The Single-Payer System – A Total Flop in Vermont

Posted by Jack

The single-payer system is the holy grail of the left-wings most ideal healthcare system.  It was going to be oh so much better and less expensive than the hybrid-socialist-ObamaCare and it was to cover everybody for everything and do it for almost nothing!  This is where Obamacare really wanted to go when it grows up, but he knew we would have to be phased into it.  Then Vermont came along, tried it and spoiled the dream!   Single-payer was a flop.   It proved to be horrendously expensive, so much so, that it was about to bankrupt the State and the democrat gov. had to swallow his pride an call and end to the dream.  He said it was the toughest decision he ever had to make… poor guy.

Here’s the story from Forbes:  ”

Last week, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D.) announced that he was pulling the plug on his four-year quest to impose single-payer, government-run health care on the residents of his state. “In my judgment,” said Shumlin at a press conference, “the potential economic disruption and risks would be too great to small businesses, working families, and the state’s economy.” The key reasons for Shumlin’s reversal are important to understand. They explain why the dream of single-payer health care in the U.S. is dead for the foreseeable future—but also why Obamacare will be difficult to repeal.

Leading left-wing economists worked on Vermont plan

Shumlin’s predecessor in Montpelier was a Republican, Jim Douglas. In 2009, Douglas announced that he would not be seeking a fifth two-year term; five Democrats joined the contest to replace him. Progressive activists demanded that each candidate promise to enact single-payer health care if nominated; all five complied. Shumlin got the nod, and assumed office in January 2011.

Shumlin got right to work. In Feburary 2011, a trio of health economists, including Harvard’s William Hsiao and MIT’s Jonathan Gruber, sent Vermont a 203-page report describing the feasibility, and the alleged virtues, of single-payer in the state. Gruber signed a $400,000 contract to work with Vermont on the project.

For more on this story, click here.


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18 Responses to The Single-Payer System – A Total Flop in Vermont

  1. Chris says:

    The article itself seems to point out the unfeasability of implementing single payer at the state level. It’s much better to look at how single payer is doing in other Western countries.

  2. Peggy says:

    And in our own state of Taxornia our state senate passed a bill out of committee to give illegals health care at a $1billion cost.

    CA Legislature Offers $1 Billion to Extend Obamacare to Illegal Aliens:

    “The California Senate’s Appropriations Committee passed SB 4 to give health care to all illegal/undocumented aliens. Breitbart News estimates that based on the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office projections, SB 4 will cost at least $1 billion, and the cost will undoubtedly go much higher over time.

    With the state’s fiscal year winding down through June 30th, Sacramento politicians are furiously competing to spend a piece of the state’s $3 billion in “surplus” cash. On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee only rejected about a quarter of the 283 active bills, while the Assembly committee rejected only a third of their 421 bills.

    But in a major move, the Democrat-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee amended and passed SB 4 on a 5-2 party line vote. The original “Bill Summary” said, “SB 4 would extend Medi-Cal eligibility to individuals who would otherwise be eligible, except for their immigration status.” The amended bill requires the state Health and Human Services agency to apply for federal authorization to offer “unsubsidized” healthcare coverage through California’s Obamacare exchange called Covered California.

    Although the amendment’s author, Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), described the legislation as a limited enrollment healthcare program that is not a state “entitlement,” the bill directly extends free Medi-Cal access to those under the age of 19 and provides California taxpayer-funded free or highly subsidized coverage equivalent to Medi-Cal.

    Sen. Lara told the LA Times, “Today’s vote represents a historic step forward on the path towards achieving health for all.” He added, “Ensuring that everyone in California is healthy is what’s right for our state.” But after California adopted Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in 2013, Medi-Cal already grew 33 percent to 12.2 million beneficiaries.

    Because former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder estimated Medicaid fraud was running at 20 percent, and the Office of Inspector General says California is the worst state, Democrat legislators emphasize that SB 4 will require higher-income illegal aliens to buy insurance from Covered California and pay for the premiums.

    But the statistics regarding illegal/undocumented aliens’ willingness to comply with U.S. laws are shockingly poor. The Executive Office for Immigration Review reported that from 2003 to 2012, the percentage of all aliens that failed to show up for their immigration hearing after being released on their own recognizance averaged about 30 percent. But in the last year, the non-compliance rate skyrocketed to over 90 percent.

    Currently, at least 858,779 non-detained aliens are deportable. But many have not been deported because they have “dropped off the radar,” according to the Center for Immigration Studies.”


    And then we have this from 2013 telling us this has been in the works for several years.

    California Asks Obama to Welcome Illegal Aliens to ObamaCare:

    “Fortunately for California, the unjustified fear of illegal aliens that they will be deported if they go on ObamaCare is the only thing keeping its Medicaid budget from going up in a puff of smoke.

    Unfortunately Covered California is on a mission to do just that and so it’s asking Obama to make a public statement that illegal aliens are free to go on ObamaCare.

    Enrollment numbers aren’t in yet, but the Obama administration already knows it has fewer Latinos signed up than it would like.

    26.7% of California Latinos are already on Medicaid. Why bother with ObamaCare’s clunky website when you’re already on Medicaid?

