Vermont implements single-payer healthcare system

This would have been my preferred method (not to mention the simplest method) for bringing our country to universatl healthcare coverage.

The ACA provided states with federal funds to institute a Medicaid expansion.  The states chose to expand the program also were able to set up their own state exchanges, which were relatively free from the problems the federal site had.  Vermont decided to take it a step further by setting up their very own single payer system.

The slogan of the program: Everybody in, nobody out.

The program will be fully operational by 2017, and will be funded through Medicare, Medicaid, federal money for the ACA given to Vermont, and a slight increase in taxes.  In exchange, there will be no more premiums, deductibles, copay’s, hospital bills or anything else aimed at making insurance companies a profit.  Further, all hospitals and healthcare providers will now be nonprofit.

This system will provide an instant boost the state economy.  On the one side, you have workers that no longer have to worry about paying medical costs or a monthly premium and are able to use that money for other things.  On the other side, you have the burden of paying insurance taken off of the employers side, who will be able to use the saved money to provide a better wage and/or reinvest in their company through updated infrastructure and added jobs.  It is a win-win solution.

As I’ve noted before, the health care reform we got in the form of the Affordable Care Act was not how I would have gone about bringing universal (or near-universal) health care coverage to our nation, because it’s far more complicated and far less efficient than simply expanding Medicaid, reforming prescription drug benefits, and moving towards an outcome-based health care model, rather than a model that focuses on excessive testing and procedures simply to pad bills.


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18 thoughts on “Vermont implements single-payer healthcare system

  1. This is great news. Explains why Sanders voted for the ACA. Will
    people start moving to Vermont?

  2. So what happens to Vermont if the Republicans get ACA defunded? If no more Medicaid funds, will Vermont be able to continue their single pay universal program? We can’t allow the Republicans and the Insurance companies to snooker the President and national Democrats on this issue.

    Somehow we’ve got to get through this. If states can eventually turn the program into single payer, then that may be the way to go. But we’ve got to get people on board now or the economy will never improve for most Americans.

    Democrats abandoned the issue during the last campaign and Republicans now believe they can absolutely get them to abandon it now. It’s their only real issue and their not going to stop until they win or get voted out of office.

    1. Cat,

      Obamacare in its current iteration uses the IRS (via the employer mandate and individual mandate) to FORCE people to buy LOUSY coverage.

      Would encourage you to consider that most people don’t like the idea of the IRS forcing them to buy stuff.

      Drop the employer and individual mandates for a “public option,” that allows folks to BUY Medicare coverage. That provides real competition for the health insurance oligopoly.

      OT, interested in how Vermont defines “non-profit.”

      Blue Cross is “non-profit,” but they launder revenue into WellPoint which is for profit. Not surprisingly, WellPoint loves Obamacare.

      1. People are required to by automobile insurance and home insurance if they have a mortgage and everyone is happy about that. This “forced” buy is simply away to have cheaper insurance that is total insurance for all. If Democrats could look beyond their noses and see that businesses have to make money, we’d all be much better off. The reason we have the Republicans trying to privatize government is because unions and the poor “want their share” but are so jealous of anyone making a better living they resist sensible economic solutions. The Unions did this for years when they could and you see where they are today. the middle class and the Democratic party is going to continue to go down with the unions if we allow the ACA to fail. That’s simply a fact.

        Obama got snookered because the Insurance boys do their homework and knew that people a)are lazy and don’t make an effort to check fine print on policies and so hate having to sign up for policies; b)corporations and their legislative lackeys would fight to the end to keep the fantastic profits from healthcare being limited or even made competitive; and c)It would be easy to sabotage the huge rollout with incompetent or payed saboteur programmers and DDoS attacks on the website.

        We’re in a heap of trouble here, and hurt feelings because things didn’t go another way are not an option. ACA as is is a good solution only if we can get it fully implemented. Massachusetts is a living example of that. Please don’t be part of an already devastating problem.

