By Kirk Carapezza
House Republican leaders continue to resist the state’s slow move toward a single payer health care system.
The Republican caucus on Thursday charged the Shumlin administration with failing to comply with the state’s health care reform law. House minority leader Don Turner, R-Milton, said a report commissioned by the Shumlin administration and issued by the University of Massachusetts doesn’t provide a sound financial road map for health care reform, which is required by the state law known as Act 48.
“We saw the big number – $1.6 billion. We know what the state’s economy is. We know the tax ability of the state. Let’s see the financing plans so Vermonters can weigh in,” Turner said.
Jeff Wennberg, executive director of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, highlighted cross-border issues with implementing a single payer system in Vermont. “That is supposed to be addressed. It’s on the list. It’s in Act 48. It’s not in the report,” Wennberg said.
The Shumlin administration brushed off the Republicans’ charges as mere political posturing. Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding said there’s a segment of the population that would like to derail health care reform in Vermont.
“We’re going to see every effort made over the next number of years to do what they can to undermine it,” Spaulding said. “We’re prepared for that. We’re not surprised. And this is their chance to engage in another tactic.”
Spaulding said the state won’t have a financial option to consider in the near future. He said the administration expects to eventually work with the Legislature to implement a plan by 2017.