arguments against Senator Kittell, D-Franklin, and Senator Lyons, D-chittendon. Both shot back that they were fully aware of these businesses and did not need to be reminded about jobs. argued that its implementation would cost jobs. People for the bill were saying that it would protect people from this chemical. Bill introduced, but no action was taken.

Then it was into Room Ten for the administration's answer to Senator Racine's S.88 bill. I filmed this and will try to get it up onto either here or on the footage page. I will be a pretty poor video, as my arm kept falling asleep, but a good amateur comedy to watch.

Comments

Hello all:

These are links to the videos that I took of the Racine's committee meeting where they voted the newly abridged version of S.88 out of committee. These links were copied over from Faried's server. I hope they work. This is an experiment. If they do let me know. I have some more of the senate committee discussing the bill with our red shirts packing room number 17, the senate health and welfare committee room. The lobbyists and Bischa people certainly loathed us that day as they had to stumble over us to get a seat or had to stand. They had glum faces. It was hilarious.

I hope that you will forgive me for the vid quality. I am a long ways from being a professional. I was using one of those small polaroid camcorders. I was jammed into a corner with Anne Galloway of Vt.Digger.org. I had a lady with a thick mane of gray hair standing directly in front of me. She managed to block my view almost every time I wanted to pan the room. Oh, well, I tried. Hope this works.

Walt

http://www.faried.com/~vwc/files/Committee%20Vote%20on%20Racine's%20S.88%20March%2012%202010%20Part%203.AVI

http://www.faried.com/~vwc/files/Committee%20Vote%20on%20Racine's%20S.88%20%20March%2012%202010%20Part%202.AVI

I hope that these work like this. The first is Racine and company introducing it with us packing up the room and a woman with a mane of gray hair blocking the view. Notice the glum faces of the lobbyists as they try to squeeze by us, something that they are not used to.

http://www.faried.com/~vwc/files/Committee%20vote%20on%20Racine's%20S.88%20March%2012%202010.AVI

The next two are the senate committee passing the bill and the furious debate over whether to have the board a three or a five person board. Please forgive the charlie chaplin like theatrics with the video camera:) It was one of those small pocket ones and it's taking me some time to get used to it:)

Committee Vote on Racine's S.88 March 12 2010 Part 3.AVI

Committee vote on Racine's S.88 March 12 2010.AVI