Now Vermont has passed legislation moving the state toward a Canadian-style universal, single-payer health-insurance system, to be phased in alongside national health-care changes. The plan relies heavily on the prospect of waivers that will allow it to reallocate some federal Medicaidfunds and on other sources of money that have not yet fully specified.
As Vermont moves forward with its plan, a fascinating standard of comparison should emerge. The Canadian single-payer system grew out of successful innovations in the province of Saskatchewan, which led other provinces to follow suit. Here in Massachusetts, many of us are looking hopefully over our shoulder at the Green Mountain State.Is this a straight mistake, an efficient move, or a needed step in a process of trial and error?