Vermont Abandons Single-Payer Health Care Plan Due to Costs

danjoseph | December 18, 2014

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is giving up on his plan to implement a single-payer health care system in the state after years of trying to set up a government health insurance plan that would cover all of the state's citizens.

The reason?  Cost, of course.

The single-payer system was expected to cost the state roughly $2 billion each year.  A state that brings in about $2.7 in revenues annually isn’t going to be able to swing that.  Why Shumlin ever thought it would work is unclear.  But, like Obamacare, new estimates determined that the plan would cost far more than initial estimates predicted.


The new estimates by The Green Mountain Care Board also determined that, in order for the state to afford the new single-payer system, it would need to levy a new 11.5% income tax on everyone in the sate.

It also found that small businesses would find the transition to a single-payer system “extremely expensive.”

Again, how did they not realize this earlier?

Vermont has been seen by advocates of a national single-payer system as an important testing ground for government run-insurance programs. Obviously, Vermont’s failure is a huge setback.