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Vt., of all places, may try some healthcare reforms pushed by GOP, too

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Looking toward Mt. Mansfield, the summit of Vermont.

— Photo by K. Kemerait

Paradoxically, generally Democratic Vermont  (but now with new Republican Gov. Phil Scott) could be setting the pace for some of the healthcare reforms touted by by the Trump administration and the Republican Congress.

The Green Mountain State won got a broad federal waiver last October to redesign how its healthcare is provided and paid for. This includes  new payment systems,  a stepped-up effort to prevent unneeded treatments, cutting overall growth in the cost of services and drugs, and  more effectively dealing with such public-health problems  as opioid abuse.

The six-year initiative  follows  a failed effort under former Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin to adopt a single-payer plan for all residents.

The hope is that the program eventually will   involve 70 percent of the state’s population, almost all of its 16 hospitals and 1,933 physicians and would include patients covered through their employment as well as those in Medicare and Medicaid.


Med City News noted that while the Obama administration approved the experiment it “fits the Republican mold for one way the Affordable Care Act could be replaced or significantly modified. The Trump administration and lawmakers in Congress have signaled that they want to allow states more flexibility to test ways to do what Vermont is doing — possibly even in the short-term before Republicans come to an agreement about the future of the ACA.”

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