Quantcast

Single-payer to cost Vt. more than first thought - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Single-payer to cost Vt. more than first thought

Posted: Updated:
MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Thursday morning, almost every lawmaker on the Health Care Oversight committee peppered Health Access Commissioner Mark Larson about Vermont's bumpy transition into its health exchange. But earlier, the discussion centered around the state's next planned overhaul: the 2017 move to single-payer health care. A study released by the University of Massachusetts last year estimated the cost to be $1.6 billion.

"What we found, though, were a couple of assumptions that were valid at face point, but if you kind of started looking at them and pulling them apart a little bit it did make you stop and start to question things a little bit," said Eric Hammelman of Avalere Health.

Consultants independently hired by the state's hospitals examined the same question. They told legislators the cost is more likely to fall between $1.9 billion and $2.2 billion.

"Effectively there's two big assumptions there," Hammelman said.

The consultants from Avalere Health say projections for dollars saved by improving claim administration won't reach expectations because the state's providers have already made significant improvement, with a rate far below the national average. They also say the proposed care reimbursement rate may be set too low; raising it will mean higher taxpayer cost.

Vermont Director of Health Care Reform Robin Lunge quibbles with some of the new report's methodology, but says the higher figure wouldn't put a halt to reform.

"Even using their assumptions, it proves the point that Green Mountain Care is still an improvement over today's system, which we know is broken," Lunge said.

Officials say 3,400 of the 100,000 expected to enter the Vermont's exchange have selected a plan. But bugs are causing many to question if the state can pull off the single-payer experiment in just a few years.

Consultants also warned legislators that the state should expect Vermonters to use more health care if and when single-payer health care becomes a reality. That's because most are expected to purchase silver plans on the exchange, but Green Mountain Care coverage would be more similar to gold and platinum offerings.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Arrest in murder of Shelburne toddler

    Arrest in murder of Shelburne toddler

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:55 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:55:54 GMT
    Investigators are now calling the suspicious death of a Shelburne toddler murder, and they have made an arrest.
    Investigators are now calling the suspicious death of a Shelburne toddler murder, and they have made an arrest.
  • Celina Cass case still under investigation 3 years later

    Celina Cass case still under investigation 3 years later

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:25 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:25:33 GMT
    It's been three years since Celina Cass was last seen hunched over a computer in her family's apartment in West Stewartstown, New Hampshire. Her body was found a week later.
    It's been three years since Celina Cass was last seen hunched over a computer in her family's apartment in West Stewartstown, New Hampshire. Her body was found a week later.
  • Man charged in Adirondack crash that killed couple

    Man charged in Adirondack crash that killed couple

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:07 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:07:40 GMT
    Authorities say they've charged the driver of a pickup-truck that crashed into a car in the Adirondacks while fleeing police, killing a couple and injuring their daughter.
    Authorities say they've charged the driver of a pickup truck that crashed into a car in the Adirondacks while fleeing police, killing a couple and injuring their daughter.
  • Man charged in Fair Haven killings wants new lawyer

    Man charged in Fair Haven killings wants new lawyer

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:39 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:39:28 GMT
    A 70-year-old Vermont man charged with fatally shooting two electricians who were working on his rented home last winter is asking for a new lawyer.
    A 70-year-old Vermont man charged with fatally shooting two electricians who were working on his rented home last winter is asking for a new lawyer.
  • Vt. man gets 35-plus years for rape

    Vt. man gets 35-plus years for rape

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:56 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:56:29 GMT
    A Vermont man has been sentenced to 35 years to life in prison for raping a woman while she slept.
    A Vermont man has been sentenced to 35 years to life in prison for raping a woman while she slept.
  • Vt. man charged with driving 102 mph on Interstate 89

    Vt. man charged with driving 102 mph on Interstate 89

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:06 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:06:04 GMT
    A 40-year-old man from northwestern Vermont has been charged with gross negligent operation of a motor vehicle after police say they clocked him doing 102 mph on Interstate 89 in Richmond this week.
    A 40-year-old man from northwestern Vermont has been charged with gross negligent operation of a motor vehicle after police say they clocked him doing 102 mph on Interstate 89 in Richmond this week.
  • Wire fraud case of Vt. man delayed until late August

    Wire fraud case of Vt. man delayed until late August

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:56 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:56:49 GMT
    The sentencing of a Vermont man convicted of wire fraud for submitting false invoices to a Maine town won't be scheduled until sometime after Aug. 22.
    The sentencing of a Vermont man convicted of wire fraud for submitting false invoices to a Maine town won't be scheduled until sometime after Aug. 22.
  • VTrans foreman charged with insurance fraud

    VTrans foreman charged with insurance fraud

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:59 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:59:29 GMT
    A Vermont Transportation Agency foreman is facing charges he lied to police and his insurance company after reporting damage to his personal truck was a hit-and-run accident, when it was hit by a new employee.
    A Vermont Transportation Agency foreman is facing charges he lied to police and his insurance company after reporting damage to his personal truck was a hit-and-run accident, when it was hit by a new employee.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.