Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dismal Prospects for Green Mountain Care

The Vermont legislature is risking the quality of our health care and putting our state budget at risk as it moves ever closer to replacing our current health care system with a a single payer system to be called Green Mountain Care (House Bill 202).  The legislature is relying on the hopelessly flawed Hsiao Report (see earlier blog) to justify this action.  Hsiao's claim to fame was is involvement in introducing a single payer system for Taiwan in 1997.  Our legislature has apparently not taken the time to investigate the current status of Taiwan's plan.   Taiwan is experiencing an acute shortage of physicians.  The average patient visit is now less than 4 minutes.  The Taiwan system is no longer sustainable.  The Taiwan government has had to raise taxes and co-payments steadily since the imposition of the plan, and now it is having to borrow money to keep it funded.  Patient and physician satisfaction rates have continued to decline and patients are being denied expensive treatment for budget reasons.  If we allow our state government to take over more of our health care, we can expect the state budget to take priority over patient care.      

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