Socialized Medicine Comes to Vermont

At, Sarah Kliff documents efforts in Vermont to socialize the financing of medical care in the state. The relevant legislation was signed into law in 2011, and if the state government is able to stick to its own schedule, starting in 2017, the government will be the sole payer for most medical services in Vermont (this kind of socialized medicine is called “single payer”).

If the prospect of socialized medicine coming to America’s shores doesn’t chill you to the bone, listen to the interview I did last year with Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute. Pipes is not only a health care policy expert but she experienced socialized medicine firsthand in Canada. She discusses, among other things, the routine rationing of medical services, the people who die waiting for care, and the critical shortages of doctors and nurses. When I spoke in Toronto last month, many people shared with me their own similar experiences. The Canadian health care model is seen by many, including the governor of Vermont, as one this country should emulate.

What I find disturbing in Kliff’s account is the little attention she devotes to reporting what eventually happens to quality of care when the government is the only payer. In the lengthy article, she spends a mere three paragraphs on this subject while devoting whole sections to the trouble the state is having paying for the program — as if the former is a trivial matter.