Governor Jim Douglas announced yesterday that he would allow S88, An Act Relating to Health Care Financing and Universal Access to Health Care in Vermont, to become law without his signature.“Vermont is recognized as a national leader in health reform, we are the healthiest state in the nation and we are in the midst of implementing significant changes from the federal health care reform bill,” said Governor Douglas. “To spend time and money studying a new model that cannot be implemented until at least 2017 is counterproductive. Further, the drug sample reporting provision adds burdensome new regulations that are unnecessary and could make it difficult for low-income Vermonters to receive needed medications. These sections do not represent meaningful reform; rather they detract from the serious work ahead.”Although S. 88 includes these provisions, Governor Douglas decided to allow the bill to become law because it includes a critical expansion of the innovative Vermont Blueprint for Health. “The Blueprint is key to our efforts to control care costs over time by helping to improve the health of Vermonters. Expanding the Blueprint to more communities extends Vermont’s national leadership, and positions Vermont to take advantage of the federal health care reform law.”Governor Douglas said that he hopes future Legislature’s will revisit the drug sample provisions after evaluating the impact they have on our rural health system and patients.The Governor’s message is attached.