State Democrat: Vermont already struggling with financing its single-payer system

posted at 1:21 pm on March 18, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Blue-dominated Vermont already had a healthcare system that ran heavy with government involvement prior to ObamaCare, but the small state of about 625,000 residents dove headfirst into the task of creating their own ObamaCare exchange with eventual plans to evolve the entire program into a full-on single-payer system through the next few years. So far, even just their ObamaCare exchange has been struggling to get off of the ground (and they happen to be spending more federal money on uninsured residents than other states with more of them, $167 million!), and their single-payer ambitions are evidently on some very rocky financial ground. Via Watchdog.org:

Now, even Democrats say that plan, called Green Mountain Care, isn’t ready for its proposed 2017 rollout, and Rep. Jim Condon told Vermont Watchdog it’s time for Gov. Peter Shumlin to shelve the ambitious plan immediately.

“The deadlines for proposing financing have been missed two years in a row now, so to me that’s very disappointing. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that there is no financing plan,” Condon told Vermont Watchdog.

As Vermont Watchdog reported, an independent report by the Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm Avalere Health concluded that the costs of Green Mountain Care would require Vermont to raise tax revenue roughly equal to the state’s tax collections from all sources today.

Condon, a Democrat from Colchester, said he thinks a single-payer system in Vermont would “cost more” than a couple of previous estimates. Those estimates pegged the cost for single-payer at anywhere from $1.6 billion to $2.2 billion annually.

“It’s a government program [so] I think it’s going to cost more than that. Given that, I think it would be in the best interest of Vermonters to redirect our energies away from single-payer health care to trying to improve the system we’re in now,” Condon added.

Part of the original state legislation included a condition that the single-payer system not have any negative implications for Vermont’s economy — but as the aforementioned Democratic lawmaker mentions, raising taxes to a pretty huge and perhaps even doubled degree seems like one of their only options for adequately financing the project. This definitely looks like yet another case of blue-state ambitions with eyes bigger than their collective stomach, no?

Update (MKH):

SHOT: Peter Shumlin: Look to states for progressive action (2013)

CHASER: “We’re not ready. It’s as simple as that.”


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Only a stupid person thinks a single payer system works. So it comes as no surprise that all democrats are stupid.

Flange on March 18, 2014 at 1:27 PM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.
libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 1:29 PM

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that there is no financing plan,”

Yeah, just like California’s “Bullet Train”.

Maybe some rich unicorns will come along and drop some cash.

GarandFan on March 18, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Paging Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders, you have a courtesy call on the white phone in the lobby.

gryphon202 on March 18, 2014 at 1:30 PM

But what does that have to do with how well it’s working?

rogerb on March 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

The stupid never stops with these people. They are the Everready Bunnies of bullcookies.

HotAirian on March 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Just eat your granola and drink your soy juice Vermonters everything else will work itself out. BTW your Income Tax rate has now doubled, your Property Tax Rate has now tripled and Education Tax quadrupled.

Yeah Single Payer!!!!!

Suck it progs!

D-fusit on March 18, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Single-payer or ObamaCare, its still the same thing:

“Somebody-Else-Payer”

BobMbx on March 18, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Democrats seem to keep on saying you can raise taxes without hurting the economy. If anything, higher taxes help! So go right ahead with that single-payer plan. After so many statements from Democrats about how the government ‘does things right’, why not just try it out in Vermont and see what happens? I’m sure in a super-blue state like Vermont it will work so well everybody will want to do it!

Please, oh please show us how well it works!

Unless I have to move there.

s1im on March 18, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Either not a single lib ever took a math class, or they really do want us beholden/enslaved to the government. Which could it be?

jdpaz on March 18, 2014 at 1:38 PM

There was a time, in my lifetime, that VT was one of the most conservative states in the union. What a crying shame — and maybe a cautionary tale….

jdpaz on March 18, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Did libfree bite the ban bullet? I never see him around anymore. I got quite a few grins watching the inevitable beat-down his posts would engender.

ClownsToTheLeftOfMe on March 18, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Either not a single lib ever took a math class, or they really do want us beholden/enslaved to the government. Which could it be?

jdpaz on March 18, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Both.

