New chairman has qualifications
Mr. Peter Yankowski’s letter, “Is he best man for job,” (Rutland Herald, April, 12) seemed, at best, shortsighted. Mr. Yankowski questioned the qualifications of Mr. Al Gobeille to lead the Green Mountain Health Care Board after Ms. Anya Radar Wallack’s, the board’s current chair, resignation takes effect in September.
Mr. Gobeille is a member of the Green Mountain Care Board. He was appointed chair of the board by Gov. Shumlin, who Mr. Yankowski accuses of a “ready, fire, aim” leadership style. While this is an open question, it completely ignores some salient points about Mr. Gobeille’s appointment to chair the board and his experience in health care reform. I have worked with him on unemployment issues several years ago.
“So what are Mr. Gobeille’s other qualifications for this most important job,” Mr. Yankowski asked. “He operates three Burlington area restaurants and served on the board of directors for the Visiting Nurses Association.”
The answer should be self-evident. As a small business owner, Mr. Gobeille has frontline experience of the myriad injustices our health care debacle inflicts, especially on smaller employers and their employees. This alone should help equalize Mr. Gobeille’s lack of a scholarly background in health care — a background no doubt broadened considerably by his work on the board to date. Mr. Gobeille also has three fellow board members with him (with another member to be selected) with decades of work behind them in health care practice and policy.
The governor made a wise choice in Mr. Gobeille to lead the Green Mountain Care Board. Excessively tough decisions no doubt lay ahead. We can meet and surpass them if we have the moral and political courage to do it. Mr. Gobeille has both.