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Key Lawmaker Says Outlook Dim For Shumlin Tax Request

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Prospects for a new payroll tax sought by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin appear to be dim.

The chairwoman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Janet Ancel, said Thursday she doubts her committee will support the 0.7 percent payroll tax the governor asked for last month.

Shumlin wanted to use most of the money raised through the tax to increase Medicaid payments to health providers. He says those payments are too low now, resulting in higher charges to commercial insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield and higher premiums for those companies' subscribers.

Administration officials say some of the payroll tax proceeds would pay for the expansion of Medicaid under the federal affordable care act. That money will have to be raised elsewhere.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.