Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is pitching a single-payer healthcare system in his bid for the presidency, but according to the Washington Examiner, one of those systems failed when it was implemented in his own state.
According to the report, Vermont decided they wanted to adopt the system in 2014 and the Democratic-majority in the state legislature passed it.
All that needed to happen next was for Democrat Governor Peter Shumlin to sign it into law.
And he wanted to.
There was just one problem, according to the report: He couldn’t afford it.
“This is not the right time,” the governor said at the time, per Politico. Calling it, “detrimental to Vermonters.”
Politico reports the new bill would require businesses “to take on a double-digit payroll tax, while individuals would face up to a 9.5 percent premium assessment.” These big businesses did not want to carry the load of the new plan, forcing the governor to bail on it.
“These are simply not tax rates that I can responsibly support or urge the Legislature to pass,” Shumlin determined. “In my judgment, the potential economic disruption and risks would be too great to small businesses, working families and the state’s economy.”
The Washington Examiner adds:
The system Vermont’s bill proposed would also have added even more administrative complexity to an already complex system. It made certain exemptions for large businesses, reducing the funding necessary to get the program running. And it was never clear whether or how citizens already enrolled in federal plans, such as Medicare and Medicaid, would have been integrated into the system.
In short, Medicare for All was too expensive and too complex for Vermont.
This should be a red flag for proponents of Sanders’s policy: If an individual state was unable to implement a single-payer system, why should we believe the federal government will be able to?
Politically, there were very few obstacles standing between Vermont and Medicare for All. The problem is that Medicare for All is an obstacle in and of itself.