ClownsToTheLeftOfMe on March 18, 2014 at 1:43 PM

If the democrats want single payer so badly and they honestly think it’s a good thing, then let the DNC be the single payer. Let them put their money where their mouth is.

Flange on March 18, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Gee, it turns out that nothing is “free” … with the exception of empty shop-worn leftist rhetoric from Bernie “geriatric commie” Sanders.

Whitey Ford on March 18, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Quick math: there are about 2.4 citizens for every taxpayer, which figures to about 260,000 taxpayers in Vermont. If the program costs $2billion per year (ish), that’s just under $7,700 per taxpayer. In think economists refer to that as “unsustainable.”

JerseyJeff on March 18, 2014 at 1:47 PM

The young, healthy Millennials acted stupidly…

Electrongod on March 18, 2014 at 1:48 PM

It’s a government program [so] I think it’s going to cost more than that.

Wait, a Democrat said that? I thought I had a pretty good idea what kind of Democrats they have up in Vermont but now I’m not so sure.

Occams Stubble on March 18, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Progessive governing Philosophy 101.

Have the activists create an issue, encourage the Lynch Mob Media to go after the offenders, call Congressional hearings, make laws or issue orders, break the system, and repeat the process as needed to finally collapse it into Federal government control in D.C.

Buh bye Vermont.

PappyD61 on March 18, 2014 at 1:50 PM

IF State governments collapse, would the Federal government send in an Administrator to run the former state? Would the state even exist or would it just be a “zone” or “region” that the Feds could run from D.C.?

NNNNNAAAAAhhhhhhh, could never happen. Right?

PappyD61 on March 18, 2014 at 1:54 PM

We all know that the only thing that really counts is what their intentions were.

trigon on March 18, 2014 at 1:54 PM

“It’s a government program [so] I think it’s going to cost more than that.”

I think this is the smartest democrat I have ever heard from.

bbordwell on March 18, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Utopian Math doesn’t add up…

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Did libfree bite the ban bullet? I never see him around anymore. I got quite a few grins watching the inevitable beat-down his posts would engender.

ClownsToTheLeftOfMe on March 18, 2014 at 1:42 PM

libfree is probably serving time somewhere?

*snicker*

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 1:59 PM

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that there is no financing plan.

Silly Dems. They always forget that.

Tsar of Earth on March 18, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Nationalized health insurance only works fiscally if the government imposes price controls and rations care.

Democrats are so far unwilling to do this. Indeed, Obamacare expands coverage. So these plans will always fail.

Bart DePalma on March 18, 2014 at 2:00 PM

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

agmartin on March 18, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Have any of these people ever been to an all you can eat buffet like CiCi’s? The pizza is terrible yet customers gorge themselves just short of bankrupting the store.

The only difference between CiCi’s and single payer, is your neighbor (who doesn’t even like pizza) picks up your tab.

Youngs98 on March 18, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Now, even Democrats say that plan, called Green Mountain Care, isn’t ready for its proposed 2017 rollout.

No problem. Just delay until, say, 2018.

(See, even the Tsar can be the POTUS. My work here is done. Back to Mom’s basement before she comes back home and catches me on The Internet.)

Tsar of Earth on March 18, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Did libfree bite the ban bullet? I never see him around anymore. I got quite a few grins watching the inevitable beat-down his posts would engender.

ClownsToTheLeftOfMe on March 18, 2014 at 1:42 PM

libfree is probably serving time somewhere?

*snicker*

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Heh. At least libby’s feet-of-clay “gods” should be darkening doors of hoosegow cells.

22044 on March 18, 2014 at 2:06 PM

They cannot make single payer work even with bankrupting the state. Jumping into a standard Obamacare exchange will not work any better than in the rest of the country. They sure as Hades are not going to just quit and admit that a Socialist plan can’t work. Therefore they will try to slash costs on paper to get them past any putative elections in November.

1) raise costs/fees/copays to patients.
2) cut reimbursement to the expendable parts of a health care system. No, I don’t mean administration and overhead. Those are sacred to the Left. They will cut what doctors, nurses, and hospitals get paid. If you reduce their income to the new minimum wage they are aiming for, $10.10 an hour, that might make it work on paper for a while.
3) then heavily tax and make it a crime for any trained medical personnel and medical facilities to leave the state or go out of business. After all it is “for the children” and perfectly consistent with Democrat ideology.

