Vermont governor abandons single-payer health care plan, says tax increases would be too big

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  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 22, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    To "atl134" no, that is important because they can afford to spend less on their defense because WE defend them. Think of it this way. If somebody paid for your car insurance, would you buy a better car?

    You are also ignoring the fact that the nations with socialized healthcare all ration the care in one way or another. Do you want to start to have government rationing of healthcare?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2014 4:28 p.m.

    @lost in DC
    "Countries with a national system pay less, but what about the individuals?"

    The countries are made up of all those individuals. If the US spends around 11% of GDP on healthcare and France spends 9% of their GDP on healthcare then the US individuals on average have a larger burden one way or another.

    "It's refreshing and ironic that the left wing state of Vermont has suddenly realized that single payor insurance is not the answer. "

    Some of the difficulty involves the fact that there's a difference between a nation having a single payer system, and a state instituting a single payer system while being part of a nation that doesn't have it.

    Taxes and defense spending are irrelevant since they spend less GDP on healthcare as a nation than we do. If they spent more than us than those would be excuses for why they're able to spend more. Most of the rest of your points are baseless fearmongering.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 3:08 p.m.

    Midwest Mom,
    The poor results you cite have little to do with amount that we spend, or the quality of care that we receive, but more to do with our lifestyles.

    are overly promiscuous
    smoke too much
    drink too much
    eat too much fat
    don’t exercise enough
    get high on drugs
    abuse prescription drugs (as your statistics intimates)
    are violent
    do not take personal responsibility for anything

    the low number of doctors is because dems will not allow tort reform, so many doctors are getting out of the business as their malpractice insurance premiums are too high.

    Fitness Freak
    Antibiotics are available only through prescription to try to avoid their overuse and the development of super-bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. That is already happening with them being controlled, think how bad it would be if they were not controlled. Also, some work better for some diseases, and others for others. There are also allergy concerns

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    @Thid baker I don't mean to imply that "single-payer" government healthcare is the answer. Government, whenever they take over ANYTHING - they tend to make it less efficient.

    What I am arguing for are some relatively easy, common sense solutions.

    For instance: WHY are antibiotics available only by prescription?
    WHY can't I just go to the lab to get my throat swabbed for strep? The lab knows whether I have strep or not. Why do I have to have (my insurance company pay 193.00) to have a DR. tell me what the lab (that he sends the test to)can for 10.00?

    If we're EVER going to solve the problem of spiraling healthcare costs we're going to have to make some concessions pricewise, AND quality wise.

    I believe we CAN be the bosses of our healthcare and treatments. I DON'T think HMO's or pharmaceutical companies should be in charge.

    But thats the situation that currently exists.

  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    Gee, MWM, if our system is so bad, and our level of health care so low, then why oh why do the upper crust of these health care utopian nations clamor constantly to come here and use our useless doctors and facilities? Could it be that the socialistic versions of health care in these other nations are mismanaged and over run with fraud and inefficiencies? (Japan's is. And don't go there, I've spent enough time in Japan to see it first hand) Could it be that these nations health care systems don't encourage research and development like we do? If the sovereign state of Wisconsin wants to operate a single payer system run by and for the denizens of Wisconsin then fine. Have at it. Just keep your noses in your own back yard.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Dec. 18, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    United States statistics, from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)rating 34 nations in 2012:

    Health expenditure as a % GDP - 16.9% (1st out of 34 nations, OECD average = 9.3%)

    Health expenditure per capita - $8,745 (1st out of 34 nations, OECD avg = $3,484)

    Pharmaceutical expenditure per capita - $1,010 (1st out of 33 nations, OECD avg = $498)

    Public expenditure on health - 47.6% (34th out of 34, OECD avg = 72.3%)

    Life expectancy at birth (years) - 78.7 yrs (27th out of 34, OECD avg = 80.2)

    Number of doctors (per 1000 population) - 2.5 (28th out of 34, OECD avg = 3.2)

    Hospital beds (per 1000 population) - 3.1 (25th out of 34, OECD avg = 4.8)

    Mortality from cardiovascular diseases - 17th out of 34

    Mortality from cancer - 25th out of 34

    We pay the most to get some of the worst outcomes. We don't need a profiteering middleman. The American economy is choking on the financial burden of health insurance.
    There is a better way and nearly everyone else is doing it. Those are the facts.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 12:04 p.m.

