Single-Payer Falls Apart In Vermont

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin


Vermont, which is an extraordinarily liberal state with at least one openly socialist senator, was at one time regarded as America’s frontrunner for single-payer healthcare. But that frontrunner status just changed.

Single-payer, a disastrous idea on dozens of different levels, means that everyone pays for everyone else’s healthcare, and Vermont has just discovered one of the reasons that single-payer is, in fact, disastrous: taxes must rise.

Quoting the liberal mag Politico:

Advocates of a “Medicare for all” approach were largely sidelined during the national Obamacare debate. The health law left a private insurance system in place and didn’t even include a weaker “public option” government plan to run alongside more traditional commercial ones.

So single-payer advocates looked instead to make a breakthrough in the states. Bills have been introduced from Hawaii to New York; former Medicare chief Don Berwick made it a key plank of his unsuccessful primary race for Massachusetts governor.

Vermont under Shumlin became the most visible trailblazer. Until Wednesday, when the governor admitted what critics had said all along: He couldn’t pay for it.

“It is not the right time for Vermont” to pass a single-payer system, Shumlin acknowledged in a public statement ending his signature initiative. He concluded the 11.5 percent payroll assessments on businesses and sliding premiums up to 9.5 percent of individuals’ income “might hurt our economy.”

Vermont’s outcome is a “small speed bump,” said New York Assembly member Richard Gottfried, who’s been pushing single-payer bills for more than 20 years. But opponents says it’s the end of the road.

“If cobalt blue Vermont couldn’t find a way to make single-payer happen, then it’s very unlikely that any other state will,” said Jack Mozloom, spokesman for the National Federation of Independent Business.

“There will never be a good time for a massive tax increase on employers and consumers in Vermont, so they should abandon that silly idea now and get serious,” Mozloom added.


Might hurt the economy, Governor? I think you can bet your health on it.



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