Monday, November 18, 2013

WVTK Local & State News November 18, 2013

A recent report by Avalere Health, commissioned by Vermont Partners for Health Care Reform says the state of Vermont will need roughly $2 billion in new taxes to support a single-payer health-care program.  The new report echoes the same projection prepared by Ethan Allen Institute of Vermont board member Wendy Wilton.  Both Avalere and Wilton conclude that the Shumlin administration’s estimate of $1.6 billion is too low. 

Police are looking for a man who robbed a convenience store at knifepoint in Rutland.  Police say the man, wearing a bandanna and sunglasses, demanded money from the clerk after entering Mac’s Market on Route 4 at about 9:50 last night.  No one was hurt.  Anyone with information on the robbery is encouraged to contact state police.

The Vermont State Police Rutland Barracks, along with local and county law enforcement officials will be conducting sobriety and safety checkpoints during the Thanksgiving holiday.  This will take place from November 27 through December 1.  A press release says in addition to checkpoints, troopers will be aggressively patrolling and enforcing motor vehicle laws. This includes aggressive driving, speeding, and seatbelt usage.  Police are hoping that the checkpoints reduce the number of traffic accidents and fatalities.

Vermont State Police say a motorist has suffered cuts and bruises after she lost control of her car while going around a sharp curve in Cornwall.  22-year-old Molly Kalter of Groton, Mass., told authorities she was driving on Route 30 around 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon when her car began sliding while going around a curve.  She lost control and the car rolled over twice before landing upright.  She had no passengers.  Kalter was treated at a local hospital for her injuries.

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch was not among the 39 Democrats who voted Friday for a Republican-sponsored health care bill.  President Barack Obama proposed allowing state insurance commissioners the authority to extend current insurance policies for at least a year even if the policies are not in compliance with the Affordable Health Care Act.  The Republican plan allows people to keep that policy as long as they want, and for other consumers to sign up for it if they want it.  Welch called it a bad idea explicitly intended to unravel the Affordable Health Care Act.

The Vermont Health Department is launching a program to distribute an antidote for opium-based drug overdoses directly to addicts.  Within the next few weeks, the drug Narcan will arrive at the Good Neighbor Health Clinic in White River Junction and at the Howard Center in Burlington.  The drug will be distributed directly to addicts, their friends and family.  The project is aimed at curbing drug abuse and enhancing treatment resources.