    To "FDRfan" the countries that have single payer systems can afford it by doing the following:

    1. Limiting access to doctors
    2. Limiting what procedures and medications are available
    3. Limiting the number of surgeries (wait lists grow)
    4. Making malpractice lawsuits nearly impossible.
    5. Letting the US protect them by keeping US military bases nearby.
    6. Higher taxes.
    7. Cutting off care for elderly or people that caused their disease through bad habits like smoking.
    8. Not caring for premature babies.

    What do you think, should we start to do those things here.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    Interesting comments from two Senate Liberal Icons: (11/25/2014):

    “Unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them,” Mr. [Senator Chuck] Schumer said, according to his prepared remarks. “We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem – health care reform.”

    Mr. Schumer’s calculus could seem coldly political. He points out that only a third of the uninsured population is even registered to vote. “To aim a huge change in mandate at such a small percentage of the electorate made no political sense,” he said. “So when Democrats focused on health care, the average middle-class person thought ‘the Democrats are not paying enough attention to me.’” (12/3/14)

    “We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn’t do it,” [Senator Tom] Harkin told The Hill. “So I look back and say we should have either done it the correct way or not done anything at all.

    If it's going to be so great, why are these two Democrats disowning it?

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    And our good liberal friends weren't the least bit curious as to why Obama (Through dictatorial decree) postponed the "Employer Mandate" provision in Obamacare until after the 2014 midterms. Obama knows that when the "Employer Mandate" provision goes into effect, it's going to be devastating. All the lies that he told about Obamacare will come to fruition. Even Democrat Senators Chuck Schumer and Tom Harkin are now disowning it and calling it a disaster.

    Ironically, it will be liberals, who were the loudest proponents of this disaster, who will be the most disillusioned when the realities of Obamacare become their reality.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    Kora said:

    "How is it possible to increase the number of office visits by patients, decrease the number of physicians, not cutting back on tests and procedures, all the while maintaining or improving quality of care? It is not possible."


    Spot on!

    Doctors are now leaving the medical field in droves. We will indeed have a doctor shortage in the very near future. Perhaps liberals should ask why doctors hate dealing with Medicare patients. Medicare and the VA are microcosms of what Obamacare will be!

    Just wait until the "Employer Mandate" provision in Obamacare kicks in; people have no idea what's coming their way. Millions upon millions of Americans who currently have excellent, affordable health plans through their employer are going to be losing these plans in the very near future thanks to Obamacare. Just as those who lost their coverage under the "Individual Mandate" provision in Obamacare; those who receive their coverage from their employer will be finding out the cold realities and increased costs of Obamacare. They will also be learning for the first time the full extent of Obama's lies about Obamacare.


  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 18, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    @ Fitness Freak. Except if you don't like your healthcare insurance, you can cancel it! Can't cancel your government run healthcare system, its forced upon you! And if you think your healthcare premiums are expensive now, wait until the government takes over your healthcare!

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    It's refreshing and ironic that the left wing state of Vermont has suddenly realized that single payor insurance is not the answer. Some people are late to arrive at reality.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    Midwest Mom

    Having the most expensive is not all that funny, but wanting a system that costs too much, as Vermont found out, IS funny.

    Countries with a national system pay less, but what about the individuals?

    With private insurance, I can select the level of coverage I want to purchase; with a tax increase, I do not get to choose, it is chosen for me. So even IF a single-payer were to cost less, I am willing to pay for the choice.

