On Thursday Vermont became the first state to enact a single payer healthcare system for its citizens. It’s not exactly surprising that one of the country’s most liberal states has become the first state to legislate a fundamental right to healthcare for all of its citizens. And, should the federal government allow them to proceed, it is only a few years until Vermont surpasses Massachusetts in the percentage of its population that has access to healthcare.
About a week ago, the New York Times ran a story about the campaign to pass this law. The article focused mostly on one of the main advocates for the law, though it did briefly quote one of the main opponents, a former Republican state senator. For once we weren’t subjected to the same tired old excuses, that government has no place in the healthcare market, meant to protect the healthcare industry.
The argument, also used during the fight over national healthcare reform, was that the new healthcare law, specifically the new taxes that would be necessary to enact it, would drive businesses from Vermont. This is an argument that of course makes little sense; Vermont will be replacing its current healthcare system with a cheaper one. Businesses that currently provide healthcare to their employees will almost certainly see a fall in their expenditures on healthcare. Yes, businesses that do not provide healthcare to their employees will be negatively impacted, but are these the type of businesses one wants in their state? read more »