Mass. has long served as the flashpoint for the national debate on the merits and shortcomings of universal coverage. But the holy grail of many activists — particularly those on the furthest left — has been on the possibility of a state to grant single payer coverage and healthcare delivery. The state of Vermont seems to inching closer to that goal. The state’s legislature (House) gave preliminary approval to a health care reform bill (introduced by that state’s governor) that will create a five member Health Care Board which will oversee virtually every aspect of health care in the state. This body will additionally establish a total state budget for health care, will review hospital budgets and private insurance rates, and it will design a new payment system for health care providers. Wow.