Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) has announced he will abandon his plan to create the nation’s first state-based single-payer health care system. The governor said the project, four years in the making, came apart after a failure to come up with a feasible way to finance the plan. The governor said he determined the tax increases required for it to work would be far too great for Vermont’s economy to withstand.
The following statements from health care policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000.
“Governor Shumlin finally admitted what the critics of his single-payer plan had been saying for years – there’s simply no feasible way to finance it without taxes that would devastate the Vermont economy. It should be clear by now that if you’re unhappy with the pre- or post-Obamacare status quo in health care, the only realistic and viable direction for real reform is towards markets and not the central planning that single-payer entails.”
Research Fellow, Health Care
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Health Care News
“The failure of Vermont’s single-payer health care system is inevitable. Single-payer systems base their costs on government fiat, not what consumers need and are willing to spend. The program’s creators greatly underestimated the costs of implementing and maintaining a single-payer health insurance system. A central problem is the failure of the legislature to establish a revenue source to cover the huge costs of Green Mountain Care. The only answer to this funding problem is a massive tax hike, which would harm the state’s economy and anger voters.
“Instead of imposing a massive, costly government-run health care system, Vermont should empower individuals by giving them more control over the dollars spent on their behalf. The Veterans Administration (VA) provides a glimpse into the future of a single-payer system: Despite receiving billions of dollars in increased funding since 2007, the VA continues to run short of money.”
Senior Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute
The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.