The Governor’s veto of the marijuana bill on Wednesday today may suck all the air out of Vermont newsrooms for the next day or so but he quietly made a couple appointments that will likely have as big an impact on the state.
Scott appointed state Senator Kevin Mullin (R-Rutland) to chair the Green Mountain Care Board and Maureen Usifer to the board. The legislature created the independent GMCB in 2011. Its responsibilities include health insurance rates, hospital budgets, and major capital expenditures.
“Healthcare makes up approximately 20 percent of our economy, so it is critical to have strong, experienced leaders on this Board. Kevin is a proven leader with decades of business, management and public service experience, which he will bring to bear in this important leadership role. And, as an experienced chief financial officer and board director for respected companies, Maureen’s expertise in finance, management and oversight will be incredibly valuable to the Board and Vermonters,” said Scott in a press release [added emphasis]
So who is Senator Mullin, Scott’s choice to chair the Green Mountain Care Board? What kind of Republican is he? And what do we know about his view on the role of government — in say, healthcare? Well, Mullin does have a long resume at the State House. He served as State Rep. from Rutland for four years, was appointed to the Senate in 2003, and won re-election to the seat ever since. He is currently chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs and sits on the Senate Committee on Education.
Senator Mullin served two separate times as Vermont state chair of one of the Koch Brothers’ many organizations, The American Legislative Exchange Council. A national franchise, ALEC supports right-wing state legislators with model legislation favorable to its corporate members. According to sourcewatch.org: ALEC’s agenda extends into almost all areas of law. Its bills undermine environmental regulations and deny climate change; support school privatization; undercut health care reform; defund unions and limit their political influence; restrain legislatures’ abilities to raise revenue through taxes; mandate strict election laws that disenfranchise voters; increase incarceration to benefit the private prison industry, among many other issues.
Mullin did not support Trump in last year’s GOP presidential primary. He sort of sat on his hands preferring John Kasich — but when rumors that speaker Paul Ryan might jump in the race Mullin said he’d support him. Paul Ryan never ran but he is now champion of the GOP’s despicable American Health Care Act, which the CBO says would leave 23 million Americans uninsured by 2026 if it replaces the ACA (Obamacare) in its current form.
Ryan favors making millions of Americans uninsured, and ALEC wants to undermine regulations. I wonder which part of Mullin’s two favorite leadership models Governor Scott wants him to bring to bear on the Green Mountain Care Board — Speaker Ryan’s health care lies, the Koch Brothers’ anti-government corporate-fueled juggernaut or both.
Either way, stock up on Band-Aids, since that’s all the healthcare many of us will be able to afford under Mullin and TrumpDon’tCare.