by Vermonters for Health Care Freedom

On Sunday, Vermont Health Care for All sent out an urgent email to supporters seeking help in defeating amendments to Governor Shumlin’s single-payer plan. In that email, Dr. Deb Richter inadvertently pulled back the curtain of secrecy to reveal what many already suspected: waiting in the wings is an economy-crushing, job-killing double-digit payroll tax as envisioned by Dr. Hsiao.

In that email, Dr. Richter said the amendment – which sought to exempt employers covered by the federal ERISA consumer protection law – was “a direct attack on the viability of single payer financing.” Even though, supposedly, there is no financing plan under debate!

The Shumlin Administration doesn’t like the amendment either, though they didn’t spill the beans like Richter did. They just said the amendment was “problematic under ERISA” and asked the Committee to reject it.

Vermonters for Health Care Freedom today called upon Vermonters to call the State House and demand that Legislators and the Shumlin Administration once and for all answer the question on how they intend to finance their risky single-payer plan.

“These two startling developments are all the evidence we need that the Governor has swallowed the Hsiao Report hook, line and sinker,” said Darcie Johnston, Executive Director of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom. “If there is no funding plan on the table, why is the Administration rejecting an amendment that would exempt self-insured employers from his plan? Is it because, as Ms. Richter indicated, it is a direct attack on the ultimate funding plan?”

“The evidence all keeps pointing in the same direction: The Governor’s single payer plan will be funded by a payroll tax, just as envisioned in the Hsiao report,” Johnston continued. “That means BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN NEW TAXES for Vermont employers and Vermont employees!”


Editor’s Note: In the Vermont Workers Center’s own Press Release, they explicitly brought up the financing issue as a reason for opposing the amendment:

“What do these amendments do? One of them attacks the projected financing system of the future of the universal healthcare system so that it will not be universal and everyone will not pay into it.”