Study confirms: Single-payer works

November 18, 2013

Rutland Herald

There has been much talk about a new study commissioned by the Vermont Medical Society, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and a number of other groups. It estimates the costs for a Vermont single-payer plan as being more than that estimated by another study commissioned by the state and conducted by the University of Massachusetts last year.

But, ultimately, this study ends up confirming what all the other studies commissioned in the last decade (Lewin, Thorpe, Hsiao, BISHCA, UMASS) have shown — we can provide health care to all Vermonters and contain costs with single-payer.

The latest study, conducted by a Washington, D.C., consulting firm called Avalere, does not dispute that Vermonters and their employers now pay over $3 billion each year for health care in premiums. And, even its own numbers, which are meant to raise questions about single-payer, conclude that if we replace these premiums with taxes, Vermonters and their employers will still pay less in taxes than we pay in premiums now. (And remember, we would eliminate premiums with single-payer.)

Single-payer saves money and saves lives — no study has disputed that it is more cost effective than what we have now. But we will get more for our money with single-payer, and we will achieve something that cannot be measured merely in dollars: health care security for all Vermonters.

ELLEN OXFELD
Middlebury