In the News

VT for Single Payer has compiled recent news articles and letters to the editor about Single Payer Health Care in Vermont. To view all the recent news stories click here. To view all the recent letters to the editor click here. To view all recent Editorials and Op-Eds click here.

 

Recent News Stories

Consumer advocate barred from insurance rate hearing; state wonít say why
July 23, 2018

VTDiggerVermont’s health care oversight board blocked the designated consumer advocate on health care matters from weighing in on affordability during a hearing Monday on health insurance rates for the coming year, yielding to a request from the state’s largest insurers.Kevin Mullin, chair of the Green Mountain Care Board, confirmed Monday afternoon that the board upheld a motion from insurance companies to exclude a report and testimony by Mike Fisher, the state’s designated h...

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Universal primary care plateaus in committee
May 18, 2018

VTDiggerBy Mike FaherThe 2018 legislative session was a roller-coaster ride for advocates of universal primary care in Vermont.Supporters celebrated when the primary care bill, S.53, advanced with public financing mechanisms built in. And they rallied behind the bill when state legislators questioned the feasibility of taxpayer-funded health care.But the campaign ended on May 12, with S.53 stalled in the House Appropriations Committee as the Legislature adjourned. Rep. Kitty Toll, D-Danville and...

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After Major Setback, Single-Payer Movement Shifts Focus To Universal Primary Care
May 04, 2018

Vermont Public RadioBy Peter HirschfeldIt’s been more than three years since then-Gov. Peter Shumlin abandoned his pledge to create a universal health care system in Vermont, but advocates are working this session to reignite the embers of the single-payer flame.On a Tuesday evening in late January, around 50 Vermonters showed up for a public hearing on the floor of the Vermont House of Representatives.The topic was Senate Bill 53 — an act relating to universal coverage for primary c...

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Letters to the Editor

Another Health Insurance Rate Hike Ė Really?
July 27, 2018

Caledonian RecordTo the Editor:On Tuesday, July 24, I attended the MVP Rate Review Hearing with the Green Mountain Care Board in Montpelier. I must admit, it was my first hearing of this kind, and going in, I did not think I held any real expectations. It was to be mostly a first-person learning experience for me. Yet, after it was over, I found myself feeling a bit surprised, and fairly disappointed – indeed, like some expectation had not been met.At the outset, there was an interesting, ...

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Single payer is the solution
May 17, 2018

Rutland HeraldI am completely disheartened that the Legislature of Vermont has repeated the mistake of the Affordable Care Act by penalizing those of us who choose not to buy private health care insurance. It was right to repeal the ACA mandate because it required private citizens to purchase private insurance through the force of a government penalty.The insurance companies’ goals are to make a profit — not to provide affordable health care.The mandate argument is that we need more ...

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Primary care bill a good start
May 03, 2018

The Times Argus A recent letter in The Times Argus by Frank Mazur points out a new bill in Congress that would allow physicians to provide pro bono health care to 20 patients in return for them agreeing to accept Medicaid patients and to allow them a tax write-off for so doing. This really hit me the wrong way. I fully believe, like the Vermont legislators who passed Act 48 a few years ago, that health care is, indeed, a right, not a privilege only for those who can afford it.Another item quoted...

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Editorials and Op-Eds

Health board a puppet of insurance companies? Thatís how it looks
July 26, 2018

VTDiggerJon Margolis is VTDigger’s political columnist.What are they afraid of?The “they” in this case are the bigwigs at Vermont’s two health insurance companies and at the Green Mountain Care Board, chaired by the heretofore reasonable (as a state senator) Kevin Mullin.Together they have conspired (or so it seems) to keep Mike Fisher from testifying at a board hearing to consider the requests for rate increases by the insurance companies.Fisher is the head of the Vermon...

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Universal primary care would save money now spent at ERs
May 09, 2018

VTDiggerEditor’s note: This commentary is by David Hills, who is the managing partner of Waypoint Management Services based in Middlebury. He is a 25-year veteran of health care consulting in over 50 institutions across the United States.Aren’t we all just tired of the health care dilemma, discussion, debate and failed attempts at political remedies in Vermont, let alone across our great nation? The health care issue is huge and important, yes; but much of the national discussion aro...

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What are the hospitals afraid of?
March 01, 2018

VTDiggerEditor’s note: This commentary is by Ellen Oxfeld, a member of the boards of the advocacy group Vermont Health Care for All. She lives in Middlebury.Over the last two weeks the Senate Health and Welfare Committee has been taking testimony on a bill that would make primary care a public good for all Vermonters, with no out-of-pocket costs. It is not expensive. Unlike hospital care, primary care comprises under 6 percent of total health care spending. But investing in primary care ac...

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