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Vermont Hospital Officials Criticize Open Meetings Bill

The Shumlin administration and the state hospital association are both expressing opposition to a bill that would apply Vermont's open meetings law to hospitals.

Backers like the group Vermont Health Care For All say the state spends nearly $1 billion a year in public money on hospitals each year, so the public has a keen interest in their operations.

The idea drew criticism Wednesday both from Robin Lunge, the administration's director of health reform, and from Jill Olson, lobbyist for the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.

They say the state Constitution requires open government meetings, but that hospitals are private, nonprofit organizations.

Lawmakers have been looking for ways to increase transparency around health costs.

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