Health Care Reform
In an interview for Health Affairs, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R) said the state's comprehensive health care reforms in 2006 provided "a premium-subsidy program that allows the uninsured to purchase affordable coverage through their employer or directly through" the program.
Douglas said the health care reform plan did not require all residents to obtain coverage because "most people" in Vermont already have health insurance. He added that it's "better to reach out to the uninsured population and encourage and enable them to be insured by providing affordable options."
Douglas noted that Vermont's plan is funded by raising the state cigarette tax by 60 cents per pack and expanding Medicaid and general revenue.
Douglas contended that "Vermonters, and many other Americans, are tired of waiting for Washington to get its act together on" health care reform, making it "clear that solutions to our most pressing health care challenges had to come from the states" (Maxwell, Health Affairs, 10/16).