Corvallis Inaugurate Social Justice March

On January 20, MVHCA joined many other groups from Oregon State University and Corvallis to demonstrate for social justice. As many as 1,000 people (many of them OSU students) marched from campus to the riverfront park. The highlight for MVHCA was at the end of the march when the entire crowd chanted "Everybody In, Nobody Out!" over and over.

Thank you Dick Behan for being our photographer at the march.

Health Care Around the World - Video by T.R. Reid

Published on Apr 7, 2012 on YouTube

Fans of U.S. health care reform point out that many other countries provide coverage for all their citizens, and no one files for bankruptcy due to medical bills. But how exactly do these countries do it? January Series guest & journalist T.R. Reid, author of The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care, tells of his travels comparing systems around the world. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.

You can help MVHCA as we work for publicly funded universal health care like the rest of the developed world by donatinghosting a house party, signing up for the newsletter, and attending our monthly meetings. You can also Like us on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter. Thank you.

What's It Really Like To Live In A Country With Universal Healthcare?

From tickld

 

15 Adults were asked: "People who live in a country with universal health care, what is it really like?"

1. ‘American here. Been living in the UK for 4 years. First doctors visit, I got laughs from staff when I asked "is this it? do I just leave now?” and felt guilty for leaving the office without any kind of co-pay to worry about or insurance card to flash.’  Brickmana

2. 'New Zealand here. You break your arm. You go to hospital. They operate and everything is taken care of. You go home.' Yhusama

3. ‘My little son broke his arm yesterday, we walked into casualty in a UK hospital, the receptionist took the time to talk to him and crack a few jokes, the triage nurses were great and the folks who x rayed him all took the time to show him the pictures and explain what all the bones where. The plaster guys were friendly and gentle whilst making time to tell us how to look after the cast. Walked out without it costing us anything except parking that is not already covered in my taxes. This is the NHS, not perfect but pretty freaking awesome in my book’ Aliktren

4. ‘UK here. My wife gave birth this year, via C-section. 3-night stay in hospital, private room, meals, painkillers (we've got so much leftover codeine I've thought about selling it to make a couple of mortgage overpayments), and oh yeah major surgery and post-op care. The biggest expense of the whole weekend was the sandwich I bought for lunch while visiting each day.’ Dalffalolsz

5. ‘I'm an 18 year old Australian that had heart surgery earlier this year. Without universal health care I would be either dead or thousands of dollars in debt in the next few years. I will never live in a country without it.’ mofftt

6. ‘Poland here. Endless waiting in lines.’ ffocuss

7. ‘In New Zealand, if I get hurt or sick I can show up to the ER and not worry about commas in my bill.’ dmanww

8. ‘UK here. Relative had several years of dialysis, then a kidney transplant, treatment for further complications involving a further three or four further surgical procedures. They have then also been taking a whole cocktail of meds since all this started, about ten years ago. All completely free.’ Gmona

9. ‘Japan here. I 'm single without kids, and I pay 4% of my gross income for National Health Insurance, and my employer kicks in a matching amount. Care is quite cheap. My last MRI was $60.’  Nessie

10. ‘In the UK sexual health clinics and associated medicines to treat STI's are completely free, and there are lots of clinics up and down the country that operate independently of your local GP. I have read stories of teens (and adults) in America not treating STI's because they can't afford the treatment and are too scared to go to their parents.’ diggdal

11. ‘France here: you won’t be bankrupt because you had cancer or something and lost your job. Most medical expenses are fully reimbursed by the Social Security. We pay for it: taxes are heavier than in the US, but all in all it works quite well.’ graendallstud

12. ‘Swede here, since I’ve grown up with it it's not really a big deal for me. For example; 10 years ago, when I was 8, my brother chopped my index finger off. I went to the hospital, got everything taken care of, and went home.’ Gnadalf

13. ‘Canadian here. When we get sick or hurt. the cost of healthcare is the last thing on our minds. I imagine it would be my first concern if I lived in the States.’  prestidigit8or

14. ‘American living in Denmark here. I don't have to worry about cost. If I need to go to the doctor, I can without having to budget for it. My medicine is cheaper as is my healthcare overall. I find it comforting that everyone pays a little so that everyone - even tourists who get hurt during vacation, can get taken care of.’ Ipsey

15. ‘My Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, luckily it's not too serious but she opted for chemo just to be safe. She didn't pay a cent for ANYTHING. Also, she just had her last round of chemo today, and the cancer society had a function for her, as well as many others. They got given a shitload of free makeup and products simply to make them feel beautiful again. Not even accommodation for the 5 weeks she had to stay away from home. This is New Zealand.’ jamtisk

You can help MVHCA as we work for publicly funded universal health care like the rest of the developed world by donatinghosting a house party, signing up for the newsletter, and attending our monthly meetings. You can also Like us on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter. Thank you.

