• The state you’re not hearing about

    Every time a state rejects a million (not billion) dollar grant from the PPACA, it seems to make national news. Every time a state decides not to start up an exchange, it’s seen as a slap in the face to reform. Every time a governor demands more flexibility to move towards less coverage or fewer benefits, it’s all over the Internet.

    I’m not hearing nearly as much about Vermont.

    You remember Vermont, right? Smallish state in the Northeast? First state to join the union after the original thirteen colonies? Produces a lot of maple syrup?

    And now a hair’s breath away from establishing a single payer health care system. Here’s a link to a local article on the Senate approving the bill 21-9. I can’t find any juicy parts to quote, because other than the title, the words “single-payer” don’t even appear in its text. Nowhere in the piece is there even a description of what a single-payer system is, or how this might be different than any other health care system. It’s bizarre.

    The last time I heard anything about this bill was when the Vermont House passed it 92-49. The text of that article does contain the term “single-payer” once. It also contains “socialism” once.

    All that’s left for this bill to become Vermont law is for the governor to sign it. He will. He won his primary by trying to be the more fervent supporter of a single-payer health care system.

    As we’ve discussed before, Vermont will need to get a waiver from the federal government to run this, but there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t under the current administration. True, a more conservative future administration might try to block the law, but that will be hard to justify under a “state’s right”s mantra. And there are still issues about how to pay for the system.

    But this movement is closer to actual law than anything else I’m seeing, and there’s barely any talk about it at all. I find that odd.


    • We keep hearing about a liberal bias in media so there should be lots of publicity about this “socialized” takeover of health care.
      Perhaps there is, instead, a conservative bias in media which is choosing to ignore this story.

    • And now a hair’s breath away from establishing a single payer health care system.

      This great news for experimenting at the state level. I think that either health care reform needs to be done at the state level or medical licensing and regulation needs to passed to the federal Government.

      The big question is what mechanism (besides the bad weather in Vermont) is in the bill to keep people with high projected medical bills from flooding this small sate. If many diabetics and others could choose to move to state it could be a problem.

      I would like to see one state to offer single payer with very high deductibles.

    • If you find the lack of coverage surprising, you haven’t been paying attention to US media for a while.

    • Unsure of the Liberal Bias? They refuse to celebrate the right of Sovereign States to determine their own healthcare systems. Traditional liberals/non-Republican conservatives celebrate any initiatives by states to assert themselves and by-pass the Federal Government. Perhaps the small, nearly all-white residents of Vermont will enjoy their single-payer system, and attract people from other states that find that appealing. Other, more diverse states will choose a plan approved by their constitutes. Because our blog authors don’t claim to know what’s right for others or how others ought to live, they’d never support implementing a single plan for everyone–they’d want the scope of en-FORCE-ment to be small. Ain’t States’ Rights (i.e. diversity and choice) Grand! Good for Vermont! How about Arizona now? Imagine: A State managing its own affairs. No wonder the Liberal Press is quiet.

      • Potentially 50 different single payer systems, I think would not enjoy the efficiencies of (at the very least) regional buying power, let alone national power.

        I get the whole States rights thing, and Romneycare IS different from Obamacare, but at some point, the recognition that we’re a country and in todays world seek to band together to our mutual advantage shouldn’t always equal Socialism claims…

    • So Richard,
      It’s OK for States to adopt single payer and force everyone in that state to comply and this is not imposing a socialist dictatorship but when the Federal government does the same thing, it is bad? I really don’t see any difference between the two. In each case you have elected governments deciding on how to run social programs. I’m sure there are some people in Vermont who don’t like what they are doing but are being forced to comply.
      What about “Village Rights”?

      • @ Mark, It is much, much easier for to move from one USA state to another than from one country to another. Canada will not even take most of us. Neither is a sure thing that Mexico will allow you to work there.