Vermont’s singlepayer system reminds progressives of final goal


The Democratic governor of Vermont wants a single-payer health system for his state and, today, he plans to sign a bill that would advance that goal.

The bill Gov. Peter Shumlin plans to sign on Thursday would create a panel whose goal would be to figure out how to pay for a new system intended to reduce the rate of overall health-cost increases. …

Vermont’s idea is based on the concept of a health system where a public entity funds all care. It is popular among liberals in the U.S. and common abroad. …

Figuring out exactly how the plan would be financed is the job of the five-member board. The governor’s office says new taxes would account for some of the cost.

Instead of paying premiums, employers and workers likely would subsidize the plan through taxes. Gov. Shumlin says the administrative simplification of having one payer would save the state $500 million a year.

Spurred by the possibility of this state-level “success,” progressive groups have mounted pressure on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to grant the state of Vermont an Obamacare waiver — an ironically necessary step to establish a single-payer system in the state.

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