Here’s a look at the key components of a single-payer health care proposal recently rejected by Governor Peter Shumlin:
Goal: Universal health care coverage for all of Vermont’s 626,000 residents, plus out-of-state workers employed by Vermont companies. *
Type of system: Publicly financed “single-payer” system that would pay for 94 percent of all medical costs, or roughly what Vermont’s state employees currently receive.
Total cost: $4.3 billion in 2017 and $5.17 billion in 2021.
Total revenue needed from Vermont residents: $2.58 billion in 2017 and $3.1 billion in 2021. **
Individual taxes needed to fund program: Up to 9.5 percent personal income tax rate on top of state’s current 3.55 to 8.95 percent personal income tax rates; the maximum a household of four would pay would be capped at $27,500 per year.
Vermont corporate taxes: 11.5 percent payroll tax on top of 7.65 percent payroll taxes employers now pay for Social Security and Medicare.
Impact on Vermont’s budget: The single-payer system would run surpluses in its first three years, then run deficits of $82 million in 2020 and $146 million in 2021. The program’s total annual cost would nearly double the size of Vermont’s overall state budget this year of about $4.9 billion.
* — The cost of covering out-of-state workers is estimated at about $200 million per year.
** — Excludes all federal health care funding assistance and reimbursements.
Source: Office of Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and US Census Bureau.
Jay Fitzgerald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.