Monday, May 30, 2011

Big-up to Vermont for Single Payer Health Insurance

We want to give a shout-out to Vermont for enacting single payer health insurance on Thursday. Gov. Shumlin signed the legislation on Thursday, May 26rd, 2011. The bill will create by 2017, 2014 with waiver from the feds, a single health plan managed by the government for the states 620,000 citizens.

Vermont plan was created by Dr. William Hsiao of the Harvard School of public health. Dr. Hsiao estimated that the single payer system would be 25% cheaper than most other options.

Vermont's health care costs have been rising faster than the national average. The rise maybe be due to a requirement that insurance companies cannot deny anyone coverage. Currently about 8% of Vermonters do not have health insurance.

Physcians are concerned about re-imbursement rates. Some have threaten to flee to Massachusetts or Connecticut, but most will stay.

There is no free lunch, Vermont will lose some jobs that come from increased efficiency of single payer. Proponents argue that reduce health costs will freeup money for investment and jobs. However, I believe it will be a net job loss.

A natural experiment

One interesting thing is that with republican New Hampshire next door ("Live free or die") you have a natural experiment. So if vermonter's start living to 100 and NH resident starting dropping like files we will have imperical proof of better health care.


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