- Associated Press - Saturday, December 26, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Northwestern Vermont’s Franklin County had 11 pediatricians at the start of 2015 and will end the year with seven, which some doctors are blaming on low payments from Medicaid.

Medicaid reimbursements to primary care doctors were boosted by 20 percent under the federal Affordable Care Act, with the proviso that states would step in to cover that increase in funding beginning this year. That didn’t happen in Vermont.

Gov. Peter Shumlin asked last January for a 0.7 percent payroll tax to pay for increasing Medicaid reimbursements. Lawmakers shelved the proposal.

Now Dr. John DiMichele, who says his pay declined 40 percent this year, has announced he’s leaving his St. Albans practice next month for North Carolina.

Another departing doctor says low Medicaid reimbursements are making it hard to find a replacement for her.

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