Subotai Bahadur on March 18, 2014 at 2:10 PM

I thought it was free!?!?!?!?!?!

ladyingray on March 18, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 1:29 PM

You gotta love history. Lol

DDay on March 18, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Yo Barry … now that you brought back the cold war…. work your magic and bring back Polio.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on March 18, 2014 at 2:18 PM

…625,000 residents!

KOOLAID2 on March 18, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Did libfree bite the ban bullet? I never see him around anymore. I got quite a few grins watching the inevitable beat-down his posts would engender.

ClownsToTheLeftOfMe on March 18, 2014 at 1:42 PM

A couple of weeks ago Libfree posted that he/she/it was simply too busy to post here anymore, then bravely turned tail and ran away.

It was just about the time that it was becoming painfully clear that Obamacare was a complete disaster and had no chance of meeting enrollment goals. But that was purely coincidence. Jusssst coincidence.

There was, however, the claim that he/she/it would be back to laugh at us after the Dems hold the Senate and take back the House in the fall after running on the brilliance and popularity of Ocare…

PetecminMd on March 18, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Hey, it was our idea, you guys figure out how to pay it.

-Libs

antipc on March 18, 2014 at 2:48 PM

here’s why single payer will never work in VT or any other state libtards:

states have to have balanced budgets, the Fed govt does not

Medicare is something like $70 trillion in the red at present funding levels and future commitments

States don’t have the luxury to print money and rack up unfunded liabilities, the way HHS can

thurman on March 18, 2014 at 3:08 PM

When you have no competition or free-market, this is what you get: a system with run-away prices that can ONLY be solved thru excessive taxation or a severe cut in services.
At what level is taxation to run this stupid sufficient…50%…75%??
While I’m sure there are some Progs who would offer 100%, I’m quite certain that’s not gonna work, as we see in this example.

Once again, were these people asleep in their Econ 101 classes?

LOL!

Pelosi Schmelosi on March 18, 2014 at 3:09 PM

There was, however, the claim that he/she/it would be back to laugh at us after the Dems hold the Senate and take back the House in the fall after running on the brilliance and popularity of Ocare…

PetecminMd on March 18, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Ah. Thanks for the update. I’m sure you’re right though, it’s just a coincidence that lib isn’t around to bask in the heat of all the implosions his idols have been experiencing.

ClownsToTheLeftOfMe on March 18, 2014 at 3:20 PM

“It’s becoming clearer and clearer that there is no financing plan,” Condon told Vermont Watchdog.

Why should this common feature of government programs stop them? Doesn’t this piker realize that the citizens of his state represent an unlimited source of funds? Just think of the good they could do if only everyone paid their fair share.

Hucklebuck on March 18, 2014 at 3:23 PM

If the program costs $2billion per year (ish), that’s just under $7,700 per taxpayer.

Then they’re underestimating the cost of the program. Thanks to government involvement in the industry, this nation spends over $10,000 per capita on healthcare, that’s every man woman and child. Transfer the cost of those under 18 and say those above 75 and were looking at needed tax of at least $12,500 on all the rest.

lowandslow on March 18, 2014 at 3:26 PM

You folks see this little snippet of Vermont and laugh at us.

Well, I have news for you from Vermont, it is worse than you think.

SAVE ME PLEASE!

davens on March 18, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Did libfree bite the ban bullet? I never see him around anymore. I got quite a few grins watching the inevitable beat-down his posts would engender.

ClownsToTheLeftOfMe on March 18, 2014 at 1:42 PM

A couple of weeks ago Libfree posted that he/she/it was simply too busy to post here anymore, then bravely turned tail and ran away.

It was just about the time that it was becoming painfully clear that Obamacare was a complete disaster and had no chance of meeting enrollment goals. But that was purely coincidence. Jusssst coincidence.

There was, however, the claim that he/she/it would be back to laugh at us after the Dems hold the Senate and take back the House in the fall after running on the brilliance and popularity of Ocare…

PetecminMd on March 18, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Maybe found a new prospect or two to groom.

slickwillie2001 on March 18, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Liberals Accuse Right Wing Extremists of using “Arithmetic” to Attack Single Payer

story at 11…

DaMav on March 18, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Liberals Accuse Right Wing Extremists of using “Arithmetic” to Attack Single Payer

story at 11…

DaMav on March 18, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Math is racist.

