March 19, 2007
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — A few short years ago, state officials were forecasting the doom-and-gloom scenario that Vermont’s Medicaid budget would be $500 million in the red within five years.
While the news today still isn’t great, it’s a lot better than it could have been, according to Vermont Agency of Human Services (AHS) Secretary Cynthia D. LaWare. Thanks to a special waiver that allows Vermont to oversee the spending of its federal Medicaid dollars, along with recently implemented health care programs that stress preventative care over acute care, state officials have readjusted their Medicaid deficit projection to $100 million.
Medicaid was just one of several health care issues discussed by LaWare during a far-ranging interview at the Addison Independent on Thursday.
“To the extent we can diagnose and treat illnesses early on, it can have a dramatic affect on acute care costs,” LaWare said of her agency’s current strategy.
March 19, 2007
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
ADDISON COUNTY — After a winter that remained warm well into January, no one knew what to expect for Vermont’s sugaring season. But now that the area has had a sustained cold period followed by a few thaws, those who feared what the unpredictable weather would mean for one of Vermont’s iconic industries can breathe a sigh of relief.
So far, local sugarmakers say, the season is getting started only a few days later than average, and the sap is as sweet as ever.
“The flavor is wonderful,” said Sam Cutting Sr. of Dakin Farms in Ferrisburgh. “Now we need the weather to get straightened out.”
Barbara Rainville of Lincoln said that her family had expected to start earlier than usual until cold weather arrived around the middle of January. The recent sub-zero weather has delayed them a little, but she thinks it will have little or no overall effect.