VT Looks to Single-Payer Health Insurance, Protesters Complain

A small group of protesters met to oppose a new bill which would further the concepts of Government run health care. Vermont is trying to pass legislation to approve single payer health insurance for the state. If they succeed, they will be the first state to do so. Vermont cites rising costs of healthcare and a growing number of underinsured and uninsured citizens as the reasoning for the plan. Protesters claim it is only a step in the plan for Government to control health care.

Vermont’s Champion

Vermont hired William Hsiao to head the campaign and design their proposed single payer program. Hsiao, a professor of economics at the Harvard School of Public Health, is no stranger to single payer programs. Not surprisingly, he has been at the helm of designing other such programs. The Taiwan program, as well as those in 7 other countries were developed by Hsiao. The Taiwan program has been haled by the government and the citizens, but not everyone is convinced.

The Single Payer Plan’s First Move

The plan would allow Vermont to create an insurance exchange with a variety of different plans. This would encourage people to comparison shop. A board would be created for the purpose of putting together these different plans from which the people could choose. They would also set parameters for the new plan. This would be the first step in enacting a single payer insurance system in Vermont. There are no plans to include the public in the construction of these plans, only for them to choose once constructed.

Protesters Complaint

The protesters were comprised mainly of Tea Party members who stated that the plan had been rushed and had completely bypassed the citizens of Vermont. They claim that the state of Vermont did not welcome input from the very people it would impact, so they rushed the initiative through quickly. Patricia Crocker, the protest organizer, said that only a select few people were allowed to voice an opinion before it headed off to be passed by the largely Democratic legislature, and the Governor, who supports the legislation.

Government Control or Budget Friendly

The government contends that the plan would be cost effective, and would benefit citizens, who now often cross the boarders into Canada for medical care and prescriptions because it is cheaper there. Protesters claim that Canada uses a Socialistic health plan, about which their own citizens complain of the long wait for medical care and treatment is inadequate. But, what do the citizens of Vermont think? It seems all of their thinking is being done for them. The Governor commented that citizen input is still being monitored.

It does seem that Government run healthcare is in the future of America. If this passes, it will set a precedent that other states will surely follow. So far, citizens have done little to stop it, so perhaps it is viewed as a positive move. Regardless, Vermont is forging ahead to enable government run healthcare for its citizens, in proposed hopes of cutting costs and bettering healthcare.