          1. Cat, you just keep trusting those oligarchs. They’re looking out for you. /sarcasm

            It’s because I don’t trust them that I would very much like to see ACA work. While you just sit there in your warm bath water of sarcasm, throwing your rubber ducky at the wall in protest, those oligarchs have become exponentially more powerful with the added moguls around the world that the Citizen’s United decision brought in. The ACA, with state and federal oversight, has the opportunity to bring those cold, calculated interests into competition with each other over the largest most viable market in the world. This is, at least, at start in getting our Democracy back. But we have to unite and work for it to even have a chance.

            1. Cat: w/r/t

              “…The ACA, with state and federal oversight….”

              Oligarchs control the politicians and most of the leadership in federal agencies.

              Here’s the FDA rushing to you help you.


              And here’s the FDA doing sales for Big Pharma


              And in Wisconsin, you can depend on the state Supreme Court, led by chokehold Prosser to protect you.

              Ooops, oligarchs control them too.

              Then you wrote, “But we have to unite and work for it to even have a chance.”

              With whom are you planning on “uniting?”

              AFAIK, a ton of people, especially the young, are on the wrong side of the digital divide. The news they get is occasionally from AM radio or what they hear on the street. A lot of the rest of the people are working three jobs to stay alive. They can’t afford a newspaper and don’t have time to read it or blogs.

        1. “c)It would be easy to sabotage the huge rollout with incompetent or payed saboteur programmers and DDoS attacks on the website . . .”

          Well, lo and behold! Finally somebody else sees the big pink elephant stomping around the room. When I saw the earliest reports of people having trouble accessing the site, right wing hacking was the very first thing that entered my mind. Good grief, if the Republican mischief machine can hack the national and state election machinery they sure as hell can disrupt this item. And why wouldn’t they? Their audacity and desperation know no bounds.

          Not surprisingly, the media won’t go there anymore than they will report the pervasive and Republican-favoring election irregularities of the past decade.

          1. Charles,

            No DDoS attacks were necessary as failure to get an on line service up and running means immediate promotion for the executives to higher positions and automatic extractions of more public resources to “work,” on the problems yet to be, “solved.”

            The conspiracy that our chief Obomba apologist inferred might have happened is just that, a tin-foil hat conspiracy theory that goes directly counter to most government contracts with private industry.

            If you have yet to notice, your radical Republican POTUS is completely on board with selling out what is left of our democratic republic to private interests. No freaking mystery needed to explain the situation. Pick a topic, energy, the environment, military industrial, spy and war proliferation, banking and finance, and it is easy to find too many glaring examples to prove the point.

            1. I figure you’re right too. Two birds with one stone. The capitalist profiteers of the political/business machine almost always have multiple angles to all their rackets. It’s what they do. Just look at the pervasive, interwoven corruption throughout the Scott Walker regime. It’ll take the federal prosecutors years to untangle it all.

              I’m no Obama apologist. Far from it, I’m vastly disappointed in the guy, and embarrassed to admit I fell for the “Change You Can Believe In” bait. If he had shown any backbone at all, we’d have single payer already in effect (albeit probably having experienced similar “bugs” in the signup website).

              1. I hope you didn’t think I was inferring that you were the Obomba apologist, I was not.

                Cheers, will watch for your future comments. Thanks.

  3. The Vermont plan is working a lot better than Wisconsin’s! Ron Kind got it right this week in that its Governor Walker and the Republicans who choose to kick people off of Badgercare and decided to have heath insurance rates that are double what Minnesota pays. The Republicans need to fix it.

  4. I doubt the eleventy-dimensional chess master is being snookered by anyone from the insurance cartel, Cat. And for starters, none of your comparisons to other types of insurance are valid apples to apples comparisons with health insurance.

    I can drive my vehicle with inadequate insurance. I am not likely to get sufficient future required HEALTH CARE with an over-priced policy that states that I am only covered for 60% or 80% of my healthcare costs under ObombaDon’tCare (about anything but profits for the health insurance cartel). People will be put into a multi-tiered CARE level system based on what you can afford and/or you will live or die as a result of the severity of your illness.

