Vital Signs: First Steps Toward Single Payer

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Vital Signs: Vermont Charts A New Course For Health Care

This week Vermont Edition explores the big concepts and the bedeviling details involved in overhauling the health care system in our series, Vital Signs.

On day two of the series, we look at Governor Peter Shumlin’s health care proposal, which is currently making its way through the legislature. The legislation, which passed the House last month and is now being considered by the Senate, puts the state on the path to implement a single payer system as early as 2014.

The bill would create exchanges to allow people to compare the costs of different health care plans. And it would create a new five-member board to oversee virtually every aspect of health care in the state.

Supporters say it puts the state on track to create a system of universal care with innovative and effective cost controls. Critics say it leaves too many unanswered questions about how it will be paid for and it could undermine the private health insurance market in Vermont. They’re also concerned about the role of the health care board.

Our guests are Anya Rader Wallack, Special Assistant to the Governor for Health Care, and Jeanne Keller, co-director of the Vermont Employers Health Alliance.

And Dr. Elliot Fisher, Director of Population Health and Policy at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, discusses the physician’s role
in the health system overhaul, and the challenges doctors face in adapting to
new approaches to how we deliver and pay for health care.


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