9-16-14 – The Foundation of Single Payer Healthcare is Crumbling

Posted by Rob Roper

Today, the Shumlin Administration announced that it is shutting down the Vermont Health Connect website indefinitely for maintenance. “As a result,” noted reporter Taylor Dobbs, “it’s likely that one year after the official launch of Vermont Health Connect on October 1, the state will not have an operational online health care exchange.”

Governor Shumlin has been going out of his way lately to distance the debacle that is Vermont Health Connect (VHC) from his much bigger and more complicated plan for single payer in 2017, Green Mountain Care (GMC).


Act 48 states explicitly, “The intent of the general assembly is to establish the Vermont health benefit exchange [VHC] in a manner such that it may become the foundation for Green Mountain Care.” (Emphasis Added)

This is exactly what Shumlin and the legislature did.

They built Vermont Health Connect  not in ways that made sense in and of themselves, or with the purpose of best serving Vermonters, but rather to maximize federal subsidies in 2017 for Green Mountain Care. As such, we should not be all that shocked that $100 million later it still doesn’t work.

Act 48 – passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Shumlin –establishes both VHC and GMC with the former being the foundation for the latter. What we are witnessing before our eyes is the crumbling of the foundation for single payer healthcare in Vermont. Are we really going to allow these same people to go forward with building a house (a hospital!) upon such a failed foundation?

– Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol Piper September 17, 2014 at 12:16 am

Scrape all healthcare-related garbage NOW. I don’t have healthcare, don’t want healthcare, and WILL NOT COMPLY WITH PURCHASING IT. Who the heck can afford what amounts to another mortgage payment each month for useless garbage, and that’s for the “cheap” plan that covers even less than the “best” plan, which is also a joke! I’m over 50, haven’t seen a doctor or healthcare provider in YEARS!!!! I’m considered on of those “expensive old people” to insure! If I could get a policy at a REASONABLE price covering emergencies/accidents or catastrophic I’d CONSIDER it, but not at the risk of being homeless!!! Ugh!


Valerie Mullin September 17, 2014 at 2:02 am

I am very concerned for Vermonter’s who counted on their current leaders to make sure VHC was ready when rolled out. Now that the on-line site will be shut down for the next few months, backlogs are sure to grow. Harry Chen, interim commissioner of Health & Human Services stated “If we keep doing the same thing we’re doing we’re going to get the same result,” This I certainly agree with. If we keep electing those who brought us to this point, we’ll keep getting the same lack of competency. As pointed out by Lynnley Browning in an article featured in Newsweek, “The website had gone from tragedy to farce, most recently with an online video created and posted on Sept. 10 by Harry Bliss, a cartoonist for The New Yorker. The hilarious 9-minute video shows Bliss, a Vermont resident, on speakerphone with a Vermont Health Connect representative as he tries to sort out why he hasn’t received an invoice for a premium payment. As the representative gives confused answers to his questions, Bliss mimics shows slow-motion rage: making sawing gestures across his wrist with a long carving knife, and manipulating a white sheep puppet to mimic pooping on the phone.” She never answered his question and those who need critical help in the next few months are in big trouble if they receive the same type of help, none. https://www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/archives/2014/09/15/video-local-cartoonist-lampoons-vt-health-connect


Mike Benevento September 17, 2014 at 4:04 am

I am sure politics had nothing to do with shutting down the website until after the November elections, right?

Even still, I hope that one of these days, Vermont’s voters will finally wake up and eject the liberals out of Montpelier and return Vermont to a conservative state.

But, I am not optimistic.


Paul Frascoia September 20, 2014 at 1:08 am

This has been a great trial run for the single payer fiasco. Is there any doubt left how well that is going to work out?


Jim Bulmer September 20, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Mike’s right on!!!! WAKE UP VERMONTERS!!! THROW THE BUMS OUT!!!!!!


Peg September 20, 2014 at 2:47 pm

But, sadly they won’t until there is no more to take from the producers. When they run out of producers, they will turn on each other…….then we can watch as the whole pyramid of fools crumbles. Unfortunately it will take the honest hardworking folks with it.


James Hall September 20, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Jim , Peg and Mike are absolutely correct. We have a golden opportunity in Nov to throw the bums out. By not doing that, will only lead to more of the same. The producers are at the end of their rope, so something has to give real soon.
I have heard it said that the liberal mind is the smartest, most intelligent of all minds.HHmmmm! If that is the case, why are there so many problems in Vermont and also in Washington? Liberalism fails, always. We are learning the hard way, folks, time for course corrections; it is now or never.
Jim Hall


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