USA Today takes a closer look at Vermont's health care reform measures … and seems to like what they find.
The Green Mountain state took a different route. Officials decided they couldn't afford to cover everyone, so they focused on cutting costs and improving care, with the goal of insuring more people. They won over critics in the Legislature and the public by not raising taxes.
Instead, the state convinced insurance companies and hospitals to kick in. The federal government gave Vermont flexibility in how to spend Medicaid dollars. The only hit to the public: a tax on cigarettes that is 80 cents per pack and a $365 per employee penalty for businesses that don't offer health insurance.
With President Obama's plans for a public health insurance option losing steam in Washington, D.C., could a Catamount-style program win over the critics?