Universal Healthcare Expert to Visit Oregon, Tout Single Payer Plan

T.R. Reid's Oregon tour is featured in the Lund Report:

Efforts are underway in Colorado and Oregon for universal healthcare.

By Shelby Sebens

T.R Reid is hoping that Colorado is the first state in the nation to provide a healthcare system that covers everyone. But he’d still be happy if Oregon got there first.

“Some state has to get this going and prove that it will work and then it will spread,” Reid said.

An author and chairman of the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care, Reid will be in Oregon this weekend touting healthcare for all. Advocates in Colorado will put a measure on the 2016 ballot. Though the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, was intended to get every American insured, the Congressional Budget Office predicts 31 million people will still be uninsured as of 2025.

“The Obamacare solution doesn’t get us there,” said Reid, who has traveled the world studying universal healthcare in other countries. “It’s a national disgrace that we would have 31 million people uninsured in the world’s richest country.”

Reid said he thinks the way to universal coverage in the United States is through state initiatives.

“Congress can’t do this. This is a proven route to universal coverage,” he said of states adopting it first.

Efforts have been underway toward universal healthcare in Oregon for years and advocates say it’s gaining momentum though most universal healthcare bills that have made their way to hearings in the legislature have yet to pass.

“Each time that the state single payer bill is submitted to the legislature it gets more attention, more support and it becomes more viable,” said Dr. Samuel Metz, a member of Oregon Physicians for a National Health Program.

A bill on its way to Governor Kate Brown’s desk would fund a study that will look at methods for financing universal healthcare, Metz said. “The study in Oregon is necessary but not sufficient. It’s a first step but it doesn’t guarantee that the legislature will take action.”

Colorado’s Purple Plan

Reid thinks universal healthcare has a good shot in Colorado because of the state’s political Make up, divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans. He intends to appeal to Democrats as a way to insure everyone and save money and to Republicans as a way to get out of Obamacare. An opt out clause in the Affordable Care Act allows states to get out of the federal mandates while still receiving Medicaid dollars if they can insure people another way, Reid said.

“That’s why I think we can pass it,” said Reid who expects a fight from insurance companies. He argues the private market can still offer supplemental insurance as well as private insurance for those that don’t want a state run plan similar to parents paying to send their children to private schools.

The Colorado plan would add a 3.3 percent state income tax. Employers would also have to pay into the plan. Reid said studies showed Colorado families typically pay 8 percent of their salaries on healthcare.

Oregon’s efforts

Metz thinks Oregon is uniquely poised to push forward on universal healthcare because many insurance companies are non-profit and might benefit under a universal healthcare plan.

“They would thrive in this new business environment. We don’t see this in other states.”

Reid said Colorado is a little more ahead of the game, with its universal healthcare study completed and a ballot measure ready to go.

“We beat you to marijuana and we’ll beat you to universal healthcare,” he quipped.

Here are the events featuring T.R. Reid:

  • July 24th, Friday Noon, Collaborative Life Sciences Building, OHSU, 2730 SW Moody, South Waterfront, Portland. Open to PSU and OHSU students.
  • July 24th, Friday 6:00 pm in Portland: Health Care for All Oregon fundraiser with Mr. Reid as the featured guest. Please contact Terry Rogers at (503) 756-4273 or ibuterry@gmail.com for more details.
  • July 25th, Saturday 12:00 pm in Salem: “Obamacare: Is it the answer?” Presentation by Mr. Reid to the Salem City Club followed by discussion. Creekside Room, Building D, Salem Hospital Campus, 890 Oak Street SE, Salem. Details will be available at http://salemcityclub.com/page-953771
  • July 25th, Saturday 7:00 pm at the Russell Tripp Theater, Linn-Benton Community College, Albany: Presentation by Mr. Reid followed by discussion: “Our Costly and Troubled Sick Care System: U.S. Health Care, What to Do About It.”
  • July 27th, Monday 6:00 pm at the Multnomah County Building, 501 SE Hawthorne, Portland, Board meeting room: Presentation by Mr. Reid followed by discussion: “Universal Health Care: Why Oregon Won't Be First.” No charge. Registration is encouraged (http://www.pdxcityclub.org/calendar_day.asp?date=7/27/2015&event=294). This event is hosted by the City Club of Portland, Health Care Member-Led Forum. Mr. Reid will be introduced by Mike Marshall, executive director of the Portland City Club.

