Vermont scraps single-payer health plan

Dec 18, 2014 | Healthcare Industry News

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced that his state would be abandoning its pursuit of becoming the first in the country with a publicly funded health care system. Shumlin called the announcement the biggest disappointment of his career, and explained that inflating costs would have made the effort unsustainable. 

"The bottom line is that, as we completed the financing modeling in the last several days, it became clear that the risk of economic shock is too high at this time to offer a plan I can responsibly support for passage in the Legislature," Shumlin said a press conference. 

Shumlin added that he did not want to undermine future efforts at achieving a single-payer system by "pushing prematurely" when it is "not the right time for Vermont." 

Vermont began efforts towards universal health care in 2011, with a hope of developing a system similar to its northern neighbor, Canada. The original legislation called for the drafting of a plan to finance Green Mountain Care, the state's major hospital group, by 2013. However, the plan was not finalized until last week. After review, Shumlin and his team found that the plan would require an 11.5 percent payroll tax on businesses and an income tax separate from the one the state already has of up to 9.5 percent.

While advocates of the single-payer plan are certainly disappointed, care facilities should return focus to ensuring future cash flow. To maintain the ability to continue providing quality care at your facility  facility or organization, consider making the decision to pursue accounts receivable outsourcing. This can drastically reduce the number of dollars written off to bad debt.