Montana and Vermont Attempting to Establish Universal Healthcare Program

From ThinkProgress:

As ThinkProgress previously reported, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) made history earlier this year when he signed into law legislation that would make his state the first state to lay the groundwork for a single payer health care system. In order to enact this system, the state needs a waiver from the federal health care law, which it will be able to obtain in 2017. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) has introduced legislation to move the waiver date up to 2014, an idea President Obama has endorsed.

Now, another governor is looking to take advantage of flexibility in Obama’s health care law in order to establish a single payer system. Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) announced yesterday that he will be seeking a waiver to set up his own universal health care system in his state modeled after the single payer Canadian health care system that began in the province of Saskatchewan:

(via Poor Mojo)


  1. I think this will only work on a state by state level. Anything the federal government gets involved with always ends up so bloated and beaurocratic simply by the sheer size of the task. States need to start asserting their power again.

    1. I’m pretty darn happy with the care I’m getting from the VA, though granted some VA hospitals are great, others not so great.

      I think single payer health care can definitely be done on a federal level, but I think it’ll be up to the individual states to prove that it CAN be done and that it’s a better deal financially for individuals and businesses alike.

  2. Speaking as a Canadian, be careful what you wish for! there are a lot of Canadians that travel to the States to pay for medical treatments that they can’t get here (huge waiting lists) I had to wait a week to get my broken leg fixed!

    1. If I broke my leg, I’d be fucked. I cannot pay to have it fixed. Congratulations to you that you have that option. Congratulations. Seriously. You have the money to travel across the border and pay someone to fix your leg. Your mother must be very proud that you have that kind of financial freedom.

      If I break my leg today, I’ll be paying for it for the rest of my life.

    2. And one more thing.

      When I hear “But wait times are so awful in Canada!” what I hear is “So many people are getting the medical attention they need that it takes longer for me to get mine! Those people should get less healthcare so I can have more!”

      And that makes me want to stab you in the eye and make you wait a week to treat the wound.

    3. Okay, I lied. I’m not done.

      You know what was going on while you were waiting? Other people were getting treatment for more urgent problems. Under the American system, you may have gotten more prompt service, but only because those people with more urgent problems stayed home, hoping to walk it off, hoping the bleeding or the oozing would stop, hoping they wouldn’t have to take out a second mortgage to deal with whatever that lump might be.

    4. Speaking as a Canadian, I love our system. Yes, it has it’s problems, as any system will. I pray to Dog that the two-tiered system the politicos have been on about never sees the light of day.

  3. I want to point out to MacCrocodile that Harb did not actually say he/she traveled across the border to get his/her broken leg fixed. He/she had to wait a week, then got it fixed for free.

  4. I also wanna say that single payer healthcare is a great idea and I really hope Vermont’s able to bring it into being (I’m a resident). But I have quite a bit of healthy skepticism about how we’re going to pay for it. Whoever does (individuals, the state, employers, or a mix), healthcare is hugely expensive, and costs are shooting up year after year. I’m sure you can find data showing that Canada’s system blowing up the budget. I know I saw something about Britain’s. But don’t get me wrong – the more people who have access to quality preventive healthcare, the better for us all.

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