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Shumlin Backs Off Universal Health Care

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says he's abandoning his long-held goal of creating the nation's first single-payer health care system.

In a Statehouse news conference Wednesday, Shumlin said the cost of creating the system is more than the state can bear.

He says going forward with his proposal would not be good for Vermont and it would not be good for health care reform.

Shumlin says he still likes the idea, but "this is not the right time." It's unclear if he might resurrect the idea in the future.

The governor made the decision after hearing from health care financing experts who said creating a single-payer system would require an 11.5 percent payroll tax on all Vermont businesses and a sliding scale for individuals of up to 9.5 percent.

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