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Vermont State Senate passes legislation to put state on the path to single-payer health care

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April 30, 2011


MONTPELIER, Vermont: Today, the Vermont State Senate approved legislation that would take the first step toward becoming the first state with a single-payer health care system.[1]

The measure passed by a 21-9 vote. Last month, the Vermont House of Representatives approved similar legislation, but differences between the two bills will require reconciliation by a conference committee.[2]

However, the Senate-passed version contains a measure which prevents illegal immigrants from being covered on the state-run insurance program. The amendment could undermine ultimate passage of the legislation.[3]

Republicans have advocated against passage of the bill, citing the lack of current cost estimates to the legislation.[2]

Governor Peter Shumlin (D) made one of his primary campaign promises to establish a single-payer sytem in Vermont.[1]

If the legislation is enacted, it would first come into effect in 2014.

Democrats control both the Senate and House by sizable margins.

Senate partisan breakdown:

Party As of April 2014
     Democratic Party 20
     Republican Party 7
     Vermont Progressive Party 2
     Vacancy 1
Total 30

House partisan breakdown:

Party As of April 2014
     Democratic Party 95
     Republican Party 45
     Vermont Progressive Party 5
     Independent 4
     Vacancy 1
Total 150