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Voices In The Week's News: June 26, 2014

These were some of the voices in the news this week:

This week state auditor Doug Hoffer proposed a database for people to compare the prices of health care procedures at different medical facilities around the state.  We also heard Senator Patrick Leahy demand that the US sign on to the international treaty that bans land mines. Vermonter and former diplomat Peter Galbraith spoke about the likely breakup of Iraq amid renewed fighting there. Vermont towns struggled to implement a new law on open meetings. And soccer fans felt relief that the US team advanced in the World Cup.

Health Data Has Potential To Help Consumers Compare Prices
(Auditor Doug Hoffer) “It’s providing consumers — all of us — with information we’ve never had, which is, 'I’m thinking about a procedure that has been recommended to me. It’s not an emergency, I don’t have to go to the hospital in five minutes, I’d like some information about who provides that type of procedure, where are they, how much does it cost?'"

Leahy Criticizes Obama For Not Supporting Ban on Land Mines
(Sen. Patrick Leahy) “When President Obama was elected I thought we’d finally see the U.S. get on the right side of this issue. After all, we fought two long wars without using anti-personnel mines. All our NATO allies [and] most of our coalition partners have banned them, but we haven’t joined the treaty.”

Interview: Kurdistan's Position In A Fragile Iraq
(Former diplomat Peter Galbraith) "The countries that were created at the end of World War I - Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia - disappeared. And now in the Middle East, we’re seeing, I think, the dissolution of Iraq and Syria. And it’s not clear how much further this will spread."

Towns Consider Shutting Down Websites To Avoid New Open Meeting Law
(Montgomery Select Board Chair Scott Perry)  “We’ve been committed and embraced open government since 2003, that’s when we first brought the website online. … But the changes to the open meeting law, in our view, require us to do some other things now. And this is kind of a sea-change because there’s never been a mandate for any information on or off of a municipal website.”

USA Loses, But Vermonters' World Cup Dreams Live On
(Wes Hamilton, Three Penny Taproom) “We have people who are just casual fans and don’t really know the game and coming in and checking it out and learning about it and getting a sense of why it’s so exciting and fun.”