Vermont is one step-closer to becoming the first state to set up a truly universal, single-payer health care system. The Vermont Senate passed the new healthcare bill yesterday – following in the footsteps of the state House that passed the bill last month. Now – it just needs to be signed into law by Governor Peter Shumlin who’s already expressed his support for the measure. There IS one last step though – Vermont would need to secure a waiver to opt out of Obamacare in order to build its own healthcare system.
A handful of lawmakers have introduced legislation to allow states – in particular Vermont – to drop out of Obamacare if they prove they can cover just as many people with insurance as the law would have without adding to the deficit. But surprise, surprise, Republicans don’t like the idea. That’s right – after bashing Obamacare for 2 years – they don’t want to let states drop out of it. What happened to their whole “state’s rights” platform – does that only apply to stuff like abortion and gay marriage – and not to giving people free healthcare? The truth is – Republicans are trembling at thought of Vermont having a single-payer healthcare system to serve as a model for other states. Canada’s single-payer healthcare system started in just one province – Saskatchewan – and then spread across the country because people in other provinces demanded it.
Republicans fear that the same thing is likely to happen in the United States and they’ll do anything they can to stop it in Vermont. They don’t care about sick people – they care about profits for their buddies – the millionaire private health insurance executives.