Buttercup on March 18, 2014 at 3:56 PM

SILLY PROGGIES! ALL they have to do is soak the rich, the middle class, and everyone else, pocket all the huge premiums, and not pay any out for actual medical treatment. The program will be so far in the black it’ll turn Bernie Sanders white with envy!

Marcola on March 18, 2014 at 4:25 PM

You cannot force communism on a free enterprise nation. This will not stand.

Will Obamacare be repealed or won’t it? Will Congress fund it or won’t it? Will the web site be fixed or not? Blah, blah, blah. We the people just need to do what we need to do and Democrats be damned. Resist. Refuse. Revolt. EXEMPT OURSELVES! We did not comply with Prohibition and we simply should not comply with Obamacare. For religious reasons. For privacy reasons. For the cause of liberty and freedom and in protest of the idea that the federal government (under one party rule, no less), can force private citizens to purchase anything with our own money. Are we citizens or subjects? Mice or (wo)men? Just say NO to socialism and to the corrupt, unionized, far left IRS: the gestapo of America’s political class. Afraid of arrest? not to worry! After all, the federal government ignores millions of illegals who are breaking U.S. immigration law every day. Our Founders pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. All we have to do is just say no to a scheme we all know is un-American and a violation of our most basic founding fundamentals of privacy, self reliance, limited government and individual freedom.
How To Opt Out Of Obamacare. Know your options and become savvy self-pay patients. Join a health care sharing ministry. These are voluntary, charitable membership organizations that agree to share medical bills among the membership. They function similar to insurance, and are probably the best alternative to conventional health insurance. There are four of them, at least that I know of. Three are open only to practicing Christians (Samaritan Ministries, Christian Healthcare Ministries, and Christian Care Ministry) while a fourth, Liberty HealthShare, is open to anyone who agrees with their ethical commitment to religious liberty. They operate entirely outside of Obamacare’s regulations, and typically offer benefits for about half the cost of similar health insurance. Members are also exempt from having to pay the tax for being uninsured. From the article by Sean Parnell http://thefederalist. com/2013/12/04/opt-obamacare/#.Up9MwGKiM_o.email

devan95 on March 18, 2014 at 4:28 PM

A problem with single-payer is that, even in our rather more chaotic private insurer syste, someone still antes up the money for the claims.

In the private market, those who want to be insured seek out coverages whose value to them is expected to be greater than the premiums they pay. If it was not, then the consumer would not agree to pay the premium. For instance, that is the basis for catastrophic insurance — the policy holder bears the considerable cost of the deductible but, if something big happens, the policy kicks in and takes care of the potentially ruinous expenses.

In a single-payer system, the payer still has to collect the money that will be used to pay claims. Since single-payer almost always means government, that means the government has to reallocate its available revenues to do so or, as is more likely because few governments regularly run sizeable surpluses, have to raise taxes in one form or another. Which is what Vermont has been told would be needed if it implemented single-payer.

Private insurers have to adjust the premiums they demand based on what the perceive as the risk they are undertaking by providing coverage. Government does not have to be so fastidious and can take actions, to save on expenses/claims, that may prove to be disconcerting or even shocking to people once they have to actually seek medical care beyond the routine.

Governments tend to allocate every dollar of revenue. They maintain a reserve so that their credit rating – essential for issuance of muni bonds – does not get impacted, but otherwise they tend not to maintain a sizeable reserve fund that they can allocate at need (the temptation to spend it would have to be resisted all the time in the face of numerous demands for more spending that does not require tax increases). There are probably numerous examples of the lengths legislatures would go to in order to spend more money and not “restrain” themselves.

At least in Vermont, some of the legislators have an inkling of what could happen if they proceed without consideration for what the cost of it actually could be.

Might also ask, is the proposed single-payer system an ‘entitlement’ where it has to be paid like social security. The Canadian system is not an entitlement — there is a fixed budget and everyone has to live within it.

Russ808 on March 18, 2014 at 4:40 PM

libfree is probably serving time somewhere?

