Single-payer on deck in Vermont

This from the state.

Affordable, comprehensive and quality health care is essential for the well-being of Vermonters. Health care costs are rising; access to affordable insurance is limited; and our health care system is not designed to promote wellness, manage chronic conditions, or provide consumers with information to make informed choices.

That is why Vermont created sweeping health care reform legislation in 2006, and additional legislation every year since.With over 60 specific initiatives, this reform is designed to increase accessimprove the quality, and contain cost of health care for Vermonters.  

 This from the May 6  Burlington Free Press:

MONTPELIER — Walter Carpenter received a text message Thursday morning alerting him to the final roll call vote on health care reform.

 Carpenter, 55, has been among the faithful followers of this legislation throughout the session, so he dashed the four blocks from his home to the Statehouse to witness passage of the bill.

“I was choked up,” Carpenter said describing how he felt when House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morristown, announced the 94-49 vote that points Vermont toward a consolidated health care system covering all residents.

And, a few comments:

Here we go again…. spending money we don’t have. I need to pack up an move, Vt is no longer the state I grew up in and am ashamed of the direction it is going in. Everyone already knows that if you want to live for free and suck off the social system and be a drain on the local economy to move to VT. Keep it up Montpelier, with the way you are going there won’t be anyone left in this state

More here from the Globe:

As soon as 2017, Vermont could become the first state to provide and pay for insurance for most of its residents under a plan passed by the Legislature Thursday. But it must first clear several significant hurdles, including persuading the federal government to allow the state to assume responsibility for Medicare and Medicaid enrollees and finding a way to pay for the program.

Lots of comments there too, including a few in support of the plan:

Before we hear the usual cries of socialism and the ruination of state budgets some reflection on this legislation is in order. The proposal by the Vermont government has been carefully studied and the potential savings are enormous. It will also continue the same level of care, perhaps better. By any analysis even those who may have to temporarily pay more will eventually show benefit. Globally paid for health insurance will attract a more productive work force and businesses to the state. It will be an economic boon to the Green Mountain State, not the opposite.

Once the bureaucratic structure is streamlined and medical providers can be assured of payment proper structuring of health delivery can be accomplished. For decades now interfering forces have stymied a process that mis-matches financial resources with needed care. It is time it ended.

Government officials and some media have taken the position that cost shifting solves our problem. It does not. Being without insurance or having inadequate insurance is deadly. This approach should finally be put to rest. 

For more on the proposal in Vermont: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/jfo/healthcaresystemdesign.aspx

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