Single-payer option dead in Vermont, still alive in other states

Although the single-payer model failed to progress in Vermont, it doesn't mean that single payer is gone for good. Other states are still considering single-payer options--and they can learn from Vermont's experience to help their models succeed, reported Politico.

Last week, Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) said he was pulling the plug for now on Vermont's unique plan for creating a single-payer healthcare system by 2017, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. Shumlin signed Vermont's single-payer law in May 2011.

The result in Vermont merely is a "small speed bump," said New York Assembly member Richard Gottfried, who has been supporting single-payer bills for more than 20 years, according to Politico.

Likewise, Andrew McGuire, president of California OneCare, a single-payer activist center, said he wasn't surprised that Vermont halted its single-payer approach. "There ultimately has to be so much pressure that it's like a volcano goes off and it happens, and that pressure has to be deep and wide in the voting public."

McGuire also doesn't think Vermont's decision to halt its single-payer efforts will affect New York's attempt to pass single-payer legislation. "New York is a dramatically larger state with a much wealthier economy," he added.

In addition to New York, single-payer bills have been introduced in Illinois, Washington, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania. In California, single-payer activists are trying to recruit members to the AllCare Alliance, an organization that wants to push for a federal waiver to create a single-payer system in the state.

"We're looking for some very, very, very deep pockets" to fund grass-roots education, McGuire said--though he added that he doesn't expect to see tangible results for at least five years.

To learn more:
- read the Politico article