Vermont Single-Payer Law Has a Long Way To Go
The Vermont legislature has been basking in the healthcare limelight for the past few weeks. On May 26, Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed into law a bill known simply as H202. If everything proceeds as expected, Vermont citizens will be covered by a single-payer health insurance system sometime in 2017. Yep, six years from now.
Actually it's not a real single-payer system because it incorporates universal coverage, but that's the terminology being used to describe the Vermont law.
In all the ballyhoo following the signing of H202 a lot of people have lost sight of what the bill actually does: It creates a process which will – fingers crossed – result in the implementation of the single-payer system….eventually.
There is a lot to be accomplished before the first proud Vermonter presents his or her Green Mountain Care membership card to a provider. The Burlington Free Press identified almost 40 questions involving at least seven state agencies that need to be answered before the state can begin bring this insurance law to life.
- What healthcare payment and delivery reforms would best control the rate of growth in healthcare costs and maintain healthcare quality?
- What state law changes are needed to integrate the private insurance market with the health benefit exchange?
- How might the state reorganize and consolidate health-related functions in agencies and departments across state government?
- Should the state adopt a prescription drug formulary to be used by all insurers, public and private, with some variations allowed for Medicaid?
- Should non-residents employed by Vermont businesses be eligible for Green Mountain Care?