August 1, 2010
Sanders promises to seek health care waiver from Obama for Vermont
By Susan Smallheer
U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., pledged to personally take Vermont's case for a statewide single-payer health care system to President Obama if the Legislature authorizes it next year.
Sanders, speaking at a health care rally at the Hetty Green Park in downtown Bellows Falls on Saturday afternoon, said that he and other members of Congress would also introduce legislation that would roll back to 2014 the current 2017 restriction for states to apply for a waiver in order to implement their own systems. He said Democratic Reps. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and John Conyers of Michigan would be co-sponsoring the legislation with him.
Comment: Although the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would allow states to apply for waivers to implement their own systems, they cannot do so until 2017, three years after they are required to implement the private insurance exchanges. Many have asked if Sen. Sanders still intends to introduce legislation to move that date up so that states would not have to set up the exchanges only to replace them soon thereafter with a single payer system. The answer is yes.