Vermont moves closer to single payer healthcare financing

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 12 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4424
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

The US state of Vermont has taken further steps to initiate a single payer system for healthcare, creating a publicly financed insurance fund that provides basic benefits to all its citizens and pays providers under uniform mechanisms and rates.

The system, which contrasts with the existing complex series of multiple and overlapping payers, will be implemented in 2015 at the earliest but still faces challenges.

“Vermont has the courage to be the vanguard for the other states; it will change not only financing but the whole incentive structure,” said William Hsiao, an economics professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, at a forum in Washington, DC, on 7 July. Professor Hsiao …

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