    You fail to mention that rates for the aging population over 55 who will be priced out of ObombaDon’tCare and forced on to Medicaid as a more affordable option, who presently can still lose everything they still might have as shared assets with a spouse under the claw-back rules still in place, leaving a living partner destitute, have NOT changed. If you are wealthy this is less likely to be a problem. Old people need more care and the insurance cartels don’t want them and have the system rigged to drop them under ObombaDon’tCare.

    The only way to include everyone in a health-care system is to nationalize health care in this country and take the insurers out of the process completely and put everyone including legislators and their families, under the same standards of care, which means regulating prices and costs, socializing sufficient public education to provide adequate numbers of health care professionals to deal with the situation and a few other choice, “must,” do things to make it work.

    So tell us, is Mr Snookered either too stupid to be in the job he has, is he too inept to have selected learned advisers to counsel him, or is he in cahoots with the whole scheme of coercion to extract from and guarantee government taxpayer subsidies for their free market survival as a “competitive” enterprise. If there is another possibility for poor Barry that I’ve missed, fill us in, please. Oh wait, the possibility that he just does not give a rip about anyone but himself, almost forgot that one.

    Insurance provider, United Healthcare’s CEO took home over $1B in compensation last year, enough to provide approximately 24K women with no cost to them at all, HEALTH CARE for a year. Tell me again how we are supposed to fall in line to keep up those kinds of costs as taxpayers and still not have access to affordable HEALTH CARE.

    1. Sorry we can’t resurrect the Symbionese Liberation Army for you, Windmill, and offer you a simple solution to all our political and economic problems. You are aware, however, that the world is complex because you use that fact to make unsupportable claims about insurance and politicians’ motives. e.g., in Wisconsin, you can’t get a car loan unless you have a certain amount of insurance coverage. Same holds true for home loans. It only makes sense that some requirements are necessary for their to be adequate health insurance for all.

  5. Cat, I would be happy to respond further when you get beyond your derogatory and abusive name calling and actually figure out a way to respond to the points which I made. It is tough I know, when you cannot defend your previous BS. Not holding my breath but I am wondering why you have not yet been banned from the site.

    1. Not holding my breath but I am wondering why you have not yet been banned from the site.

      Yes, that’s always the wish of the small minded. Not satisfied with derogatory, incongruent statements, you want people (PJ) to quit posting or (me) banned for seeing you as the windbag you are.

      As far as calling you by the desecration of a classical work of literature you’ve chosen, I simply cannot do it. And as far as allowing you to excoriate the efforts of the one of the most just and couragous political leaders this country has seen, I will take any opportunity to expose your tripe to the best of my limited ability.

      e.g. despite the all out war against “Obamacare” by the GOP and conspiracy spouting radicals like you, ACA is succeeding and will succeed.

      And despite the all-out economic war against people in the Middle East whom the Saudis and Israelis fear–not for military but for economic reasons–peace and economic hope will come to Iran and Pakistan.

      All because our Democratic President has the courage, humility and will to see it through. And, yes, in-part by conferencing in the TPP.

  6. I recently suffered a major illness and was treated under Medicar. My wife then suffered a major heart attack and was treated under her family plan (Wellmark). Subsequently I reviewed the healthcare providers billings, allowable charges and fount that Medicare paid 87% of the billed amount and Wellmark allowed 32% of the billed amount, of which I was billed about $4000 for. How can a business be run when the major source of revenue only covers a fraction of their supposedly legitimate costs? Similarly an associate went to a local large pharmacy to refill an out of state prescription for a friend and was told it would cost about $250 for a months supply of a generic drug. This same prescription was supplied by a small pharmacy in state for $25 plus a nominal shipping fee. This is just two instances that are described in an open letter I am trying to circulate and outined in the website (facebook page)provided.
    Go Vermont!!

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