Bernie Sanders carries universal health care flag despite Vermont's failure - Outbreak News Today | Outbreak News Today Outbreak News Today
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Vermont Senator, Democratic Presidential candidate and self-described “democratic socialist”, Bernie Sanders has been blowing the horn for universal, single-payer health care in the United States for years.

Sanders wins big in New Hampshire photo/ donkeyhotey

Sanders wins big in New Hampshire photo/ donkeyhotey

As recently as Feb. 2016, Sanders said, ” Every major country has managed to provide healthcare to all people and they are spending significantly less per capita than we are. I do not accept that the US can’t do that.”

However, it appears Mr Sanders has a very short memory, because it was his home state that attempted to enact the most visible state-run attempt at single payer health care only to discover what we knew all along–It’s just not sustainable.

On December 17, 2014, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin publicly ended his administration’s 4-year initiative to develop, enact, and implement a single-payer health care system in his state.

Shumlin said the plan, dubbed Green Mountain Care, which required a 11.5 percent payroll assessment on businesses and sliding premiums up to 9.5 percent of individuals’ income, “would hurt the economy”.

The $4.3 billion per year cost of the plan would have been almost as much as Vermont’s total state budget, around $5 billion.

“I have learned that the limitations of state-based financing, the limitations of federal law, the limitations of our tax capacity, and the sensitivity of our economy make that unwise and untenable at this time . . . . The risk of economic shock is too high,” Shumlin concluded.

Avik Roy, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research wrote in Forbes a list of six reasons the Vermont plan failed to include forcing everyone to obtain more financially generous coverage than people currently have and the fact that a tax increase of 160 percent would be required.

Despite Vermont’s failure to enact a single payer health system, which actually wouldn’t be a true single payer system, Sanders still insisted it was not a failure.

“It’s not that it hasn’t worked out, it hasn’t been implemented,” he said.

That’s because it was just way too costly. Big surprise.

The reality of the numbers hasn’t fazed the utopian-minded Sanders who said in Apr. 2015, “The U.S. remains the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all of our people. And yet we are spending almost twice as much per capita. We have a massively dysfunctional health care system. And I do believe in a Medicare-for-all single-payer system, whether a small state like Vermont can lead the nation, which I certainly hope we will, or whether it’s California or some other state. At the end of the day, we need a cost-effective, high-quality health care system, guaranteeing health care to all of our people as a right.”

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7 Comments

  1. Rachel says:

    You really think there is a valid economic parallel between a single small state trying to manage single payer health care within a country that does not and our entire country trying to do the same as every other country?

    170 of the worlds top economists disagree.https://berniesanders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Wall-St-Letter-1.pdf

    What happened to America’s can do attitude?

    We can do it, and we can do it better.

    • Hi Rachel,
      Thats the telling part…it was too expensive for Vermont, clearly doing this for 300 million would be unsustainable
      Thanks for reading

      • Preston says:

        It’s not telling at all. Medicare-for-all is different than what Vermont was trying. Medicare has the strength of being a national system that’s already in place. On top of that, Bernie has REPEATEDLY said we need to give our government the ability to negotiate fair prices, lowering the cost of care and prescriptions, which means lowering the cost the government pays. Also, Vermont doesn’t have a large number of millionaires, billionaires, or large corporations. If you include the tax dollars of the wealthiest Americans and companies, in combination with lower prescription and care prices, this plan can work.

  2. John says:

    Vermont failed to ENACT a single payer system, it did not enact a single payer system that failed. You cannot overstate the difference in meaning there. I know this is an opinion piece, but if the writer has to mislead readers to make a point, the point may not be all that defensible. When the writer states “only to discover what we knew all along” — he acts like there is some kind of consensus that does not exist (except perhaps among American conservatives).

  3. This funny little article’s flawed premise is that if it failed in Vermont, it will definitely fail for the whole country. That’s comparing apples to oranges; a tiny state doesn’t have the leverage or economies of scale of a national system, and a single state has no influence over Medicare, Medicaid, military, or self-insured coverage in its borders. The article actually cites a Forbes article that says “The Vermont plan wouldn’t have achieved true single-payer.” Did the author even bother to read the article he was citing?

    In contrast, every peer country on the planet has successfully enacted single payer health care. They all spend less, and they generally have better health outcomes. Applying the article’s own logic to these more valid comparisons leads to the opposite conclusion: Single payer works and produces better outcomes than US healthcare nearly everywhere else, so it can work here too.

    Louise J. Pitcher

  4. […] Vermont Senator, Democratic Presidential candidate and self-described “democratic socialist”, Bernie Sanders has been blowing the horn for universal, single-payer health care in the United States for years. As recently as Feb. 2016, Sanders said, ” Every major country has managed to provide healthcare to all people and they are spending significantly less per capita than […] Blogs – Outbreak News Today […]

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