State hires MIT economist to vet single-payer proposals

Vermont has hired a policy architect of the Affordable Care Act as an economic consultant to help the Shumlin administration vet different single-payer financing scenarios.

Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will help Shumlin’s health care reform team understand how different tax structures will impact subsets of the population as they design a proposal to pay for a planned universal health care program.

Gruber is a veteran of health care economics and national health policy having served as technical adviser to the Obama administration and Congress as they designed the Affordable Care Act.

The contract is worth $400,000 and is expected to solidify the administration’s pitch to lawmakers when it presents its proposal to lawmakers in January.

The Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Office recently signed its own more limited contract for economic simulations with Rand Corp.

The upcoming legislative session is expected show whether Gov. Peter Shumlin’s signature policy priority will come to fruition.

Morgan True

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7 Comments on "State hires MIT economist to vet single-payer proposals"


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Cynthia Browning
2 years 5 months ago
The Administration clearly has alternative financing plans for GMC that will be given to Prof. Gruber for his analysis. Why can’t they be given to the Vermonters who will pay for GMC and whose health insurance will depend on GMC? I am sure that Prof. Gruber’s study will be useful, but Vermonters deserve to have a chance to evaluate the plans sooner rather than later. It is a violation of the principles of transparency and accountability that this Administration refuses to allow Vermonters to see these plans. Given the incompetence and poor judgement shown by the Administration and the legislative… Read more »
J. Scott Cameron
2 years 5 months ago


Jonathan Willson
2 years 5 months ago

Please just run for Governor

Thomas Powell
2 years 5 months ago

Another outlay of taxpayer funds to support another person to help Shumlin force through his single payer agenda. How many people have jobs in Montpelier fanning the flames of this financing scheme, and (as noted above) why are none of them willing to tell us the tax impacts prior to November elections? And, considering the wreckage that is Vermont Health Connect, how in the world are we supposed to have confidence that this government can run the financing of an entire health care system?

J. Scott Cameron
2 years 5 months ago
Currently, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent by school districts, municipalities, county governments and the State of Vermont to provide top of the line health insurance benefits to public employees. Public employers fund these costs from the local property tax (schools, cities and towns) and general fund tax revenues (State employees). If and when single payer is implemented all public employees should transition to that program, hopefully as part and parcel of the enabling legislation (if government believes single payer is good for us, should it not mandate participation by its own employees?). When that occurs public employers and… Read more »
Matt Taylor
2 years 5 months ago

One reason the health insurance for the state employees works is that EVERYONE pays in a similar amount per month….no one gets “free” insurance therefore it works…

If you start handing out “free” insurance them premiums will go up and the coverage will go down…it’s simple math.

Chris Lewis
2 years 5 months ago


You are correct.

Now, if you can sell the upside of free insurance, and ignore the cost part, you will be suited to be the next governor of Vermont.

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