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Harvard health care economist William Hsiao, right, is greeted by Gov. Peter Shumlin, left, and Speaker Shap Smith Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011 in Montpelier, Vt. The international health care consultant says Vermont could provide every resident with health insurance, upgrade outdated hospitals and still save money if would just adopt a single-payer health care system. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Accustomed to being the first to dip its toe into hot-button issues, Vermont is preparing to provide public health care to all residents regardless of income, moving toward a government-run system that will take it as close to Canada philosophically as it is geographically.

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