Citing Costs, Vermont Shelves Single Payer Health System
Vermont will not push forward with its plan to launch a state-based single payer health care system in 2017, reports the Daily Caller.
Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin made the announcement on Wednesday, citing several factors.
Among the most important were changes in financing assumptions. Vermont had been counting on infusions of federal funding to buoy the program, but confirmed that it overshot its estimates by a whopping $311 million. Without the expected seed money of federal tax dollars there’s not enough start-up capital needed to get the project going.
The other blow to Vermont’s single payer scheme – to be called Green Mountain Care – is its lack of financial sustainability. In order to make the enterprise successful, Vermont would need to levy tax hikes like an 11.5 percent payroll tax and an income tax up to 9.5 percent. Those changes would likely kill business development in the state, eroding the tax base necessary to pay for Green Mountain Care.
Though the time, money and effort poured into this failed experiment have been costly, it will hopefully serve as a reality check for government officials to abandon the impossible and instead focus on implementing tangible policies that can improve lives now.