Those individuals and public interest groups who favored the single-payer health care option–i.e., "Medicare for All" in one form or another–should be heartened by recent legislation passed in the Vermont legislature that became law without the governor’s signature.
The Universal Access to Health Care Act passed into law on May 27 when Governor Jim Douglas, a Republican, let it pass his desk unsigned in the face of huge favorable voting margins in the state legislature.
A bit short of just mandating a statewide public option that would, in essence, put private insurers out of business in Vermont, the law sets up a commission to recommend–by the 2011 legislative session–three options for providing universal health care, including the single-payer version. The 2011 legislature is tasked with picking one before adjourning.
Whichever plan the legislature decides upon would then become effective no later than July 2012, beating the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) by at least 18 months.
Insofar as PPACA is concerned, Personnel Concepts this week launched its Health Care Reform Employee Information Poster to enable employers to keep their workforces abreast of upcoming changes in health care.