Vermont abandons single-payer health care

Published December 18, 2014

Over the past week I’ve had the opportunity to really look at the numbers behind what it would take in terms of taxes to finance a single-payer health plan in both Vermont and New York. After only a few hours, I came to a single conclusion – no politician in their right mind would propose doubling taxes in their state, which is (at least) what it would take.

Today I found out that Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, longtime advocate of single-payer health care who planned to roll out his financing plan within the next few weeks, is abandoning his plans because of the high tax burden it would impose:

Shumlin: Single-payer ‘greatest disappointment of my political life’

MONTPELIER, VT. — Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Wednesday he has called off his plans for single-payer health care in Vermont for 2015, saying “now is not the right time.”

At a mysteriously unannounced news conference at the Statehouse, Shumlin said he received the final modeling for financing single-payer health care on Tuesday and concluded the taxes required to fund a publicly financed system were simply unaffordable.

“As we completed the financing modeling in the last several days, it became clear that the risk of economic shock is too high at this time to offer a plan I can responsibly support for passage in the Legislature,” Shumlin said…

However misguided Governor Shumlin was in pursuing this path, the people of Vermont should thank him for recognizing the reality and pulling back from what would have been an ecoomic catastrophe.