Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., plans to introduce legislation to establish a single-payer health care system. His measure comes on the heels of a successful push within his state to implement single-payer. This step, however, adds to federal-level interest in allowing states waivers to pursue their own reforms.
The Hill: Sanders To Introduce Single-Payer Bill
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) will introduce a bill Tuesday to establish a single-payer health care system. The bill would establish state-based programs to administer coverage and set payment rates for providers. A federal board would set criteria for those offices. The new system would replace Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and insurance exchanges established under the Obama administration's health care reform law (Baker, 5/9).
Politico Pro: Vermont's Path To Universal Coverage
Despite the headaches of navigating two large market changes in such a short period of time, Vermont had little choice. Under current law, the Affordable Care Act does not allow states to pursue an alternative to the exchange until 2017. President Barack Obama has endorsed legislation sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that would make states eligible for waivers starting in 2014, but no action has been taken to enact the bill. The legislation that passed on Thursday creates a board that will establish both the exchange and the single-payer system to be called Green Mountain Care if the feds sign off (Feder, 5/9).