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Shumlin defends single-payer plan - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Shumlin defends single-payer plan

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Gov. Peter Shumlin is defending Vermont's march toward a single-payer health care system despite continuing questions about costs that have even some Democrats voicing concerns.

The Shumlin administration is crafting plans to move the state to a government-run health system in 2017. The system is projected to require up to $2.2 billion in new taxes. That price tag and lack of clarity on how the money would be raised and what benefits it would pay for have drawn repeated complaints from Republicans. And now even leading Democrats who have supported single-payer are questioning whether it can actually work.

But the governor is urging lawmakers to stay the course.

"I'm convinced we can get this right; we've got to get it right. What I would argue strongly is don't quit before we start, don't quit before we start," said Shumlin, D-Vermont.

The health care law called for the governor to deliver a financing plan over a year ago. He now says it won't be ready until sometime next year.

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