    The cost of health care was NOT a hindrance to the growth of small and new business before Obamacare, your Canadian analogy is without merit.

    I have a hard time seeing the incentive for corporations, especially large ones with the resources for media campaigns, to intentionally mislead us away from a single payer system, that you indicate would remove the cost of providing their employees’ insurance and transfer it to the government. To which corporate propaganda are you referring?

    Coach Biff
    I’d have agreed with you comment except you encouraged an activity that violates federal law.

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    I find the arguments used by promoters of the single payer model in the USA strange. How is it possible to increase the number of office visits by patients, decrease the number of physicians, not cutting back on tests and procedures, all the while maintaining or improving quality of care? It is not possible.
    And before anyone starts mentioning "unnecessary tests and procedures", those cannot be reduced as long as our current malpractice model changes, which Obama and liberals are strongly opposed to reforming because it currently benefits trial lawyers, a group that provides a lot of funding for democrats.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    How much, as a percentage of your income, are you willing to pay for healthcare?

    I only ask this insofar as the health insurance companies are raising rates as if you ARE willing to pay 80, 90% or more for you healthcare.

    Will the rate hikes stop when their rates become 60% of income, or will they (the health insurance companies)keep raising their rates until health insurance devours 95% of your income?

    What's to stop them? We KNOW they control BOTH the R and D party.

    Unless/until BOTH parties get together (exclude lobbyists from the discussion)and give you back your healthcare - they WILL continue on taking more and more of your healthcare dollars.

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    Anyone who tries to compare us to other nations with a single payer system are completely missing the mark. The reason they can run their systems for so much less has nothing to do with us having "corporate profits". Our system is expensive because that is what Americans want. They don't want a discount system that severely limits what they can and cannot have. Americans will not accept the curtailment and limitations of services that other nations live with.

    The reality is this within America, Liberals want Universal health care at a low cost, while at the same time requiring defensive medicine practices that drive the cost of care due to the ordering of billions of dollars worth of unnecessary tests every year. In Canada, if someone does not want to wait for services or wants better care, such as their own single payer proponents, including the former Prime Minister Chretien, and some of the governors, they just fly to the USA to get quality care.

    We have a single payer system in this country, it is the VA, and look at what a mess that is. FYI, the quality is mediocre at best.

  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    The liberal pipe dream of universal health care is going up in smoke. Why don't you all just wander off to Colorado, smoke a 1/4 oz or so and leave my health care plan alone?

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Dec. 18, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    Well, it seems to me that this is a liberal governor. He wanted to have free health care, and he wanted to pay for it now by taxing people today. He is not a fake liberal who wants to borrow a lot of money to be paid for by future generations.

    Kind of refreshing. I am not sure if his plan was good, but at least I can respect his integrity.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Dec. 18, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    @Lost -- I don't know that anything about having the most expensive health care system in the world is amusing.


    Making the change from what we are to what we could be is expensive. The article does not specifically specify Vermont's problem.

    The tax hike to fund a single payer system would be high, except that you forget to factor in the savings in not paying insurance. All countries with a national system pay less than we do.

    Health care costs are a huge burden on business, and an outmoded model. After Canada put their NHS in place, there was a huge increase in new, small businesses because the need for health insurance stifles growth.

    I recommend reading / watching the work of Wendell Potter, former insurance VP who has become an outspoken advocate for change. Bill Moyers interviewed him in 2009 on PBS. You can find the interview on youtube and discover that much of what you believe about the single payer model is corporate propaganda.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 9:04 a.m.

    @Liberal Ted
    And you all say we're the ones with the death panels... you want hospitals to turn people away.

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 8:56 a.m.


