Skip to comments.Vt. lawmakers look at paying for single-payer (13% payroll tax!)
Posted on 01/17/2014 3:12:34 PM PST by Straight Vermonter
MONTPELIER, Vt. -In a rare move, a Democratic senator held the floor for much of the Senate Republicans' caucus Thursday.
"I know that I'm in a forum of skeptics and I want to emphasize that I am a supporter. I introduced a financing bill because I believe in it but I also think it's important to have an honest discussion about what this is going to cost and how to do it," said Sen. Peter Galbraith, D-Windham County.
Act 48 required Gov. Peter Shumlin to explain how to pay for a single-payer system last January. He cited implementation delay for only providing a vague outline instead. Galbraith says the governor's proposal will look like his.
"There's really only one way to pay for it in broad terms and that is by an employer-- a payroll tax imposed on employers," Galbraith said.
Galbraith proposes an 11 percent tax on employer payroll and a 2 percent rate for employees. Self-employed would pay both ends and the self-insured would not be exempted; federal employees would keep their current government coverage. Galbraith concedes his tax structure may need tweaking to accommodate plan costs-- current estimates suggest between $1.6 billion and $2 billion-- and legislators' tastes.
A separate hearing on the House side also focused on the future of health care.
"We want to have the highest quality, the best access, but just be a little less expensive than the United States," said Al Gobeille, the chair of the Green Mountain Care Board.
Gobeille told legislators financing and plan creation can't be done separately. However, that package still needs to be imagined.
"Financing not defined, and the word sustainable, not defined, so the words I feel good about are 'for' and 'is,'" Gobeille said.
Board members have not even defined the term benefits yet. Before it can sign off on single-payer, members must be convinced:
Vermonters will be offered strong plans
The move would not have a net negative impact on the economy
Financing is sustainable
The system shows better value than the 2011 market did
Cost containment will not reduce access
A sufficient reimbursement rate for health providers
"These are the things that make your knees buckle," Gobeille said.
After setting dates for further discussion, the board turned its attention to current reform. As administrators for Vermont's exchange sought changes to approved plans for 2015 in order to comply with federal standards. Regardless of what the state does, single-payer won't move forward unless the federal government signs off on re-purposing exchange funds to run it.
The Senate Finance Committee will review Galbraith's plan Friday. Administration officials are also expected to be there, but it's not clear if they will provide any plans of their own.
Single payer is going to happen in VT come hell or high water. The liberals have far too much invested politically to stop now. There will be some perfunctory discussion about the loss of jobs but that is all.
Pray for those of us behind the maple curtain.
But that's not going to happen.
This will solve everyone’s health care issues. I am glad that I don’t live in the Vermont nirvana that this guy wants.
Heh, so this guy admits that Vermont is NOT part of the United States.
Quality? Paying doctors Medicaid rates ain't gonna get there.
Access? Refer to what I just said.
Less expensive? I'll wager that this will cost triple what the initial estimates are, and quality and access will drop like a stone.
And a side wager that when it DOES, that instead of repealing the monstrosity, the liberals ask for more taxes.
13% would become 15% and then 17% while care gets more and more restricted
I guess all those “doctors” from Bangladesh and Cuba are going to be in for quite the culture shock in Vermont.
Seriously, its time to start building insane asylums and lock up domestic marxists politicians who come up with hare brained schemes like single payer.
They are mentally ill, and need to be put somewhere where they no longer pose a threat.
It’s us or them
Tomorrow I tap my big maple tree........
East Tennessee Maple syrup......... Yummmm
Best in the world. Southern photons yield greater maple biomass and sweeter syrup
How much of Vermonts revenue comes from tourism? Anyone know.
I realize they have a few colleges up there to support those communities and that the place is getting about as liberal as one place could get, but other than skiing and college, what else is up there?
Be interesting to see how expensive lift tickets, etc are going to become when all these costs are passed off to the tourists and those that have vacation homes up there.
So only those working pay for everyone. That’s nice.
Lift tickets are already in the $80-$100 range. For mashed-potato man-made, frozen granular and ass-busting ice.
Not wasting any of my prayer time on Vermont. The best I can do for you is to send ammunition. You’ve got some people there who are so damdumb that killing might be their only cure. If they refuse re-education in business and math then your choices are limited. At a minimum the outlined proposal will accelerate the underground economy like nothing else imagined. Then you can watch jobs leave the state on the imagined bullet train I’m sure the same geniuses would no doubt love to have-—the one that connects them to Nirvana-—or maybe Greece.
Good incentive for employers not to hire anybody.
The right and moral thing to do would be for the government to tax everyone at 100% and then distribute the money to each according to his need. It’s what I would do, if it wasn’t for the greedy capitalists who want to keep what they earn.
Removes all incentive to earn money.
“Galbraith proposes an 11 percent tax on employer payroll and a 2 percent rate for employees. Self-employed would pay both ends and the self-insured would not be exempted”
In all seriousness, it would probably be cheaper to just create a medical tourism fund to fly people down to Panama or one of the other countries with for-profit hospitals catering to westerners with hard currency. Great care and low prices - everything Vt’s plan won’t offer!
The employers will be paying 11% of the bill. What kind of incentive does that provide for employers to hire people or to remain in VT? Get ready NH for a flood of refugees from the Socialist State of Vermont.
“In all seriousness, it would probably be cheaper to just create a medical tourism fund to fly people down to Panama or one of the other countries with for-profit hospitals catering to westerners with hard currency. Great care and low prices - everything Vts plan wont offer!”
Even better, establish massive medical centers on Indian reservations though out the U.S., establish a network of such centers such that the confederated group of centers could sell their own set of health insurance policies. Buy one of those instead of an obamacare policy and refuse to pay the fine. I’d trust my health to the American Indians before I would Obama.
Years ago, the communists from Ct, Ma, NY, NJ, etc. moved North to escape their local Gulags .... but somehow, wherever they went ... they brought themselves along.
I’ll have my bro send me some. Lived in VT for 3 yrs long ago and savor the syrup, but I will definitely try TN syrup. To me, it is amber gold!
According to Vermont's health insurance exchange, Bronze plans for a couple are $672 a month, and for a parent and child, $648 per month. A single person's premium is $336 per month.
So a typical household of two people will pay around $8000 per year for health insurance, most of which ends up paying for medical care somewhere. But the proposed 13% payroll tax only ends up generating $7041 for the median household, leaving the state fund short by $1000 per household for households at the median, and the deficit grows for households below the median income.
The scheme simply isn't viable, since the benefits delivered are the same regardless of how much a household earns. Employers may benefit, since they get to limit their costs of offering health insurance to their workers to 11% of the worker's salary, but it is unlikely that the overall approach will work.