“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ignore Massachusetts' RomneyCare- Vermont Goes Full Speed Ahead On Single-Payer Healthcare

You'd think that Massachusetts' travails with RomneyCare would cause any other state to think twice before attempting to move to a more government-run health care sector.

So it was surprising to read in an edition of the Wall Street Journal last week that Vermont

"is moving one step closer to a goal of its Democratic governor: a state-run health plan that would insure most of its 625,000 residents."

Well, first, it is Vermont. The only state, I believe, to send an avowed socialist, Bernie Sanders, to the US Senate.

But somehow, single-payer health care in the land of Ethan Alan's Green Mountain Boys seems, well, unpatriotic. And at odds with the idea of rugged individuals out in the hills for which the state is named.

Alas, that was then. Now it's government medical care for all.

The Journal article provides anecdotes describing various parties' reactions to the governor's plan.

"Darcie Johnston, founder of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom...says a single payer-style system would usher in the largest tax increase in the state's history. "It hasn't worked in multiple countries where it's been tried," she said."

"In liberal-leaning Vermont, even Republicans in the state legislature are open to the idea of emulating a single-payer system, though they quibble with how it is being set up."

"Instead of paying premiums, employers and workers likely would subsidize the plan through taxes. Gov. Shumlin says the administrative simplification of having one payer would save the state $500 million a year."

According to the Journal, about 7%, or slightly less than 44,000 of Vermont's residents currently lack health care. Apparently just giving them tax credits or vouchers with which to buy health insurance is a non-starter for Vermont's state legislators and governor.

Better, instead, to emulate Massachusetts, drive medical care providers out of the state with lower reimbursements and bureaucratic oversight and care allocation, while experiencing soaring state spending on the experiment.

What's that old line about insanity- trying the same thing over and over, while expecting different results?

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