Vermont Concurrence Page (2024)

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Table of Contents

The League of Women Voters of Vermont (LWVVT) would like your League to support their request to have a discussion of their privatization position on the recommended agenda for the LWV National Convention in Washington, DC, this June.  If in the discussion, the new provisions in the Vermont privatization position are received favorably, LWVVT further proposes that the delegates should vote whether to “concur” –to ADD provisions from the new Vermont position to “UPDATE the LWVUS position by Concurrence. “

What is a concurrence? You can check what the League means by “Concurrence” at this Glossary adapted from the 2009 “League Basics”, or with our elaboration of the terms and how they affect our advocacy here.

WHY: The League of Women Voters of Vermont believes that the national position on privatization is not sufficient to support the advocacy needed to protect our health care resources.  We see two major issues preventing us from achieving League priorities:

Further, the national position was created in 2012. Much has changed and much has been learned since then. So we felt the need for a fresh study of privatization and, perhaps, a new state position to supplement the national position. 

Questions motivating our study:

Note that, as with the LWVUS position on Privatization, the Vermont study group had in mind that the principles governing privatization also applied in other domains, for example, privatized jails, private schools that used public money, and other.

After months of study and a consensus meeting, the League of Women Voters of Vermont Board of Directors approved a new position embodying these responses to their study questions:

Then, at a special convention, members voted unanimously to adopt the position. 

Vermont’s new state position allows them to not just educate but also advocate at the local and state levels. However, they state, “We still cannot adequately address the privatization of Medicare because it is a federal program, and advocacy at the national level requires a national position.” 

For this reason, and also to allow League members across the country to benefit from the work of our study, Vermont is proposing an update to the national privatization position by adding the language of our state position via concurrence, and we are asking for your help in proposing it.

New VIDEO (from 2/8/24) presentation for LWV-CO by Betty Keller, MD of LWVVT “What does LWV Vermont Want to Do?” Youtube link. Additional information (and time stamps identified) in the description field below the video.

New VIDEO (2/14/24)–5-minute clip walking you through the directions for filling out the Program Planning Survey. See the context for it at the “Critical Steps – How to Help” page.

The information in FAQ #2 may also be helpful when filling out the survey.

As of 2/24 – 29

Q1. Why do we need a new position on privatization? Isn’t the LWVUS current position adequate?

A1. The issue is that the current position is open to more than one interpretation. For example, one might interpret it as not including “health care” (just “public health”) in the list of essential services that should not be privatized. Read more…

Q2. How many other program items, in addition to Making Democracy Work, can a League propose on the survey?

A2. There is room for as many as 5 additional program items, if they are succinctly worded. There are 2 questions (#11 and #16) where the survey provides response boxes for 300 words max. Read more...

Q3. Do you propose that the Vermont update replace the LWVUS position?

A3. No, the current position remains in force. We can’t eliminate a position, but we can add elements like those Vermont felt it needed to add. Read more…

Q4. Is the proposed update intended to add to the LWVUS Health Care position (under Social Policy)? or the Privatization position under “Representative Government?

A4. This proposed update is to the LWVUS Position on Privatization. It will not affect the Health Care Position. In fact, Vermont felt emphatically that the Health Care position would not be the appropriate location for the update.. Read more…

Q5. Is it your position that there should be no private options available at all?

A5.  Not at all.

I would also like to remind you that Positions do not require action.  If you don’t feel that profit motives and outcomes are a problem for public goods in your state, you would work on other concerns.  This position only empowers League members to advocate invoking the name of the League, instead of just educating, where you feel there is a problem or potential for a problem.  For health care, Read more…

Q6. Without definitions, and descriptions of the process for taking control of currently and historically private health services, would we be inadvertently manipulated into supporting a move that was unintended?

For example, couldn’t an administration (state or federal) that is unfriendly to women’s reproductive health services–which are currently delivered and have always been through the private sector–introduces a state or federal bill accusing such services of “failing to deliver” using bogus criteria–the waiting times for appointments are too long, it is not handicap accessible, etc. They could argue that the LWV agrees (!), due to the League’s new deprivatization concurrence

A6. In this regard, we might distinguish “historically private health services” from those turned over to private hands by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Sevices by contract.  (Medicare and Medicaid are two of the most prominent examples.)  Private corporations were given the contracts on the basis that they would save CMS (and taxpayers) money with no loss in quality or equity–and they haven’t lived up to their contracts, ie. they have failed to deliver. Read more…

Q7.  What are the criteria for “failing to deliver”?

A7.  Criteria that speak to this are found in the current LWVUS position; the VT position merely operationalizes what had been envisioned. It clearly provides consequences for failing to live up to the considerations–namely that “the services or assets will be returned to the government.” Read more…

Topics still under discussion – seeking your comments

Several sections of the Concurrence submission required by the LWVUS Bylaws are still being tweaked and are open for your input–please. For example, the Pros and Cons document (linked above) still feels stilted to some members of the Update Committee; the “cons” especially do not feel authentic. So we are looking for people who do not agree with adopting the new position more broadly to send us their opinions.

Please use the linked webform for comments and suggestions, or send an email to the Update-email below.

Please contact us for Concurrence questions and comments: 

(Prepared by the LWV Health Care Interest Group on behalf of LWVVT)

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