Well, it looks like single-payer fanatics in Vermont decided to take Governor Peter Shumlin’s (D) despicable apostasy from their religion lying down: “The Vermont State Police have identified the 29 protesters arrested on suspicion of unlawful trespass for ignoring orders to leave the Statehouse following a sit-in Thursday in Montpelier.” More details here, including an unexpectedly entertaining YouTube video from “Democracy Now!” It’s very cute that DN! thinks that they’re people, in the media sense of the term; but it’s remarkable how many talking heads that that program attracts who look like they’re always ready to cringe from a blow.
PS: There’s a certain amount of nega-nostalgia involved here with the aforementioned YouTube video. Watching a couple of dozen people dutifully repeating (DUTIFULLY REPEATING) statements when there’s absolutely no practical need to (they’re inside and everybody can hear everybody else just fine) really hammers home just how ritualized the whole thing is with these people. There’s like, zero original thinking going on here at all.
No, seriously. Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont (Democrat, mind you) finally gave his state’s proposed single-payer health care system the axe because there was no way to pay for it. Well, OK, there was: “Tax hikes required to pay for the system would include a 11.5 percent payroll tax as well as an additional income tax ranging all the way up to 9.5 percent. ” But there was no way that that would fly among Vermont voters.
…which is what Megan McArdle and I both said last spring. It’s the perennial problem Obamacare (and state exchange) supporters face: if they were upfront about the costs, they’d never have gotten the various laws passed. But the problem with kicking the can down the road is that eventually you run out of road. There isn’t the money for single-payer, and there’s the only the interest in getting it when single-payer supporters don’t talk about the money. And, as you can see from the Daily Carter article: the second you do start talking about the money politicians start to back right up.
Last note. Peter Shumlin is not yet officially won his governor’s race: since there wasn’t a majority, the results are going to get tossed into the state legislature. I’m sure that Shumlin doesn’t think that trying to push ahead with double-digit tax hikes would have said legislature ready to give his opponent the election. And neither do I. But I also think that Shumlin doesn’t know that a sufficiently infuriated legislature wouldn’t do that, either. …And neither do I.
Via Battleswarm Blog.
Megan McArdle finished up her article on Vermont’s single-payer woes by pretty much saying that, but I already knew it anyway. The basic problem? It’s going to cost at least $1.6 billion a year (or about 59% of Vermont’s current annual budget)… and there’s no way to pay for it except via massive tax hikes. Megan notes that Vermont’s taxes aren’t actually high at all right now, and that implementing single-payer would immediately skyrocket that state’s rate to the highest in the country. And then she got puckish:
Now, you can argue that people should be glad to make this trade-off, not just for peace of mind, but because they will trade higher taxes for lower (no) insurance premiums. You can also argue that poor people in America should be laughing and dancing and singing all day because every one of them is economically better off than starving farmers in drought-ridden regions of Africa. Neither argument will do you much good, however, because that’s not how people think.
Continue reading Vermont. Or, ‘Why #Obamacare will not lead to single-payer.’