    One of the reasons they’re not enrolling? People in mixed-immigration status families worry personal information submitted under the Affordable Care Act could be used to deport someone in their family.

    Obama’s hyper-tough immigration enforcement has already jumped into action to assure illegal aliens that they can get all the ObamaCare they want without being deported.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has issued a letter assuring people that information submitted as part of applying for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act will not be used for immigration enforcement.

    But it’s just not good enough…

    But Daniel Zingale, senior vice president with the California Endowment, says this assurance isn’t enough. “I think something from the president himself would be helpful,” he told Victoria Colliver of the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Martinez added it would be especially useful to have something in Spanish.

    Bloomberg does Spanish statements. Obama can rewrite his teleprompter for some Spanish and make an announcement to all of Mexico.

    The White House certainly has motivation to publicize and emphasize these assurances to the Latino population, whose enrollment is considered key to the success of the Affordable Care Act’s rollout. Younger and healthier than the average uninsured American, Latinos would help create a balanced and affordable health insurance pool.

    50% Medicaid here we come.”

  3. Pie Guevara says:

    Looks like Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin did his homework and, unlike progressives, lives in the real world and cares about his fellow citizens.

    You have to admire his courage and forthrightness — “In my judgment the potential economic disruption and risks would be too great to small businesses, working families, and the state’s economy.

    Of course, the well respected and renown English major economist thinks he knows what is best for Vermont, knows better than the professional economists from Harvard and MIT who did the study, and knows better than Governor Peter Shumlin. 😀

  4. Pie Guevara says:

    Interesting how one of the architects, Harvard’s William Hsiao “spent a good chunk of his career helping governments install single-payer systems; for example, he helped the Taiwanese government install “Medicare for all” in 1995.”

    Despite Hsiao credentials and experience with other countries’ single-payer systems the “Green Mountain” boys screwed it up.

    It is fortunate that those economic analysts working for Vermont examining Green Mountain caught on to the blatant and several flaws in it.

    • Post Scripts says:

      And the thing of it is, the single payer system sounds good. It should be efficient and cost cutting. In fact it sounded almost too good to be true.

  5. Chris says:

    Pie Guevara: “Of course, the well respected and renown English major economist thinks he knows what is best for Vermont”

    I thought it was clear from my comment that I was saying single payer does NOT work at a state level, and would be more feasible on the federal level. I apologize for the confusion.

  6. Peggy says:

    Looks like things aren’t going well in the other states with premiums going up. The largest increase over 50%. No mention about any insurance co. lowering their rates, which I would assume they would mention if they had.

    How ‘Affordable’ Will Health Insurance Be in 2016?:

    “For consumers purchasing health insurance under the Affordable Care Act next year, plans may no longer be quite as “affordable” as they were in the past.

    Health insurance companies around the country are providing states with their proposed premium rates for 2016, and changes include rate hikes of up to 51 percent in New Mexico and more than 30 percent in Maryland and Tennessee.

    The proposed rate changes come as the Supreme Court prepares to deliver its ruling on the case King v. Burwell, which will determine if consumers purchasing insurance on the federal exchange are eligible for subsidies, and as Republicans continue to push for a full repeal of the health care law.

    “This is going to be a phenomenon of insurers that priced more optimistically instead of defensively,” Ed Haislmaier, a senior research fellow in health policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal of providers with hefty rate increases.”

  7. Tina says:

    Single payer does not work anywhere for the simple reason that there is zero incentive to make it work and incredible opportunity for waste fraud and abuse!

    Socialists don’t care. Their goal is power and control over the people not affordable healthcare for all.

    Pipe dreams shape the views of most liberals. Reason and facts that contradict the dream are simply dismissed.

    Something for nothing with big government in charge to make it “fair” is a childish point of view void of all reason.

    • Post Scripts says:

      Tina, I agree of course. America is built on competition, we can’t remove that from democracy or we won’t have a democracy (republic). Hope you are feeling better these days?

  8. Pie Guevara says:

    Re #6 Chris: No, what you posted was this, (snip) “It’s much better to look at how single payer is doing in other Western countries.”

    Your reading comprehension scores a zero, English major. Or you just did not bother to read the Forbes article. A principle architect of Green Mountain had a background of developing single payer systems abroad, you dope. The background and experience was there. Yet is was a giant FAIL.

    Your notion that a single-payer system can work for a country but not a state is trivially false. But then, you have always shot from the hip to defend your stupid left wing notions.

  9. Pie Guevara says:

    Addenda to the above: No doubt Chris will assert that single payer systems do work in some countries. (With biased analysis and bull****.)

    I don’t think so, but THAT IS NOT THAT ISSUE. Vermont was a fail and scaling up does imply success.

  10. Pie Guevara says:

    Re #8 Tina: Money for nothing and your chicks for free —

  11. Chris says:

    Pie, seek anger management counseling. Really.

  12. Pie Guevara says:

    Sorry Jack, I still need to keep working on it.

  13. Pie Guevara says:

    English major economist, seek a personality and a brain.

  14. Pie Guevara says:


  15. Tina says:

    Jack I am doing a lot better. Still dealing with some issues but moving along. My energy level still isn’t where I want it but I am doing much better…thanks for asking!

  16. Tina says:

    Pie @ #12 Thanks I enjoyed that!

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