Peter Shumlin

Single-payer in Vt.: What happened?

Former Governor Shumlin talks candidly about how Vermont lost its way on the trajectory of single-payer health care: ‘I just felt that, really, this was my idea. I owned it. And I needed to own its failure.’

I think there are a few things that really reflect on single-payer health care. Let me start by saying that Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren have it right with their Medicare for All bill.

I say so as one who has been in the trenches, done more work on this issue than any other governor in America, I would argue, of actually figuring out how the mechanics would work.

If we can simply say that we have a great single-payer health-care system in America, the only reason we all wish to get to be 65 years old is because of Medicare. For all the other reasons, none of us wants to get that old. Why not reduce over time the age discrimination in America against affordable health care that should be a right not a privilege and reduce that age group until we finally get to zero?

That's the simple way and logical way to get there.

Read More

The work ahead

In the State of the State address, the governor outlines his priorities for his last months in office

In my first inaugural address in 2011, I spoke with affection about our last governor from Putney, George Aiken. Three-quarters of a century ago, he stood before this body and reflected on the challenges and progress of his day. He said: “During these four years, Vermont, in common with...

Read More

FDA makes the fight against opiate addiction more difficult

The federal agency is recklessly making the problem worse with its decision to approve OxyContin for use by children as young as 11 years old

A year and a half ago, I stood up before Vermonters and devoted my State of the State address to speaking about the opiate and heroin crisis affecting our state. Despite our best efforts since, this is not a battle we are winning. Now the Food and Drug Administration...

Read More


An ambitious action plan

That I stand before you today as Vermont's 81st governor was improbable, and no one can attest to that better than my mom and dad. My mom reminded me again on election night that it often seemed more likely in my grade-school years that I would struggle to find a job than to run for office. As a kid who learned differently, I remember well in second grade being called into the principal's office with my parents to have them...

Read More