WASHINGTON, May 23 (UPI) -- Lobbyists advocating for a single-payer health care system descended upon Washington this week, attempting to convince members of Congress to consider its progress in Vermont.
"This is tough stuff," Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders told single-payer advocates at a meeting in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. "Single-payer health care bills -- it ain't going to take place here in Washington. I suspect it's going to take place, as it did in Canada, with a state going forward. I hope it will be my state."
In 2011 Vermont passed legislation that would implement a statewide single-payer system, called Green Mountain Care, in 2017. Advocates of single-payer health care are not deterred by the staunch opposition the comparatively conservative Affordable Care Act has been met with nationwide, rather they think it highlights the need for an alternative.
"The most important thing is to show people that change is possible," explained Gerald Friedman, an economics professor from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. "That's the role that Vermont has had -- showing that it's possible to get something done."