“Vermonters are paying the ‘tax’ of rising health insurance premiums, which is eating into their household budgets,” Richter told Truthout in response to Gibbs’ comment. She notes the administration’s criteria would rule out most Republican staples, such as high-risk pools, managed care and health savings accounts.
“All of these have been tried and have not been shown to reduce system costs,” she said.
“Why can’t we do it?” Massachusetts introduces two single-payer bills
A few hours away, in Massachusetts, organizers and legislators are trying to build momentum for single-payer legislation, as Truthout reported in June. Hearings were held recently when two bills were introduced, including one that would create a single-payer system (S.619) in the state.
The second bill is called the Act to Ensure Effective Health Care Cost Control, or S.610. Under this bill, the state’s nonpartisan Health Policy Commission, “an independent state agency” which “monitors the performance of the health care system,” would also measure the impact that single-payer would have on costs and delivery of care in Massachusetts.
Should the proposal show savings after a three-year period, the legislature would have “a mandate to act,” according Ture Turnbell, the executive director of Mass-Care, a pro-single-payer group in the state.
“This bill would allow us to give proof as to the differences between what we spend now, and what we would spend under single-payer,” said Sen. Jennifer Benson, the bill’s sponsor, in an interview. “It has reached a broader audience and is as transparent as possible. It may help us identify potential potholes in advance.”