VPR, April 15, 2011
Next week, the full Senate is expected to consider the Governor's plan to restructure the state's health care system. Although the bill doesn't commit Vermont to a single payer system, supporters say it does put the state on the path to such an approach. And, as VPR's Bob Kinzel reports, that has some lawmakers concerned. (Kinzel) At the beginning of the session, lawmakers got a report from international consultant Dr. William Hsaio, that concluded that the state could save a half billion dollars a year by switching to a single payer health care system. The savings would largely be the result of streamlining the administrative system that's used to process health care forms and developing a new payment system. Speaking on VPR's Vermont Edition, House Health Care chairman Mark Larson said these savings are essential to expand coverage to all Vermonters. (Larson) "We can save enough money to be able to cover 47,000 Vermonters who currently don't have any insurance, improve the coverage for about 160,000 Vermonters who are underinsured, who have very limited benefits of high cost sharing and then still be able to achieve significant overall system cost savings beyond that."