You can help MVHCA as we work for publicly funded universal health care like the rest of the developed world by donatinghosting a house party, signing up for the newsletter, and attending our monthly meetings. You can also Like us on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter. Thank you.

Video: This Won't Hurt a Bit

Watch this informative/funny/tragic video by Mary Harron from the We The Economy channel on YouTube. It packs a lot of information into an entertaining video. Please share with your friends, neighbors, family, co-workers, and anyone else you can think of!

THIS WON'T HURT A BIT! | Mary Harron CHECK US OUT: http://www.wetheeconomy.com Why is healthcare so expensive? "This Won't Hurt a Bit" is a short film that tells the all too familiar tale of American healthcare. A patient enters a hospital with a migraine headache, unaware of the costs his visit will incur on the path to a diagnosis.

You can help MVHCA as we work for publicly funded universal health care like the rest of the developed world by donatinghosting a house party, signing up for the newsletter, and attending our monthly meetings. You can also Like us on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter. Thank you.

Perceptions vs Reality: Politicians' Perceptions of Support for Single Payer

From Digby's Hullaballoo:

Chart 'O the Day "L" word edition
by digby

Kevin Drum:

Here's a fascinating tidbit of research. A pair of grad students surveyed 2,000 state legislators and asked them what they thought their constituents believed on several hot button issues. They then compared the results to actual estimates from each district derived from national surveys.

The chart on the right is typical of what they found: Everyone—both liberal and conservative legislators—thought their districts were more conservative than they really were. For example, in districts where 60 percent of the constituents supported universal health care, liberal legislators estimated the number at about 50 percent. Conservative legislators were even further off: they estimated the number at about 35 percent.

Kevin wonders why this is so and speculates that it's the Fox effect as well as the hard right nature of the modern GOP.

I think that's true.  But I would also guess that the mainstream media continuously saying "this is a conservative country" as if it's self-evident has an effect too.
.
digby 5/24/2015 02:00:00 PM

You can help MVHCA as we work for single payer health care by donatinghosting a house party, signing up for the newsletter, and attending our monthly meetings. You can also Like us on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter. Thank you.

Universal health coverage post-2015: putting people first

From the Lancet

Dec 12, 2014 marks the world's first Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day. Defined in the World Health Report 2010, UHC means that all people who need quality, essential health services (prevention, promotion, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliation) receive them without enduring financial hardship. UHC also means different things to different people. Vivian Lin, health systems director (WHO regional office for the Western Pacific), told The Lancet, “some define UHC as a journey or an aspiration but it is actually a strategy to get to equitable and sustainable outcomes”. UHC is indeed considered one of the key components of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be finalised in September, 2015. The SDG Open Working Group proposal target 3 is to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all people at all ages. Arguably, healthy populations are the basic engine to reach sustainable development, and health contributes to all 17 SDG targets. Evidence to measure specific health effects is, however, ill-defined—eg, the relationship between health and marine resources or urbanisation. A Lancet Commission on planetary health will report on these themes in 2015.

Flexibility in being guided but not governed by the SDGs is therefore crucial. Putting people at the centre of UHC plans post-2015—in goals and in process—is a broadly acceptable approach to address the unfinished Millennium Development goals (MDGs), and to navigate health for the SDG era. In this context, content in this issue is dedicated to UHC, and The Lancet offers three questions for consideration.

First, who has the right to demand health? We believe the answer is everyone. UHC is within the mandate of the right to health rooted in the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are concerned that current SDG discussion around UHC is less around rights of people and more about the opportunity to open national health markets to international corporations. UHC national plans must have an accountability mechanism from the outset to ensure that governments and providers (private sector included) deliver services fairly. In a Health Policy paper in today's issue, Robert Marten and colleagues assess progress made towards UHC in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS). The authors report on differing approaches but similar challenges. Brazil and South Africa formally established health as a constitutional right. In Brazil, services delivered by a combination of public and private providers are free at the point of delivery, with community participation in the decentralized system.

