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Public Assets Institute

Update October 2012

In this issue:
-- Budget democracy delayed
-- Potter brings depth to health care debate
-- The Speaking Tour season ends
-- Hoffman addresses GMCB

Budget democracy delayed
As the Shumlin administration prepares its fiscal 2014 budget proposal, the Vermont Workers' Center has been pushing to ensure that Vermonters get a chance to weigh in during this early part of the budget process. That public participation—written into law this year—was supposed to begin October 1. Now it's been put off until after the election (see calender). Meanwhile, the administration looks ready to make more cuts next year.

Potter brings depth to health care debate
As Vermont builds the foundations of health care reform, Public Assets has called on Wendell Potter to link the state to the national conversation. Potter is a former health insurance executive turned whistle-blower, with a deep and wide understanding of the insurance industry. His first two blogs—one unpacking an ad critical of the Green Mountain Care Board, the other raising questions about Vermont's proposed accountable care organization, OneCare—are already stirring crucial debates.

The Speaking Tour season ends
Paul Cillo and Jack Hoffman wrapped up their 2012 Summer Speaking Tour—this year focusing on health care—with a visit to Woodstock last month. This was their fifth annual tour, which involves a day in each of five Vermont communities, speaking to the Rotary Club, providing a seminar for local school officials and legislators, and meeting with the press and community leaders.

Hoffman addresses GMCB
More than three-quarters of the employees of Vermont Business Roundtable's member employers work for companies that spend at least 10 percent of payroll on health insurance. This is one finding of a recent VBR report on health insurance coverage that Senior Analyst Jack Hoffman discussed with the Green Mountain Care Board on October 18; he was joined by VBR President Lisa Ventriss and Don George, CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont. Public Assets assisted with the survey and analysis on which the report is based.

Public Assets Institute is funded by grants and donations. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support our work.

Fact: Vermont's per capita health care expenditures more than doubled over the last decade, from $3,774 in 2000 to $7,876 in 2010.

Source: Green Mountain Care Board, 2010 Vermont Health Care Expenditure Analysis

bringing fiscal data home

Per Pupil Education Spending and Tax Rates
This interactive map shows per-pupil education spending, income-based school tax rates, and property rates for each Vermont town—all in one place, for the first time ever. See which towns are spending the most and the least, and how your town stacks up.

Public Budget Forums
Tuesday, November 13
5:15-7:15 p.m.
Selected Vermont Interactive Television (VIT) sites

Monday, November 19
4:45-6:45 p.m.
All VIT sites

Agency of Administration will be releasing details

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Public Assets Institute, PO Box 942, Montpelier, Vermont 05601