*snicker*

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 1:59 PM

come on thats uncalled for.
you know that would involve being held responsible for actions and what in its history shows that would ever happen :)

dmacleo on March 18, 2014 at 5:07 PM

It would be delicious to see Vermont, a liberal Utopia if ever there was one, try a single-payer scheme and see it fail big time. The liberal fools would have no one to blame but themselves. No typical lefty whining about Koch brothers or TP groups sabotaging their workers’ paradise.

rmkdbq on March 18, 2014 at 5:09 PM

There was, however, the claim that he/she/it would be back to laugh at us after the Dems hold the Senate and take back the House in the fall after running on the brilliance and popularity of Ocare…

PetecminMd on March 18, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I’m still waiting in rapt anticipation for the return of AnninCA, when we’ll learn how damn good Obama is.

BobMbx on March 18, 2014 at 5:13 PM

“Part of the original state legislation included a condition that the single-payer system not have any negative implications for Vermont’s economy…”

Such provisos, if seriously observed, would gut a great deal of liberal legislation.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 6:21 PM

In order to make single payer “work” you need both horizontal and vertical control of the Health Care system. Everything needs to be Government owned including the “workers”. It will work just as well as the Post Office or Public Schools. Just wait until there is a National Doctor’s Union. And just wait until you see what sort of coercive taxes are needed to pay for it.

brindle on March 18, 2014 at 7:17 PM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.
libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 1:29 PM

The sad thing is that as with every example of “Liberals” failing – the cost of the failure falls squarely on the shoulders of those morons stupid enough to actually get a job and go to work everyday. Who’s going to take the blame for all of Obozo’s failures a few years from now? No one, that’s who. There will be a bunch of he said / she said nonsense and a bunch of finger pointing and parsing of the meaning of phrases, and no one who created these disasters will pay the piper for them. We will.

KMC1 on March 18, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Like the ‘head lemming’, Obama keeps marching Americans closer and closer to the edge of the cliff with his scandals, Constitutional violations inexperience, incompetence, lack of Foreign policy, & socialist invasive programs like Obamacare…

The man said he wanted to ‘Fundamentally Change’ the United States:
– ECONOMY: Record-setting deficit spending, record-setting addition of new debt, the 1st-ever Credit Rating Down-grade, massive unemployment (including millions out of labor force & those he gave the ‘gift’ of being fire to so they could all become authors and painters…)
– FOREIGN POLICY: Ran arms to Mexican Drug Cartels and Islamic Extremists in Libya & Syria, aided terrorists in Libya & Egypt take over their own countries, weakened the Military, appeased a Russian dictator by halting the Missile Defense Shield, lost credibility with the Syrian Red Lin debacle, broke a 1994 pact with Ukraine to help defend their borders, allowed Russia to invade Crimea, responded by sanctioning 11 individuals – most who have no money/holdings outside of Russia, & made s the world’s laughing stock.
– HEALTH CARE: Told the most number of lies -the biggest AWARD-WINNING lies any President has ever told, rammed unwanted legislation down the throats of the majority of Americans who opposed it, set out to bring 6+ million uninsured Americans the OPPORTUNITY to buy health care, that turned into an edict that every American had to guy Obama-defined health care plans that caused over 6 million insured Americans to lose their health care…lose their doctors…and else their jobs, destroyed the American health care system, provided Identity Thieves with a massive opportunity to prey on Americans, has s paying/bailing out Insurance companies with tax dollars, and a system that is collapsing because it doesn’t work/can’t sustain itself…not to mention the 13 Constitutional violations each time Obama amended the law by himself and the 2,300+ waivers he has handed out.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, BARRY!

easyt65 on March 18, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Some commenter actually played the Iraq War card.

When all else fails… Boooooosh!!

mankai on March 18, 2014 at 11:21 PM

Let’s see… $2.2 billion for 625,000 residents… that would be $3,520 for every person in the state. The “free” health care for a family of four would cost the state $14,080. Now, how does the state get $14,080 for that family without raising its taxes by $14,080? Vermont cannot print money!If the tax is imposed on businesses, rather than individuals, companies will simply flee the state and relocate elsewhere.

Idiots all…

Colony14 on March 19, 2014 at 8:28 PM