Health Care

VPR's coverage of changes to Vermont's Health Care laws and systems. Follow Bob Kinzel on Twitter. Read the Vermont Health Care Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Some organizations who support Gov. Peter Shumlin's decision to back away from single-payer health care say there are other health care reform efforts that could have a positive impact on medical costs. 

Tom Torti, president and CEO of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, is one of those watching the health care reform efforts closely. As part of the governor's business advisory council, Torti said he has seen various scenarios for how to fund single payer and was worried about the price tag.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Hospitals in New Hampshire and Vermont are making progress in the battle against a leading cause of death. Sepsis is triggered by infection and causes inflammation through the entire body. But Emergency Departments are now intervening quickly to save lives. 

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Peter Shumlin’s decision to abandon his plan for single-payer health care has spurred feelings of relief, anger, surprise and confusion. And the political bombshell has everyone trying to figure out what’s next for health care reform.

About 60 protestors made their way down Main Street in Montpelier on Thursday, carrying cardboard effigies of the same Democratic governor they worked to elect not so long ago.

Angela Evancie / VPR

The prospect of single-payer health care in Vermont is no more, at least for now.

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Wednesday that he is backing away from his signature policy push that would have made Vermont the first state in the nation with a publicly financed health care system overseen by state government. The governor now says that the taxes required to pay for such a system would simply be too much for Vermont to bear.

Gov. Shumlin came to the VPR studios to talk with host Alex Keefe about his decision and what comes next.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Governor Peter Shumlin said on Wednesday that the time isn’t right for single-payer health care, and pushing for it now would likely hurt Vermont’s economy. We talk to VPR's Peter Hirschfeld and Vermont Press Bureau's Neal Goswami about the decision. And we hear from Lawrence Miller, head of the Governor's health care reform efforts.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Vermonters are reacting to the news that Governor Peter Shumlin won't move forward with the implementation of a single payer health care system.

Doctor Deb Richter, the chair of Vermont Health Care for All, said she's disappointed by the governor's decision, but said it could lead to an opportunity to do things in a different way, noting she has advocated for incremental reform.
 

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

Gov. Peter Shumlin has abandoned his plan to institute a single-payer health system in Vermont.

The shocking policy reversal comes just six weeks after an election in which Shumlin had vowed, in unequivocal terms, to make Vermont the first state in the country with a publicly financed health care system.

Read Shumlin's prepared remarks from the news conference.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

A group of about 50 medical students at the University of Vermont staged a "die-in" Monday to show solidarity with similar actions across the U.S., and to raise awareness of race issues.

The students who organized the demonstration said it wasn't outside of their purview to weigh in on the national conversation on racial issues since this summer's events in Ferguson, Missouri. The goal, the students said, was to spark discussions in medical schools around the U.S. about the racial discrimination that "kills, sickens and provides inadequate care."

Governor Peter Shumlin is planning on releasing his long-awaiting financing plan for single payer health care in two weeks. But some details of the plan have already leaked out.

Health care analyst Hamilton Davis has been writing about these issues on his web site,  A Vermont Journal, and he spoke with VPR's Mitch Wertlieb.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Gov. Peter Shumlin will unveil his single-payer financing proposal later this month. But a powerful Senate lawmaker says the Legislature might want to spend less time this year talking about how Vermont pays for health insurance, and focus instead on making sure everyone is getting it.

Few people in the Legislature will have more influence over the health care debate in than Sen. Tim Ashe. The Chittenden County Democrat not only chairs the committee that handles tax matters for the Senate, he’s also the Senate President’s most trusted advisor on health care reform matters.

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