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Archive for May 28th, 2011

Help Vermont Get Single-Payer Health Care

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 28, 2011

Thanks to a new state law, the fine people of Vermont could soon be enjoying a health care system that is better, cheaper, and faster than is the norm in the United States today — but they’re going to need a bit of help first:

The goal of the Vermont law is to integrate all the pieces of America’s byzantine health insurance system into one system overseen by the state, and to achieve the benefits of single payer. This universal, publicly financed system will be called Green Mountain Care.

While the law puts Vermont on the path to achieving this goal, there are still some major hurdles. By 2013 the state will need to decide on revenue sources to pay for some parts of it. An integral part of addressing the funding issue will be the need for multiple waivers from several federal laws that will allow the state to fold the administration and funding of federal insurance programs into Green Mountain Care.


While waivers from many of the provisions of the ACA need congressional approval, others are at the discretion of the Department of Health and Human Services.  HHS has been granting waivers freely to corporations like McDonalds that want to offer worse coverage to their employees than the ACA mandates.  They’ve also been granting waivers to states seeking lower medical loss ratios, which basically allows them to offer junk insurance on the exchanges.


Getting waivers from HHS is going to be an important part of any state plan to implement their own system.  And President Obama has already expressed his support for allowing states to begin receiving waivers from the ACA in 2014 rather than waiting until 2017.   That’s why FDL is joining with PNHP to ask HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to commit to granting Vermont the waivers it needs to make Green Mountain Care the best program it can possibly be for the people of Vermont.

Sign the petition here: Universal Health Care for Vermont If McDonalds can get waivers, why not Vermont?

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

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