VIDEO: Leahy, Sanders, Welch & Shumlin hold press conference on health care

by Rob Roper & Angela Chagnon

Peter Shumlin campaigned hard on the notion of bringing a single payer health care system to Vermont. However, there are several obsicles standing in Shumlin’s way, not the least of which is the fact that enacting a single payer system in Vermont today is against federal law.Senators Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders, and Congressman Peter Welch are ready to do what they can to remedy that situation. The three members of Vermont’s federal delegation spoke at a press conference to explain legislation they are brining in Washington aimed at getting Vermont the wavers it needs to proceed with any plans for a single payer system.

Vermont’s Washington delegation joins Gov. Peter Shumlin to explain federal legislation necessary to pave the way for a Vermont single payer health care system.

At the crux of the matter is the need to change the date in federal allowing for a waver for a state to potentially experiment with a single payer system from 2017 to 2014.

Sen. Leahy is the lead sponsor of this legislation in the senate. Asked if his bill had any chance of passage, Leahy was non committal, “Nothing is easy through the senate, as you know.”

Asked how much a single payer system would cost in Vermont, Governor Shumlin deflected the question, asking , “Let’s hear Dr. Hsiao’s report first.”

Dr. Hsiao is credited with designing Taiwan’s single-payer system, and was hired to design three potential health care models for Vermont, including a single payer system. Dr. Hsiao will present his ideas to the legislature on Wednesday, January 19 at 9:30 am in the House chamber.