Vermont has moved a step closer to becoming the first state in the nation to adopt a government-run, universal health care system, following the passage, by a 92-49 vote, of legislation in the state House of Representatives.
Under the proposed single-payer system, all Vermonters would be eligible for health coverage under a universal coverage program. Democrats insist the plan will ensure all residents have access to medical care and will reign in skyrocketing costs.
The Senate is expected to pass the legislation and send it to Governor Peter Shumlin, who campaigned to reform the state’s health care system.
The universal coverage would not go fully into effect for four years. First, a Green Mountain Care Board would be established in July to craft a payment plan for health care providers while figuring out an affordable way for Vermonters to access the new system.
On the national level, single-payer health care, also known as Medicare for All, has proven popular in polls, but was not seriously considered by either major political party during the long health care reform debate of the last two years.