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UTHealth research: Vermont's health care reform has lessons for other states
Date:4/4/2013

e implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act and in taking on health care reform at the state level," said Robin Lunge, Vermont's director of health care reform. "We are pleased to gain recognition of our path to single payer health care and our Vermont-style solutions in the New England Journal of Medicine."

Stakeholders were engaged from the start through Vermont's health care reform interactive webpage, town meetings and webinars.

Grubb said Vermont chose to expand Medicaid, another lesson for other states. "The Medicaid expansion will bring in a lot of federal dollars and will improve coverage of the state's residents," said Grubb. "Vermont expanded its program beyond the Affordable Care Act's proposed income eligibility and is expecting to gain $259 million through their Medicaid expansion."

Vermont's health care reform has a long-term vision of establishing a universal health care system that is publically funded. The state also wants to create a "single payer," state-financed system that would replace all other insurance providers, yet another idea that other states can borrow, Grubb said.

"Other states should also look into developing a state-based insurance exchange because they can tailor it to their individual needs and they will get additional federal money to fund it," she said. "Private insurers spend nearly 20 percent of premiums on administrative costs while physician offices and hospitals are spending money and resources on trying to deal with private and government insurers."

While it is one of the smallest states, Vermont has been awarded $250 million in federal funding for its state exchange, the fifth-highest in the nation, according to the paper.

"At this time, the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. Policy makers need to learn and act to empower their states while implementing the required reforms," Grubb said.

The study originally started out as a class project
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Contact: Stephanie Logue
stephanie.d.logue@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3307
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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