Not a grassroots organization

March 20, 2012

Caledonian Record

To the Editor:

After attending the health care forum in Lyndonville on Feb. 27 conducted by Darcie Johnston of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, I found it disingenuous that it was advertised in The Caledonian-Record as Vermonters for Health Care Reform. I was also insulted by the way this group was portrayed in the paper as a grassroots organization.

This portrayal may be partially true. Yet, after having attended a number of health care forums and testimonies, including many at the statehouse, I have noticed very low representation of this group's membership. This makes me wonder how a group that claims to be a grassroots organization can afford to flood the airwaves with all those paid advertisements bashing single-payer health care that they have sponsored.

One thing is for certain. Vermonters for Health Care Freedom seems to have a consistent message riddled with fear and distortion. I am curious about how much money is coming in to them from out-of-state interests to finance their campaign. As this group will most likely hold more forums around the state, I urge the public to ask them these questions to hold them accountable for the misinformation that they are spreading around.

Keith Ballek
Sheffield, Vt.