Vermont Information

Posted on Monday, September 9, 2013

By Peter Hirschfeld | Vermont Public Radio
Gov. Peter Shumlin said increases in the payroll tax will “play a major role” in the public financing system he wants to use to fund single-payer health care.

Posted on Monday, August 12, 2013

By Ethan Parke | Solutions
In 1998, Dr. Deb Richter began, almost single handedly, to revive the dream of universal health care in the United States — open to all and paid for by the government. A primary care physician from Buffalo, New York, Richter had become outraged by the barriers to accessing quality health care in the city’s low-income communities.

Posted on Tuesday, July 30, 2013

By Andrew Stein | Vtdigger.org
Gov. Peter Shumlin put Vermont on a path to creating the nation’s first single payer health care system when he signed Act 48 in 2011. But since then, his administration has made little progress up that mountain, drawing questions and accusations from the far political left and right about the governor’s sincerity.

Posted on Friday, April 5, 2013

By Laura K. Grubb, M.D. | The New England Journal of Medicine
In May 2011, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed legislation to implement Green Mountain Care (GMC), a single-payer, publicly financed, universal health care system. Vermont's reform law passed 15 months after the historic federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law. In passing reforms, Vermont took matters into its own hands and is well ahead of most other states in its efforts to implement federal and state health care reforms by 2014.

Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013

By Leslie Wright | Vermont Life
In May 2011, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed legislation that set the state on a path toward its own brand of health care, a made-in-Vermont “single-payer” system that would leave no Vermont resident without insurance. Many hurdles remain, but the target date is 2017. If successful, the plan would be the first of its kind in the country and a historic change in the way health care is delivered in the United States.

Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013

By Vermont Health Care for All
The Shumlin administration presented a report on financing single payer to the legislature on January 24, 2013. It once again demonstrates that we can have comprehensive health care coverage for every Vermonter and also achieve substantial savings when federal law allows us to implement a single payer system in 2017.

Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013

By Andrew Stein | Vtdigger.org
Gov. Peter Shumlin recommended two fiscal measures to the Legislature on Thursday that would mitigate rising health care costs, but would not prevent hikes for lower-income Vermonters.

Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013

By Andrew Stein | Vtdigger.org (Montpelier, Vt.)
The Shumlin administration released two financing plans Thursday evening: one for funding a publicly financed health care system and another to pay for portions of the state’s new health benefit exchange.

Posted on Friday, January 25, 2013

By Marvin Malek, M.D. | Times-Argus (Barre, Vt.)
Kudos to the grant writers at Vermont’s Dept. of Health Access for obtaining $156 million from the federal government to assist with the implementation of the health exchange, the new insurance marketplace scheduled to go online in October 2013 as part of Obamacare.

Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012

By Walter Carpenter | Burlington Free Press
I would like to endorse the Burlington Free Press’s endorsement of single-payer in Aki Soga’s editorial, “Give single-payer a try” (Sept. 28). As Mr. Soga suggested, Vermont has to move forward rather than backward and to finally come to grips with how health care is for us, the people, and not to benefit the profit margins of health insurance corporations, as it is now and which Sen. Brock’s plan would almost certainly enhance.

Posted on Thursday, September 27, 2012

By Peggy Anna Carey, M.D. | Vtdigger.org
Fletcher Allen Health Care and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center have formed their new accountable care organization (ACO) called OneCare Vermont. The stated vision is “a statewide network with a coordinated clinical model and toolset … to enhance the quality of the care provided to Vermont’s Medicare beneficiaries while remaining good stewards of health care expenditures …”

Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012

By Ethan Parke | Vtdigger (Montpelier, Vt.)
Single payer critics warn that Vermont should not go forward with Green Mountain Care because there are too many unknowns. But one thing is certain — if we do nothing, health care expenditures in Vermont (from all sources) are expected to reach $10 billion a year by the year 2020. That’s a back-breaking $16,000 per person, which could very well doom our economy.

Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012

By Bob Kinzel | Vermont Public Radio
Vermont’s Green Mountain Care Board, established by state law in May 2011 and given new powers last spring, is taking over responsibility for virtually every aspect of health care in the state. This month’s project for the new regulatory board: How much hospital budgets should go up on an annual basis.

Posted on Thursday, July 5, 2012

Vermont Physicians for a National Health Program The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the bulk of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate. They affirmed that health care may be financed through taxation. The worst insurance abuses are being curtailed. Americans will benefit from reforms Vermont has enjoyed for years. Many people without insurance, especially young adults and people with low incomes, will gain health care coverage.

Posted on Friday, June 29, 2012

By DAVE GRAM | Associated Press
Vermont’s push for universal, publicly funded, single-payer health care is going ahead no matter what, Gov. Peter Shumlin said Thursday, but he hailed the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the federal Affordable Care Act as a big boost for the state’s efforts.

Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

By Mike Miliard | Government Health IT
"The Affordable Care Act doesn't do a whole heck of a lot for Vermont," says Deb Richter, MD, president of Vermont Healthcare For All. "Most of the provisions in it, we've already done. It's kind of a shame, in a way. We would have momentum, and probably could've gotten further with single-payer, if the ACA had not happened."

Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Vermont for Single Payer

Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012

By Richard Davis | The Brattleboro Reformer
A sensible person might think that promoting a health care system that covers everyone with a basic benefits package that everyone can afford would be an easy sell. In some parts of the world entire populations have seen the wisdom of universal health care, but not here. It's about politics and it's about preserving the free market at all costs, even if people die in the process.

Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012

By The Associated Press | Bennington (Vt.) Banner
MONTPELIER (AP) -- The Vermont Senate on Tuesday passed stage two of the state's push to get as close as it can to a universal, single-payer health care system by late in this decade.

Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2012

By Marvin Malek, M.D. | Vtdigger.org, March 29, 2012
Federal policy should also begin to incorporate a comprehensive cost control strategy into their HIT policy. Neglecting the cost issue has led electronic health records adoption in the U.S. to have taken the most expensive possible route. So long as the electronic health records policy remains balkanized in the private sector, electronic health records costs will remain extremely high.

Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2012

By Jason Kelley, M.D. | The Stowe (Vt.) Reporter, March 22, 2012
Among the scare tactics he musters about Vermont’s novel legislation is the claim that untold numbers of doctors will “flee” Vermont when it is implemented. There are simply no data to support this assertion.

Posted on Thursday, March 22, 2012

By Kathryn Flagg | Seven Days (Burlington, Vt.), March 21, 2012
“What I’m seeing right now is that they’re having their shills, the people they’re influencing, try to raise doubts about how the state will pay for universal coverage and what will happen to taxes,” Wendell Potter says. “They’ll try to … get Vermonters to second-guess themselves.”

Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012

By Marvin Malek, M.D. | Vermont for Single Payer
Vermonters are now being subjected to the most intense, well-funded propaganda campaign I have ever seen in Vermont.

Posted on Monday, March 5, 2012

By Doug Trapp | Amednews
Vermont is making significant progress toward implementing its own health insurance exchange, but transforming that marketplace into a truly universal health care program could prove to be very difficult, judging by recent compromises on the issue by Gov. Peter Shumlin.

Posted on Friday, February 17, 2012

By Ellen Oxfeld | Vtdigger.org
There has been a lot of discussion about the exchange – about bronze, silver and platinum plans. Vermont is required by federal law to implement the exchange in 2014. How can Vermont’s Legislature best configure the exchange? Many people are wondering what this all means for them.

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012

By Wendell Potter | iWatch News
MONTPELIER, Vt. — You can’t see them. They’re hidden from view and probably always will be. But the health insurance industry’s big guns are in place and pointed directly at the citizens of Vermont.

Posted on Monday, January 30, 2012

By Alan Panebaker | Vtdigger.org
The Shumlin administration and the Green Mountain Care Board introduced road maps Thursday for how they plan to implement health care reform.

Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2012

By Jessica Marcy | Kaiser Health News
Vermont lawmakers are taking steps to move the state toward a publicly-financed insurance program and craft a state health exchange, which is required by the 2010 federal health law and which state officials hope to use as the groundwork for their eventual move to a unique single-payer system.

Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012

As states attempt to set up single payer programs, one problem that comes up is how do you move federal funds from programs such as Medicare into the state single payer system? The simple answer is, you don't, at least not without getting Congress to enact transformative legislation.

Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012

By Susan Leigh Deppe, M.D. | Vtdigger.org
Opponents of Vermont’s new single-payer health law are fear-mongering about the supposed consequences of lack of “robust choice” in the health insurance marketplace. What they ignore is that health care doesn’t work like other “products.” It is better seen as a public good, like electricity. A publicly financed, single-payer system will actually give us more choice.

Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011

by Daniel Fireside | YES! Magazine
Deb Richter resolved to fix the health care system almost as soon as she began practicing medicine more than two decades ago in inner-city Buffalo. “I was very naive, I guess,” recalls Richter. “A lot of my patients didn’t have insurance. I would prescribe medicines for patients but they wouldn’t be able to afford them, and then they would just get sicker. I was mortified.”

Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011

By CHRIS GAROFOLO | Brattleboro Reformer
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Tuesday Vermont will receive more than $18 million to fund the design and development of a larger health benefits exchange to serve as the foundation for the state's future single-payer plan.

Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011

By Alan Panebaker | VTDigger
In reaction to the Shumlin administration’s push for a single-payer style health care system, doctors have resuscitated a bargaining group that will represent the interests of physicians.

Posted on Tuesday, November 8, 2011

By Hoag Levins | The LDI Health Economist
In the mid-1990s, Harvard health economist William Hsiao abandoned the U.S. health system as an area of study to focus his efforts on the health systems of other countries. The switch was motivated by frustration. "I gave up on the United States," said the 75-year-old China-born scholar who emigrated to this country as a teenager. "I did not do any more work on the U.S. because Washington politics were so driven by ideology, and money played such an important role in policy making, that I really couldn't contribute to it any more. The research I did just got pushed aside."

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2011

By John Buntin | Governing
At a time when states are struggling to comply with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Vermont's ambitious plan to create the nation's first single-payer health financing system might be hard to comprehend. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin sees this initiative as common sense. I recently had a chance to talk with Shumlin, an experienced legislator and small business owner, about why he thinks such radical change in health care is a necessity. An edited transcript follows.

Posted on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

By Wendell Potter | iWatchNews
Deb Richter knows from years of experience that you can’t take “no” as a final answer from your health insurer. You’ve got to fight back.

Posted on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

By Jessica Marcy | Kaiser Health News
Starting now, Vermont begins building a single-payer health system that will move many state residents into a publicly financed insurance program and pay hospitals, doctors and other providers a set fee to care for patients.

Posted on Friday, September 16, 2011

By Bram Kleppner | Burlington Free Press
With single-payer, Vermonters get better health, lower costs, more privacy, more freedom, a better economy and more jobs. Vermont companies get healthier and more motivated workers, a more flexible labor market, a better economy, lower costs, and more sales.

Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gov. Peter Shumlin today announced his appointments to the Green Mountain Care Board, a body that is central to the implementation of health reform in Vermont. The Board is responsible for creating the first single payer health care system in the country, which will control costs and guarantee coverage regardless of employment status.

Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

By Kevin Outterson, Professor of Law and Health Policy at Boston University | The Incidental Economist
H.202 passed the House 94-49 yesterday and Governor Shumlin promises to sign it. The Vermont law deserves some careful attention, but doesn’t appear to be creating much of a stir in Vermont itself – the lead story in this morning’s Burlington Free Press was flooding on Lake Champlain and the most popular story on the website was UVM students in an annual clothing-optional rite of spring.