Health Care

Former Gov. Peter Shumlin says he underestimated the political and policy challenges of implementing a single payer health care system in Vermont.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Former Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin told the Harvard School of Public Health on Tuesday that he miscalculated the political and policy challenges associated with the single payer approach.

Aides to Vermont's congressional delegation briefed lawmakers Thursday on the federal budget situation. Kathryn Becker Van Haste, center, says a key piece of funding for a widely used health care program is set to expire at the end of the month.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont has so far dodged most of the federal spending cuts that many state lawmakers had feared, but the state is potentially only weeks away from a  severe hit to a widely used health care program.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, seen here in a Facebook video posted Sept. 13, introduces his "Medicare For All" act Wednesday.
screenshot from Facebook live

Sen. Bernie Sanders and his co-sponsors will introduce his "Medicare For All" act Wednesday afternoon. Sanders is streaming his announcement via Facebook Live.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has a proposal for a taxpayer-financed, universal healthcare program. It's called "Medicare for all" and basically would expand Medicare to include all Americans.

Gov. Phil Scott is part of a bipartisan group of governors working on ways to strengthen the Affordable Care Act
VPR / Bob Kinzel

As Congress considers changes to the Affordable Care Act, a bipartisan group of governors is hoping to play an important role in the debate over a new health care bill. Gov. Phil Scott says the only way to tackle the issue is for Republicans and Democrats to work together.

When I was young, Morrisville had three doctors, two dentists and the wood-framed, four-story, Copley Hospital, which had the town’s first elevator. Theoretically, there was competition, but price wasn’t the criteria by which we chose our providers, it was familiarity and trust.

Nina Keck / VPR

Rutland Regional Medical Center says it wants to build a new $21.7 million expansion to accommodate its growing orthopedic services, physiatry department and ear, nose and throat department.

Green Mountain Care Board Chairman Kevin Mullin says the state needs to attach tighter strings to public money being received by Vermont Information Technology Leaders.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board says he wants to see “meaningful changes” in “staff and operations” at the private organization creating electronic medical records for the Vermont health care system.

Sen. Bernie Sanders says now is the time to begin debating the merits of his "Medicare for All" health care plan.
Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

Sen. Bernie Sanders says his plan to implement a taxpayer financed, universal coverage health care system in this country is based on a relatively simple concept - expand the federal Medicare program to include all Americans.

The Senate Health and Welfare committee plans to take a detailed look at a bill creating a publicly financed primary care system for all Vermonters
Chitose Suzuki / Associated Press

A plan to create a publicly financed primary health care system for all Vermonters will be a top priority for the Senate Health and Welfare committee during the 2018 session.

Vermont's shortage of primary care doctors will soon get worse because a number of them will retire in the next few years.
shironosov / iStock

Many states across the country have a need to attract more primary care physicians, but Vermont's situation has an additional twist - a sizeable number of the state's primary care doctors are expected to retire in the next few years.

Green Mountain Care Board Chairman Kevin Mullin says the state needs to attach tighter strings to public money being received by Vermont Information Technology Leaders.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

State regulators have ratcheted down the premium increases sought by the Vermont’s largest private health insurer, but one key official says rate hikes for next year’s plans will still be “ridiculously high.”

VPR/Melody Bodette

Middlebury's Porter Medical Center hit a low point in 2016. In the process of instituting cuts to deal with serious financial losses, staff morale suffered. 

Sarah Launderville, executive director of the Vermont Center for Independent Living, says Medicaid funding is still in jeopardy, even though the Affordable Care Act has survived attempts by Republicans to repeal it.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

For supporters of the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, last week’s failed vote to repeal the law was cause for celebration. But the future of federal funding for health care programs in Vermont remains uncertain, and advocates say they are not resting easy.

Rep. Peter Welch is hopeful that President Trump will develop a more bipartisan approach with Congressional Democrats.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press/File

Following the failure by Senate Republican leaders to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week, a group of 40 House members, including 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans, has emerged with a proposal to help strengthen the health care law.

Emotions ran high at a public forum hosted by the Manchester VA Medical Center Wednesday night. The gathering came on the heels of a Boston Globe report alleging unsanitary conditions and insufficient care at the hospital.

Dozens of veterans showed up at Manchester Community College to hear from VA officials about how they are addressing the allegations detailed in the Globe report. Those in attendance expressed concerns about long wait times, rushed doctor visits, and difficulty navigating layers of bureaucracy at the Manchester VA.

Chief Health Care Advocate Mike Fisher, center, is urging state regulators to reject the 12.6 percent premium increase being sought by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/file

State regulators will have to weigh conflicting testimony as they decide whether to approve a proposal that would increase Vermonters’ health insurance premiums by more than $50 million next year.   

When I first heard that Senator John McCain had undergone emergency surgery for a blood clot in his brain, I was really worried for him and his family. Those are not simple operations, no matter what the cause or prognosis. 

Green Mountain Surgery Center in Colchester will be Vermont's first independent surgical center. State regulators have approved construction of the facility despite protest from nonprofit hospitals.
xmee / iStock

State regulators have approved construction of what would be Vermont’s first independent surgical center, despite protests from nonprofit hospitals who say the venture will siphon needed revenue away from their operating rooms.

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital was the victim of a recent national cyber attack
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital / BMH

A program used by Brattleboro Memorial Hospital to allow doctors to dictate their notes by phone after they've seen a patient was the victim of a computer virus. It's one of three different methods that physicians at the hospital use to record this important information.

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