Vermont, the first state to put the kibosh on slavery (in 1777!), is now showing the rest of the United States how to do health-care reform.
Both of the state’s legislative chambers have approved a bill aimed at true universal health care, unlike that “mandated insurance” thing enacted federally. Governor Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, will sign the bill into law any day now.
State House Bill 202 establishes a five-person panel tasked with changing Vermont’s health-care payment system to one that is eventually, with perhaps a few exceptions, single-payer.
Insurance companies hate the move, but the Green Mountain State stands to save huge sums in the administrative costs associated with health care. And, most importantly, rich and poor Vermonters alike will be able to rest assured that they can get the medical care they need.
Welcome to the compassionate civilized world, Vermont. May other states follow you instead of defending insurance companies’ “right” to wring profits out of health needs.
There’s good news on the other side of the continental United States, too. California, the country’s most populous state, has taken a tentative step towards a single-payer system. State Senator Mark Leno’s “California Universal Health Care Act” was approved by a committee of the upper house on May 6, bringing it a bit closer to becoming law.
As these measures progress – or, as seems plausible in Cali, get stymied by troglodytes – recall that the White House’s current occupant said as he was running for Prez that health care “should be a right,” not a privilege.
If only Barack Obama had stood firm in that position after inauguration.