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health | human & civil rights

Vermont House passes Single Payer Health Care bill

Last night, the Vermont House of Representatives debated and approved by a 92-49 a bill that would create a single payer system in the state. Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) praised the move as making Vermont the first state where "health care will be a right and not a privilege".

Now that it has passed the House of Representatives, it will move on to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. A bigger hurdle Vermont faces is obtaining a waiver from the federal health care reform act and finding a way around federal ERISA laws which "pre-empt states from enacting legislation if it is 'related to' employee benefit plans that insurers could use to sue the state. The health reform law currently offers a waiver to states who meet certain standards by 2017; Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) has introduced an amendment that would move the waiver date up to 2014 an idea that President Obama has endorsed.

homepage: homepage: http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/25/vermont-single-payer-health/