Second, what about quality of care? Financial risk protection alone is not enough. Early national discussion on quality, approachable compassionate care, cost of services, and user friendliness are crucial—without which UHC is meaningless. Lin says, “it is pointless to have 100% coverage if people die in hospital due to poor quality care, but quality tends to superficially translate to nice facilities rather than the conventional definition of overuse, underuse, and misuse”. Patient experience is a crucial component in quality evaluation. In a Seminar, Hugh Taylor and colleagues summarize interventions to improve the quality of care for trachoma patients. A Lancet Commission on global surgery in 2015 will also contribute to the health quality debate.

Finally, how can we progress towards equity and include the most vulnerable populations? Equity must underpin national health and development planning to address the unfinished MDGs and to make the benefits of sustainability equitably distributed. Profiled in today's issue, David Evans describes UHC as part of the “ongoing momentum for equity”. MDGs must not become, as some NGOs warn, the great disappearing act of the post-2015 era. Humanitarian crises, such as war, outbreak, or natural disaster, are also notably absent from current SDG discussion. The ongoing Ebola outbreak and the weaknesses it has exposed in local health systems is illustrated by Alexandre Delamou and colleagues in a Correspondence calling for more attention to reproductive health. Yet beyond Ebola, there are simply so many conflicts and displaced populations without whose inclusion the notion of UHC is a moot point.

UHC beyond 2015 must start and end with people. Listening to different experiences with illness and specific needs in all contexts, learning from other countries—not only those who have excellent services and 100% coverage, but also from national programmes that have given users of health services a role in accountability—will mean that strong responsive systems can be built. Health can then be claimed as the universal right that post-2015 generations can fully deliver on.

Implementing a Universal Healthcare System Costs Less, Provides Better Care

The U,S. spends more money on administrative costs than anywhere in the world, according to a recent article in Health Affairs. (note: comment and response by Dr. Metz added Nov. 22.)

Guest Opinion by Dr. Samuel Metz on the Lund Report.

Dr. Samuel Metz speaking at the  MVHCA Annual Picnic , August, 2014.

Dr. Samuel Metz speaking at the MVHCA Annual Picnic, August, 2014.

OPINION -- Honoring a rather unpleasant tradition, the September issue of Health Affairs published yet another peer-reviewed study confirming that administrative costs in the U.S. healthcare system are the highest in the world. These administrative costs do not improve patient care. They pay for more administrators.

Each American physician requires 10 administrators to stay in business. Why does American healthcare require twice as many administrators as any other healthcare system?

Because these additional administrators perform a function totally unnecessary in other countries: They restrict access to healthcare and limit benefits of patients who do gain access.

If restricting access and limiting benefits produced a healthier population at lower cost, then Americans could be proud of our massive number of administrators. But the U.S. does not have a healthier population and our healthcare is not inexpensive. In fact, our public health is the worst in the developed world, and our healthcare system is the most expensive of any nation on the planet.

Some blame government bureaucracies for these excessive administrative costs. But let’s not be hasty. Per patient, private insurance overhead exceeds that of Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA – combined. We may have doubts about our government to spend money in other areas, but when it comes to reducing the administrative costs of health care, government programs are ten times as efficient as private insurance.

Restricting access and limiting care is an expensive process, consuming more money than we would spend simply providing unrestricted access and treating all treatable diseases. How do we know? Because every healthcare system in the world that implements universal care without limiting benefits ultimately provides better care to more people for less money.

Where does our private insurance model lead us astray? The primary goal of insurance companies, like all other businesses, is to make more money than they spend. But an insurance company cannot stay solvent selling comprehensive policies at affordable prices to people who will get sick. So insurance companies spend a lot of money to avoid populations that include sick people, to shift costs to patients, to limit benefits, and to exclude physicians who care for patients with expensive diseases (e.g., AIDS, cancer). After all, who will buy a policy that lets you go broke before you get better?

How much money do insurance companies consume in their (so far successful) efforts to avoid selling policies to sick people and limiting their care? A conservative estimate is $400 billion annually (that’s $5 billion annually in Oregon).

How much would the US spend if we simply provided comprehensive care to everyone? About $300 billion ($3.3 billion in Oregon).

