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The Exchange

Single-Payer Health Care In VT: What Happened & What's Next


The Governor has set aside what was to be called “Green Mountain Care”: an attempt to be the first state with its own single-payer health system that gained national attention.  But the plan unraveled at the end of last year, largely due to the costs involved.  We’ll find out what happened and what might be next.



  • Gov. Shumlin on his decision to shelve single payer for now: "And, unfortunately because of headwinds that we’re facing right now, the financing package, frankly the 11.5 percent payroll tax, the 9.5 percent income tax at the top, without allowing even for a phase-in for small businesses that aren’t paying anything right now, would be too disruptive for Vermont’s economy."
  • Analysis of Shumlin's single payer decision: "But critics say that once Shumlin resolved to pull the plug, he cast the program in the most negative light possible because it was not politically viable in the context of his loss of popular support and against the backdrop of a lagging state economy."
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