Montana Governor to Seek Waiver for Single-Payor Health System

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer will ask the federal government for a waiver to set up its own single-payor health system, according to an Associated Press/Missoulian report.

The Democratic governor said he plans to create a universal healthcare system similar to what is used in Saskatchewan, a Canadian province that borders Montana. He said the province controls costs by negotiating drug prices and limiting non-emergency procedures such as MRIs, according to the report.

Details of the single-payor proposal will come in the next few months when the request is complete. According to the report, Gov. Schweitzer expects the request will be rejected, similar to when the federal government rejected his proposal to sell prescription drugs at Medicaid prices to Montana residents. He argued the current healthcare law still gives too much power to the pharmaceutical industry, the report said.

Vermont became the first state to establish a single-payor health system after Gov. Peter Shumlin signed it into law earlier this May.

Related Articles on Single-Payor:

Vermont Governor Appoints Members to Single-Payor Health Reform Board
Single-Payor Healthcare in Vermont: Q&A with Tom Huebner of Vermont's Rutland Regional Medical Center
Vermont Gov. Signs Single-Payor Health Bill Into Law

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