It’s not as if other states haven’t tried. Vermont, possibly the only state rivaling California in terms of its far-left politics, passed a single-payer plan into law in 2011. But Gov. Peter Shumlin, the progressive politician behind the law, took one look at the $4.5 billion annual cost — which would have required an 11.5% payroll tax, along with a separate tax on individuals of as much as 9.5% — and said “”No thanks.”” He quietly shut it down in 2014.
Inspired by the Clinton health care plan, a number of other states in the 1990s took steps toward a single-payer system.
Tennessee was one of them. “”TennCare bled so much money the sales-tax-only Volunteer State repeatedly scaled back the program and even considered adopting a state income tax just to pay for its health care plan,”” wrote Merrill Matthews, a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas, in a piece that appeared in IBD last month.
Kentucky, too, went down that road in the 1990s. It passed a new law requiring insurers to cover everyone who applied, no matter what. At the start of KentuckyCare, the state had 45 insurers. Within just a few years, it had only three. The plan was mostly dismantled in 2000.