Vox.com: Center for Health Law and Economics working on Vermont single-payer financing

April 09, 2014

The Center for Health Law and Economics’ (CHLE) work developing a financial model for Vermont’s innovative single-payer health care system is explained in a Vox.com article.

The April 9, 2014 article, Forget Obamacare: Vermont wants to bring single payer to America, provides a comprehensive overview of the State of Vermont’s plan to implement the country’s first universal health care system by 2017.

Katharine London, MS, a principal associate at CHLE, detailed its work on the single-payer system and addressed the complexities of establishing a cost estimate for such a ground-breaking initiative. CHLE is a unit within UMass Medical School's Commonwealth Medicine division.

"There are so many different factors and you could end up with a gazillion options," London told Vox.com’s Sarah Kliff. "When you make choices on some of these things, they all have repercussions in terms of cost."

The article also highlighted, State of Vermont Health Care Financing Plan Beginning Calendar Year 2017, a CHLE report released last January that presented the first financial outline for a single-payer system. Created for the Vermont Agency of Administration, the report said Vermont will need to develop new financing mechanisms that raise $1.6 billion to fund a single payer system in 2017. That new figure is $285 million less than the $1.9 billion that Vermont employers and individuals currently contribute through their health care premiums.

CHLE worked with Wakely Consulting Group Inc. to produce the report. The UMMS authors included London; Michael G. Grenier, MPA; Robert Seifert, MPA; and Thomas Friedman, MPA. The Wakely Consulting Group authors included Julie Peper, FSA, MAAA; Julia Lambert, FSA; MAAA, David Neiman, FSA, MAAA; and Crystal Bradley, ASA, MAAA.

The Vermont Secretary of Administration in January finalized a new contract with CHLE to continue to serve as a consultant on the single-payer initiative. Under this new contract, CHLE will expand upon its health care financing research, respond to questions from the administration and advise the governor on policy  issues.

Media Coverage