    Everyone talks about how the cost of the uninsured using ER services for free would disappear if we went to single payer, and how that would significantly reduce the cost of health care for all. My question is, if the only people who use the ER for free are those who can't pay for it, how would the government getting involved change that? Would these people all the sudden have money to pay into the system that they otherwise wouldn't? Or are people with means somehow cheating the system now, but the government would fix this? You can't get blood from a stone.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    Midwest Mom,
    TOO FUNNY!!! I guess you did not read the article about how the single-payer system you want is too expensive. And yet you still want it, want someone else to pay for your healthcare.

    cheap, useles. Who gets to decide that? The buyer, or the omniscient BO? If they were cheap and useless, people would not have been buying them. Your costs went up slower in recent years, but every article reporting on that have attributed the slower increase to the tepid economy, NOT Obamacare.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    @FDRfan, other countries finance their healthcare and other social programs through tax rates that would be considered very high by our standards, on all taxpayers and companies. The usual result of this is lower productivity and competitiveness.

    Also, many countries have found that they have over-committed themselves and over-borrowed to pay for the programs they are trying to support. This is the cause of the sovereign debt crisis in several European countries.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    I'm shocked!

    Here is how you do it without raising taxes.

    Change the law allowing hospitals to turn people away, rather than force them to take anyone and eat the cost.

    Costs drop and healthcare becomes more affordable.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 18, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    Free healthcare sounds wonderful doesn't it? Until you wake up and realize nothing is free. Vermont's governor had that awakening! Remember all the wonderful promises we were told about Obamacare? All a pack of lies! Dr. Ben Carson presented an excellent healthcare plan, let's learn about it and move in that direction!

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    Funny but my costs have gone up slower than previous years, couldn't tell you how much cause I didn't notice.

    I suspect those who's policies are getting canceled had cheap useless policies.

    I have Select Health as do most people I know, where are you guys buying your costly insurance from?

    Get the insurance companies out of the way.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Dec. 18, 2014 7:35 a.m.


    And that is really a bad thing? Have you factored in the cost of ER visits by those who don't pay anything? Have you factored in the effects of preventive medicine? Have you factored in the crack down on abuse of the system?

  • bass679 Novi, MI
    Dec. 18, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    Significantly higher income taxes and an emphasis on preventative medicine.

  • belgie Tualatin, OR
    Dec. 18, 2014 7:05 a.m.

    My health insurance costs are doubling in January because my company is dropping my current plan because of Obamacare regulations. Thank you Obama.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Dec. 18, 2014 3:41 a.m.

    Obamacare is a disaster and single payer is even worse. When are people going to face the fact that government-run healthcare just doesn't work.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Dec. 18, 2014 1:50 a.m.

    Perhaps, David, it would help you to know that when the ACA was passed, I criticized our then Senator Russ Feingold for signing it. He believed in a single payer system and I was disappointed that he had not held out for that model. He wrote back to me and suggested that the ACA was a move in the right direction, even if it were not the best that could be done. Feingold went on to predict that the American healthcare system would have to become even worse before it could get better. There are too many people making huge amounts of money the way that the system functions today.

    The cost of health insurance in America is insupportable and unsustainable. I agree that the ACA has fallen far short, but let's not allow the powers that stopped a single payer plan from even being discussed to keep controlling our access to medical care. Americans could fix this if they would hold their representatives accountable. We don't have to let the money in politics fool us. Contact your representatives.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Dec. 17, 2014 5:44 p.m.

    I haven't seen that single payer health care can work in the US. Obamacare is limping along too. My premiums have gone up 15% the past two years. I'm not seeing a decrease in premiums like Obama predicted. And my health care expenses keep going up.

    I received a letter two weeks ago that my current plan is not a "qualified" plan under the ACA and is being terminated. Again, not what Obama promised. I had to find a new plan, which is...nearly 30% more than I'm paying now.

    See how Obamacare works?

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Dec. 17, 2014 5:06 p.m.

    How do the other countries do this? And just curious, how many health care providers are performing unnecessary operations on people who are addicted to pain narcotics or/and just want attention? No one but the health care providers really know - but they know.