Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ben & Jerry's Rocky Road

If there is any place that "health care reform" is going to work it would be the state of Vermont.  The Liberal haven that is giving us Bernie Sanders as a Presidential candidate has a small, homogeneous population that tends to be generally healthy, well-educated and well-paid.  The state was actually ahead of the Affordable Care Act curve by already requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions and they had some of the highest income limits for Medicaid and Medicare programs.  And yet, if you were to ask Vermonters their opinion of the ACA, you would find the approval ratings are among the lowest in the country.

For starters, the State-run health insurance exchange has been a complete disaster.  $200-MILLION is yet to yield a system that can handle registration or allow people to change their policies based on life events.  That by the way is $200-MILLION spent in a state with a population of just 626-thousand residents to achieve zero results.  (That would be $319 spent per man, woman and child in Vermont--for those of you who learned "Ten is your friend" Common Core math skills).  In fact, they are on their second IT provider in trying to fix the mess--and there is fear that when Federal funding to run the exchanges ends soon--Vermont will likely have to use the Federal exchanges (just like Oregon, Nevada and Hawaii--who also blew more than $200-MILLION each on their own failed exchanges.)

To add insult to injury, Vermont has also been forced to admit defeat in its quest to become the first state to go to a "single-payer" Government-run health care system.  The state expected to have all medical bills paid for by its own insurance plan by 2017--that is until our old friends Math and Economic Reality stepped in.  It turned out that to pay for just its 626-thousand residents, Vermont would have to increase tax revenues by $2.5-BILLION a year--when it currently collects only $2,7-BILLION.  Yes, tiny Vermont would have to nearly DOUBLE the size of its state government to pay for universal health care.  That would have meant an 11.5% payroll tax (on top of a 1% payroll tax the Governor also proposed to make up for Medicaid funding shortfalls from Washington)--and a 9.5% income tax increase on all residents (on top of the existing 3.5 to 6.8% tax rates already in place).  Even the most liberal lawmakers in one of our most liberal states admitted there was no chance of that ever being approved.  And let's keep in mind that these expenses are for a state ranked SECOND HEALTHIEST IN THE NATION!!

I wonder how those in Vermont will react to President Obama when he touts the "success of the Affordable Care Act" later today in his thinly-veiled message to the Supreme Court as it considers the Constitutionality of Federal health insurance subsidies.  After all, they are experiencing that 'success" first-hand.

No comments:

Post a Comment