The math produces an inescapable conclusion. If Oregon diverted all the money we currently spend to restrict access and limit benefits and instead invested directly in healthcare, we could provide comprehensive care to everyone and save ourselves $1.7 billion dollars.

There is no mystery. A statewide healthcare program that diverted all the money we currently spend on insurance premiums and out-of-pocket payments into a single agency that paid for comprehensive healthcare for everyone would cost less than we spend now. Not only that, but all Oregonians would enjoy healthcare when they need it, no matter what their employment status might be. We just need to stop paying money to restrict access and limit care.

It’s obvious that the barriers to healthcare cost more than providing healthcare. If we commit to universal healthcare in Oregon, we can not only save money but get better care.

Samuel Metz is a private practice anesthesiologist who lives and works in Portland.  He is a member of Physicians for a National Health Program and a founding member of Mad As Hell Doctors, both of which are organizations that advocate for universal health care in Oregon and nationally. He is collaborating with State Sen. Michael Dembrow on finding private funding for the HB 3260 study of financing universal health care in Oregon. He can be reached at S@SamuelMetz.com.

Comments posted on the Lund Report

really?

Submitted by danneils on Thu, 11/13/2014 - 16:32   I'm sorry to attack this commentators premise, but the vast majority of Oregonians are already on a government run program. We just gave 300,000 more Oregonians free medical and dental coverage through the Oregon Health Plan's Managed-Care program. Are you honestly going to tell me these 300,000 people in the 'government run' system are getting that happy freedom you seek? Instead of having that freedom of choice, they are have a limited doctor selection, care management, many top specialists not participating, and those administrators are alive and well to make decisions about expensive procedures. On the other side, for those smaller amount of folks in the private-pay system, they are being offered over 100 different plans from 10 companies with no waiting periods for pre-existing conditions. The Marketplace is making it affordable for many, and many are offered a huge doctor networks where they can self-refer to the provider of their choice (Providence alone has around 12,000 providers statewide. Are we really to believe that if the smart people can assemble a single-payor system in Oregon we'd suddenly get the best of both worlds? Trying to point at administrative costs alone as the problem is short sighted.

Submitted by samuelmetz on Sat, 11/15/2014 - 06:17

Danneils makes important points. In reply, here are statistics from the Oregon Insurance Division annual report. About 42% of Oregonians get health care through a government program (primarily Medicare and Medicaid). Because not all physicians accept patients in these government programs, physician choice for these patients is limited. These patients are not free to “self-refer.” About 47% of Oregonians get health care through their employer. Because their employer picks their insurance company and their insurance company picks their physicians, physician choice for these patients is limited. These patients are not free to “self-refer.” About 6% of Oregonians get health care through individual policies. Because only a limited number of companies offer individual policies and the insurance company selects physicians, physician choice for these patients is limited. These patients are not free to “self-refer.” (1) About 200,000 Oregonians have no insurance and no means to pay. Because they lack both insurance and money, they have no choice of physician. These patients are not free to “self-refer.” We should remember that emergency care is not free. While patients with urgent needs cannot be turned away, patients are billed for emergency services and risk bankruptcy if they cannot pay. Other people (like Danneils and me) ultimately pay for their emergency care through higher taxes and higher premium prices. “Affordable” insurance refers only to the price of the premium. Families with “affordable” insurance with high-deductibles may find they cannot afford deductibles, co-pays, excluded conditions, or services from out-of-network physicians. Thus many Oregonians with private insurance policies risk bankruptcy or death if they get the wrong disease at the wrong time. This is called “under-insurance”. Many patients with high-deductible insurance still have a “waiting period” because they must wait until they accumulate enough to pay the deductible. About 500 Oregonians die each year because they never accumulate enough money. In summary, I agree with Danniels that our current system fails to provide us with guaranteed access to health care, or with affordable health care, or with patient choice of physician, or with protection from medical bankruptcy. This applies to both private and public health care programs. Most Oregonians, insured or not, are just one hospitalization away from financial catastrophe. Danneils ultimately asks, “Are we really to believe that if the smart people can assemble a single-payer system in Oregon we'd suddenly get the best of both worlds?” The answer is Yes. A single payer agency, be it private or public, that collected all money currently paid in premiums, out of pocket expenses, and taxes which then paid for all treatable conditions for all Oregonians and included all physicians, would provide us with the care we need with maximal physician choice and at lower cost.

