Written by guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site:
We elected Bernie and gave the country Ben and Jerry, don't put anything universal past us mule-headed liberal mountain people.
Steve Kornacki highlighted one of the best (and thanks to TeaMania) only positive stories around on single payer prospects in the country on Up over at MSNBC , pulling in Vox's stellar Sarah Kliff, and Vermont State Legislature Rep. Chris Pearson to discuss. Find the full Vox piece here.
Not since we were enjoying the pitched battles and healthcare wars on The Hill leading up to victory in 2010(!) was this Green Mountain gal so excited to see coverage of the Right's expected reaction to real Progressive progress.
It's no sure bet - Vermont is in full possession of their allotted portion of Tea Party crazy. Yet, when pre-butted by Rep. Pearson of the state's Progressive Party ... listen up and see if you don't feel some of that vintage, vindicating Hopey Changey Feeling wash over you. The president might not have spiked the ACA ball to our collective liberal satisfaction quite yet, but here's some interim excitement to re-fire the engines for November.
Peter Shumlin isn't a Howard Dean by personality, but he has been the sleeper gubernatorial hit of the decade up here. He was a leader smart enough to see that a 700% rise in heroin use in the state in two years had an impact on our morale and small but over-worked state hospitals. ER visits now include tragic front row seats to what poverty, addiction and the GOP has brought us to. Not that there's any pressure, as both he and Kliff note.
If Vermont gets single-payer health care right, which I believe we will, other states will follow," Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin predicted in a recent interview. "If we screw it up, it will set back this effort for a long time. So I know we have a tremendous amount of responsibility, not only to Vermonters.
Keep your ears perked about VT Act 48. AKA Green Mountain Care. It's an uphill climb, half the nations that attempt to pioneer this human right fail, repeatedly.
However, in 1777 -- when still a Nation because we declined the invite in '76 -- Vermont abolished slavery. In 2000 we were the state first to acknowledge civil unions, then the 4th to celebrate gay marriage. Two years ago we were Numero Uno to ban fracking and watch this week's news on mandatory GMO food labeling.
And don't underestimate our ability to overcompensate for our size and the patience-drain it takes to abide next to those Live Free or Die maniacs and the buzzards they draw in New Hampshire. So It Is On. May this be a super sharp contrast to ex-centerfold/ex-Senator Scott Brown and his ubiquitous GD truck.
Kliff chose a doozie of a higher self quote when interviewing the local progressive peeps.
I was the first person I ever heard in politics who was a serious candidate, who said the words ‘single payer,’ and was not using them in an attack ad," recalls Deb Richter, president of Vermont for Single Payer. "It was amazing."