Supreme Court Obamacare decision good news for Vermont reform plans

By Alan Panebaker and Taylor Dobbs

The U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion Thursday morning upholding in large part the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

The court found a so-called “individual mandate” requiring Americans to buy health insurance was constitutional under the government’s power “to lay and collect taxes.”

The court also upheld a part of the law expanding coverage of Medicaid for young Americans who make up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

The decision means Vermont will likely be able to draw down hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money to subsidize health insurance for low-income residents. It also means a green light, at least for now, for the state to move forward with its goal of implementing a single-payer health care system in 2017.

Gov. Peter Shumlin, who campaigned on the idea of single-payer in 2010, will hold a press conference this afternoon to discuss the decision’s effects on Vermont.

The decision means Vermont will likely be able to draw down hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money to subsidize health insurance for low-income residents. It also means a green light, at least for now, for the state to move forward with its goal of implementing a single-payer health care system in 2017.

Randy Brock, who is running against Shumlin as a Republican, held his own press conference Thursday morning to say the Supreme Court decision only delays the inevitable failure single-payer in Vermont.

“Today’s Supreme Court decision postpones the day of reckoning for Governor Shumlin’s Titanic Care health care law,” he said. “Federal dollars can now temporarily plug the huge holes the governor’s plan will generate in Vermont’s budget.”

Brock has been outspoken against Vermont’s approach, criticising the unknown funding structure and the lack of accountability provided by the all-appointee Green Mountain Care Board.

Comments

  1. David Usher :

    Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, Mr. Wennberg says this: “…the Governor’s desire to implement his government monopoly health care system prior to 2017 appears to be beyond reach, since the ACA prohibits the issuance of waivers – which Green Mountain Care requires – until then.”

    If Mr. Wennberg is correct, this does seem to muck up the works for Gov. Shumlin’s single-payer approach to VT health care. Congress in passing the ACA, seems to have expected more insurers in the market, rather than fewer. If waivers are not available before 2017, perhaps Vermont’s rush to single-payer provides an opportunity for voters to have a say if the costs and sources of revenue to support Vermont’s new approach are made available before the election.

  2. It seems that those critical of the Green Mountain Care Board are long on metaphor(s)and short on solutions: i.e. Randy Brock’s “Titanic Care”, John McClaughry’s “Flank Speed,” or Bruce Lisman’s “Rocketing to ‘single payer’”

    We’ll see if Mr. Brock’s “free market” solution for health care “holds any water” when he finally “unvails it.”

  3. walter carpenter :

    Titaniccare would be a good metaphor for Mr. Brock’s plan. It would bring us to the bottom real fast.

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