Vt. lawmakers want answers on funding single-payer - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. lawmakers want answers on funding single-payer

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The governor wants to wait until next year to map the transition to single-payer health care, but Vermont lawmakers continue to ask questions about its financial future.

Earlier this year, Sen. Peter Galbraith proposed an employer payroll and employee wage tax to bear much of the cost for a single-payer system. Gov. Peter Shumlin has also stated that a payroll tax is likely to play a prominent role in a funding scheme.

But some members of the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees taxes, say the state may need to find a different path forward after asking administrators about cross-border issues.

"I think there are many arguments in this presentation that would point to not doing a payroll tax and to doing individual-- base it on the individual, where they reside, where they live and where they pay their taxes," said Rep. Alison Clarkson, D-Woodstock.

The price of single-payer remains unknown. Some estimates have it between $1.6 billion and $2.2 billion. Lawmakers told Green Mountain Care administrators they're uncomfortable approving bills with wiggle room in the millions, let alone hundreds of millions. Those charged with crafting the governor's plan say they'll be able to specify exact figures by next January.

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