4-10-14 – VT-NEA Lays Out Expectations for Single Payer Advocacy (VIDEO)

by Rob Roper

Joel Cook, the executive director for the Vermont National Education Association (VT-NEA) testified before the House Committee on Healthcare, laying out what his union expects from the legislature as it considers the details of a single payer healthcare system.

Cook was quick to point out that his union has invested heavily in the public relations efforts supporting single payer. “We helped create the Vermont Healthcare Security Campaign…. And, more recently, I think you know, we obtained funding to support an external advocacy effort around moving the state closer to accepting Green Mountain Care in good form.”

“Good form” is defined by Cook as a guarantee that his and other labor union members, of which he counts 100,000 households, be held harmless when it comes to actually paying for single payer. He stated, “In the absence of some transitional protections, [union members] stand to lose substantial amount of compensation” under a single payer system. Cook goes on with a telegraphing smirk befitting Tony Soprano, “And that doesn’t feel right in exchange for the level of support that unions in general and the Vermont NEA in particular have provided this effort so far.”

This begs one question for rank and file union members: Why is your leadership using your dues to advocate for a system in which, in the absence of protections, you stand to lose substantial compensation?

Of course, Cook insists that the VT-NEA’s investments in propping up Green Mountain Care and his requests for special protections under the new system do not represent a “quid pro quo.” But you can watch the VIDEO and judge for yourself.

Joel Cook

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kay Trudell April 11, 2014 at 6:45 am

Hey Joel, thanks for the help you gave in forcing socialist single-payer on all the rest of the citizens of Vermont, many of whom don’t want it, while demanding exemptions and special treatment for you and other union members. Ever read the novel “Animal Farm”? You are acting like the ruling class pigs. The most dangerous thing imaginable in the realm of politics is a group of people who wish to impose their socialist (or any other) vision on other people, with no consequences to themselves. That is called elitism. I hate socialism. Thanks for diminishing my rights while demanding yours. This is not how unions are supposed to work, and I ought to know. How does joining management in diminishing other people’s liberty enhance the union label?


Kristin Sohlstrom April 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm

To VTNEA Members,

On behalf of your fellow Vermonters, your neighbors and family, please PUSH BACK on the VTNEA. We are the victims of what Joel Cook is outlining here and I can’t believe you are evil enough to want to be a part of that.

Be strong, be vocal, unite and most of all, be public.

Thank you.


sharon April 11, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Why is it that the unions get special beneifts that the rest of us Vermonters have to pay for while we do without??? I personally am sick and tired of the corruption and favoritism that is going on here. I thought the goal was equality not favoritism. Are we supposed to bow down before these “exalted beings” and let them kick us in the teeth


Mark Donka April 11, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Welcome to the Progressive socialist left way of doing things. They want single payer as long as it does not effect them. They are acting as if they are above the rest of us. People it is time to wake up and elect conservatives who believe in the people. Obama care and Shumlins single payer is the largest attack on our freedoms in the History of our Country. They want to take any choice away because the ruling class knows better than the people. “It is Time we Trust the People”


David Bresett April 20, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Republicans collect more welfare than any other political party. Typically when they blame the other party for doing something, blame their sad ideology, it’s because republican know how to get welfare checks better than anyone else. The plan since Saint Ronnie, is to kill the New Deal. Anyone that has an ear for this, has watched it since then. Sad bunch of liars, and it’s really sad what republicans are trying to do to Vermont. Sorry kids, go somewhere else and do your sloppy lying.


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