Learn more about MVHCA activities here.

US rebuff of 'socialized medicine' baffles world health leaders

By Brett Wilkins
Feb 10, 2014 in Health

Why is the United States the only most-developed nation lacking some form of government-funded universal health care system?
Why are so many Americans, even those who support or rely upon government programs like Medicare, so vehemently opposed to 'socialized medicine?'
Why do so many Americans continue to believe theirs is the best health care system in the world, even when presented with irrefutable evidence to the contrary?
To help answer these questions, this Digital Journalist interviewed more than a dozen leading health officials from around the world and asked them to compare health care attitudes in their countries and in the United States. "It comes down to a difference in culture and character," said Dr. Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and a fellow at the Royal College of Physicians in London. "In America, you've got this sense of individualism and Darwinian survival and opportunity to win. In the UK, we have this very strong sense that we have to provide for the weaker in our society."
"In the pursuit of excellence, people lost along the way do not count for much, and if you can buy excellent health care... if you can afford it, you get it. If you can't, you don't. You guys simply do not believe in equity," Leeder said of Americans.
So what do international health officials make of all the horror stories disseminated by US special interests about the lack of patient choice, 'rationed care,' 'death panels' and long waiting lists, stories apparently meant to scare an American populace that ranks 51st in global life expectancy away from public health care? "Any patient can at any time switch physicians. There are no 'death panels,'" insisted CMA president Francescutti. "Do we have slightly longer waits than Americans? Yes we do. But when you take a look at the indicators, we're faring better than you in just about every category, and you're spending twice as much money."
"What people should do at the end of the day is not exaggerate," added Dr. Francescutti. "Nobody gets turned away here. Nobody goes bankrupt if they have a heart attack. God forbid you have a heart attack in the United States and you don't have coverage." Indeed, unpaid medical bills are the number one cause of US bankruptcies, with nearly two million Americans affected in 2013.

Read this entire article here.



Americans living in Mexico praise 'Seguro Popular' universal health care

 

If Mexico can do it, why can't we?

Just out in the medical journal The Lancet is a sweeping look at how Mexico brought in universal coverage, and the health benefits the country reaped, including significant drops in the death rates among babies and children and mothers. A Lancet editorial concludes that Mexico has demonstrated that universal coverage, “as well as being ethically the right thing to do, is the smart thing to do.”

This country chose to believe in the fact that people’s access to health care should not be defined by where they work but rather by their need for health care. Number two, in addition to this being a right, a social entitlement, it was good for human development, for social development, for economic development, to make sure people were not going bankrupt and suffering impoverishment and catastrophe from trying to figure out how to manage the cost of health care.”

“I think number one is the reduction in the proportion of families that are suffering catastrophic impoverishment from health care spending. There are also some very impressive numbers on improvement in effective coverage” — coverage of vaccinations, and cervical cancer screening, and more.

Full article here.

The Myth of Health Care's Free Market

Our universal single-payer health-care plan for older Americans, Medicare, has lower costs and lower overhead than the system serving those under age 65. If everyone in the U.S. was on Medicare, the savings would move the federal budget from deficit to surplus.

Read the full article in Newsweek.

Our universal single-payer health-care plan for
older Americans, Medicare, has lower costs and lower overhead than the system
serving those under age 65. If everyone in the U.S. was on Medicare, the savings
would move the federal budget from deficit to surplus.

Can Vermont's Single-Payer System Fix What Ails American Healthcare?

 

The Affordable Care Act's turbulent implementation has ruled the news cycle, but across the country states like Vermont are experimenting with their own plans.

Governor Peter Shumlin signed a revolutionary single-payer plan, Green Mountain Healthcare—the culmination of decades of work by progressive politicians in the state—into law in May 2011. The new system aims to guarantee universal insurance coverage, improve benefits for those who are currently underinsured, include universal dental care and vision care, and increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate to doctors in order to avoid cost-shifting.

Read the full article in The Atlantic.

Vermont working toward universal health care in 2017

As states open insurance marketplaces amid uncertainty about whether they're a solution for health care, Vermont is eyeing a bigger goal, one that more fully embraces a government-funded model.

The state has a planned 2017 launch of the nation's first universal health care system, a sort of modified Medicare-for-all that has long been a dream for many liberals.

Read further.