10-5-16 – Shumlin’s Exchange Delusion

by John McClaughry

Gov. Peter Shumlin made an astonishing statement last Tuesday in a meeting with the Valley News editorial board. Hang on – here it comes:

Shumlin said: “’Vermont has the best functioning [health insurance] exchange in America,’ he said, after acknowledging that ‘it was very painful … getting where we are.’”

This astonishing statement unleashed a torrent of incredulous and sarcastic responses on Vermont Digger. Here are the first two: “Our failed health care experts have a bridge they would like to sell you.” And, “I had to put my barn boots on to finish wading through some of the quotes in this report.”

Then this, from reader Steve Cairns:

“Oh please! I just spent 3 hours on the phone with Vermont Health Disconnect last Friday trying to sign up my adult son for a simple policy. He is single. After 3 reps and a supervisor, I was told constantly that they were having “technical difficulties” and to call back this week. I did today and no progress. [I was] told to call the “eligibility unit”. So now he has no insurance. He was removed from the Medicaid rolls effective October 1. The exchange is just as dysfunctional as it was in the beginning. How much more money does the Vermont government need to waste before shutting down Vermont Health Connect?”

It baffles me how an apparently rational person like Peter Shumlin, convinced by his own imagination, can deliberately utter such patently ridiculous statements.  At least Digger readers aren’t letting him get away with it.

– John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jim Bulmer October 8, 2016 at 1:34 pm

For once, I’m speechless!!!!!!!


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