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Explore our coverage of government and politics.

Shumlin Adds Upper Management In Health Care Reform Efforts

Steve Zind
Lawrence Miller, right, and Patricia Moulton at a news conference on Thursday.

Gov. Peter Shumlin added a high-level slot in his administration today when he made former Commerce Secretary Lawrence Miller the new “senior advisor to the governor and Chief of Health Care Reform.”

Miller will report directly to Shumlin, officials said at a news conference Thursday, and serve as the governor’s point person on health care reform issues. Previously, Robin Lunge, who serves as director of health care reform, was the top administration official working exclusively on health care reform issues.

In his new capacity Miller will serve as Shumlin’s point person on health care. 

He says he’ll be responsible for making sure all the dots are connected as Vermont moves toward a single payer system of health 

"Many, many people throughout state government are working on individual elements of this," Miller said. "My goal over the first couple of months is simply to understand what they are working on, what critical decisions need to be made and what those dependencies are."

In January, Gov. Shumlin tapped Miller to work on the troubled roll-out of the Vermont Health Connect Website. The work involved negotiating a new contract with the company that designed the site.

Miller has a background in business and served as CEO of two Vermont companies before joining the administration.

Patricia Moulton, a former labor commissioner and deputy secretary of commerce, will replace Miller as the secretary of commerce.

Moulton is a former Deputy Secretary of Commerce and served as Labor Commissioner under Gov. Jim Douglas. Shumlin said that the move will help the state’s economy as well as the continuing efforts to smooth out early problems in health care reform.

“The most important thing we can do for Vermont’s economy and our ability to grow jobs is to get health care and economic development right. Lawrence and Pat will help us do that,” he said.

The staffing changes will go into effect at the beginning of June, though Miller has already been working on health care reform issues since January.

Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.
Taylor was VPR's digital reporter from 2013 until 2017. After growing up in Vermont, he graduated with at BA in Journalism from Northeastern University in 2013.
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