Can Vermont cut health care costs?

What Is Vermont's All-Payer Model?


Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
Lee Michaelides

Get the details tonight at the Montshire Museum.

Last May, when The Observer first reported on Vermont's proposed new health care system called "The All-Payer Model," we described it as "very complicated." Simply stated, it is "a contract-based system to pay for healthcare. At the onset Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance carriers and healthcare providers—such as Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center—would contract with an Affordable Care Organization to provide healthcare to 150,000 Vermonters for a fixed fee. Annual increases, lower than this year's eight percent hike in Vermont Health Connect insurance rates, would be negotiated into an initial five-year contract. The goal is to create monetary incentives that improve the health of residents and control costs."

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Vermont needed permission from the federal government to move forward with that idea. On Wednesday, Green Mountain Care Board chairman Al Gobeille and Gov. Peter Shumlin announced that the state has a verbal agreement with the federal government to change Vermont's health care payment system.

On Sunday, the Associated Press quoted Robin Lunge, Governor Shumlin's director of healthcare reform, as saying the administration hopes to have the plan implemented in full by January 2018—well beyond the end of Governor Shumlin's term.

So is this a good idea? So far neither candidate for governor of Vermont has endorsed the plan.

Democrat Sue Minter is uncertain, according to the Valley News. "It's really not about the idea, it's about the details," she told the paper.

Republican Phil Scott is also uncertain. "I don't know what it is going to mean," he told the Valley News.

Meanwhile the proposal is moving forward. The Green Mountain Care Board and the Governor's office will hold a public hearing today from 5:30 - 7:30 at the Montshire Museum in Norwich. Click here for full documentation of the proposed law. 

Unless you are a full-blown policy wonk, we recommend the FAQ  and the one-page summary to get you up to speed on the issue

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