Economic Issues Delay Single Payer in Vermont

VermontGov. Peter Shumlin announced that he will not pursue a single payer health care plan this legislative session or in the near future, expressing “huge disappointment.” The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) applauds the decision.

“Private medicine has gotten a reprieve from a probable death sentence in Vermont,” stated AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D.

By setting all physicians’ fees and giving the five-member Green Mountain Care Board the authority to “guarantee” that all Vermont residents get “affordable and appropriate care at the appropriate time in the appropriate setting,” Vermont would effectively outlaw private determination of fees and treatment, AAPS notes.

Physicians would likely flee the state, predict Darcie Johnston of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom and Vermont psychiatrist Robert S. Emmons, M.D. More care would be delivered by less qualified personnel. Vermont would be a “Petri dish” for Obama’s preferred system, they said, with the aid of $400 million and more in federal subsidies.

The plan, which is supposed to contain health costs, is floundering because its price tag is now estimated to be $2.6 billion, not the $1.6 billion to $2.2 billion that Shumlin and his team originally believed. The Shumlin administration revealed that his team was considering an 11.5 percent payroll tax and a progressive income tax of up to 9.5 percent.

Shumlin hasn’t abandoned the goal of “universal publicly financed health care for all,” but the “timing isn’t right” for the huge tax increases and economic dislocation, states AAPS.

The Green Mountain Care Board will continue to work on ways to set fees and control medical information. “Patient care and confidentiality are still subject to the supervision of five unelected bureaucrats dedicated to a political agenda, not the well-being of individual patients,” states Dr. Orient.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943 to preserve private medicine and the patient-physician relationship.

http://www.aapsonline.org/index.php/site/article/vermont_single_payer_confronts_economic_reality/
Orient MD, Jane. “Vermont Single Payer Confronts Economic Reality.” What’s New. Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, 18 Dec 2014. Web. 21 Dec 2014.

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