VPR Header
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
VPR News
Follow VPR's statehouse coverage, featuring Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel in our Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier.

Movie Takes Aim At Shumlin Health Plan

The Shumlin Administration is moving ahead with plans for a publicly financed health care system. But one group is working hard to derail the governor’s single-payer proposal. And a new documentary commissioned by the group is making the rounds at screening rooms across the state.

Darcie Johnston is the founder and director of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom. She says the group spent $25,000 to produce the documentary, called Vermont Experiments.

“Vermonters for Health Care Freedom felt it was important to show Vermonters some real life examples of what happens when government gets between you and your doctor,” Johnston said.

The film borrows heavily from a 2010 documentary that spotlights long waiting lists in the Canadian health care system. Johnston says Gov. Peter Shumlin’s plan for Vermont is akin to the single-payer system in Canada.

“Vermonters for Health Care Freedom is concerned that Vermonters are not paying attention to what is happening as we proceed at warp speed to single payer health care,” she said.

Robin Lunge is the director of health care reform for the Shumlin Administration, and she says comparisons to Canada are inaccurate. Lunge says Vermont is changing not only the way Vermonters pay for their health care, but the manner in which providers are reimbursed. And Lunge says those payment reform initiatives will contain costs without sacrificing access to care. 

Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, which doesn’t disclose the identities of its funders, is screening the documentary in Williston and Rutland this weekend, and in St. Johnsbury next month.