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Obamacare’s Vermont Fail


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#1 CCrev440

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 04:55 PM

Obamacares Vermont Fail
by Stuart StevensOct 22, 2013 5:45 am EDT
The Green Mountain State has been ambitious in its efforts to get insurance for all. Thats admirable. Too bad its failing big time, writes Stuart Stevens.


After more than two weeks of dysfunction, it is clear that the rollout of the $400 million federal health-care exchange at HealthCare.gov has been an unmitigated disaster with no end in sight. Enrollment is far lower than hoped for, projected, or needed, in part due to a cascade of technical website design and testing failures.


Connie Durkee gets her blood pressure checked by a nurse at The Health Center in Plainfield, Vermont on June 6, 2013. (Toby Talbot/AP)
The good news for the ACA is that the conventional wisdom now being adopted is that the 16 states that opted to create their own exchanges are functioning far better. If only conventional wisdom were reliably true.

Take Maryland, for example, the would-be poster child for the success of the ACA with the unwavering support of Gov. Martin OMalley and the majority of citizens in the solidly blue state. Two weeks into the launch of their state exchange, a whopping 1,000 people had enrolled through the states online portal that is riddled with glitches that likely wont be resolved until late November or early December.

But maybe Maryland just did a lousy job. What about a smaller state, one that overwhelmingly supported the presidents election and reelection, is progressive in its politics, and even had a vibrant and extensive state-run health-care program already in place prior to the ACA? That would be tiny Vermont. Surely with its Democratic governor and Democratic and Socialist senators, it can serve as a laboratory for Obamacare implementation, leading the way through the darkness of those glitches.

But, alas, not so, at least not yet. The reality is that Vermonts health-care exchange website may be even a bigger mess than the federal-run HealthCare.Gov. And health care in Vermont may be headed for a unique train wreck due to its efforts to become the first state in the country to implement a single payer plan.

One of the presidents key selling points of the ACA was the promise that if you liked your plan, you could keep it. Were learning thats often not the case as Obamacare is implemented across the country. And in Vermont, there has been no pretense of such assurance.

As of January 1, 2014, in Vermont, the ability for individuals or employers with 50 or fewer employees to purchase health insurance from private insurance companies ceases to exist. As for policies already covering those businesses and individuals? Those cease to exist, as well. In other words, in Vermont, a good percentage of its population will have no choice but to buy health insurance through the state exchange.

But despite the urgency of getting the exchange launch right and the givens that should make it easier rather than difficultsmall state, high rate of literacy, 98 percent English speakingVermonts website seems as bad or worse than the federal system. Im not a Vermont resident, but I have been in the past and still spend a lot of time in the state. In the past week, Ive spent hours on the states health-care system and have experienced nothing but a series of maddening problems reminiscent of computer life 15 years ago. On a half-dozen occasions Ive fought my way through the system to register, only to return to discover the system has no trace of my registration. I expect that each of these visits and each of these registrations have been recorded as unique visits and registrations, which could help explain in part the disparity between visits and registrations versus enrollments.

Recognizing the website isnt working well, the state has increased efforts to register applicants by paper. Adjusting to reality is admirable, but its hardly fair to be canceling insurance for tens of thousands of Vermonters and then mandating they buy new insurance through a system that just isnt working.

With a budget of $172 million to get its exchange up and running, the state is now in the process of spending $2.8 million on public relations and marketing of the exchange. Educating customers about a product that is working makes sense. Spending money to push customers to use a product that doesnt work is, well, problematic. Its a perfect example of government doing stuff that just doesnt make sense in the business world. Youve had this feeling a million times standing in the DMV.

Vermont now has the fifth highest health insurance premiums in the country, in part because of state regulations limiting competition. Theres no reason to believe that will improve, as only two companies are offering plans under the exchange. At this stage, unsubsidized rates in the exchange have increased considerably. Any models showing a decrease in premiums are based on a high percentage of enrollees qualifying for subsidies. In addition, the viability of that model is dependent on a large number of the young and healthy paying into the system.

Vermont utilizes the community rating method to determine health insurance premiums. The intention of this method is to ensure that rates on particular policies are the same for everyone regardless of age or health. That means that a 57-year-old man will pay the same rate for an individual policy as a 27-year-old woman. Good for the 57-year-old man, not so good for the 27-year-old woman. Cynthia Cox, a health-care economist at the Kaiser Family Foundation, explains, Younger people will have higher premiums in Vermont than they might if they lived elsewhere, whereas older people might have lower premiums than if they lived elsewhere.

In other words, without a pool of younger, healthier participants, its difficult for any insurance plan to survive.

As this great health insurance experiment proceeds, Vermont bears watching. If this small, healthy state cant make Obamacare work to a high degree of satisfaction, it doesnt bode well for more difficult challenges.

http://www.thedailyb...rmont-fail.html

#2 rs-mn

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 05:44 PM

Slinger and MC say this isn't happening. Are you going to believe their lies or not?



#3 RW06GT

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 06:04 PM

Our place on vt sold in the spring. I've had enough of that state as far as being an out of state property owner goes. They tax the fuck outta ya. I still like riding there and more than one friend still owns homes up there, so still go to go. My uncle is willing to sell a piece of his land in nh if we decide we need something permanent but I'll enjoy the break for a while and bum off my buds.

#4 bussman

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 06:41 PM

This thread on ObamaCockCare is almost an hour old and no comment from analer? Wtf

#5 Mainecat

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 08:40 PM

lol In Vermont you cant sign up till November 1st.

 

 

FAIL



#6 fireball 440

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 08:51 PM

It's a MN fail as well, but Obama says "no excuse for not signing up".



#7 CCrev440

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:53 PM

lol In Vermont you cant sign up till November 1st.

 

 

FAIL

FAIL

 

They won't send out bills 'til Nov. 631 vermonters have chosen plans.

 

Wow.



#8 Sludgey

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:58 PM

FAIL

 

They won't send out bills 'til Nov. 631 vermonters have chosen plans.

 

Wow.

 

ouch.



#9 Mainecat

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:14 AM

Obamacare has not started yet



#10 COPO

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:26 AM

Obamacare has not started yet

then why the fuck are you assholes saying it started 3 years ago and has already helped millions.. so which is it? did it start or not at all. My god what a cluster fuck of epic proportions.



#11 Mainecat

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:28 AM

then why the fuck are you assholes saying it started 3 years ago and has already helped millions.. so which is it? did it start or not at all. My god what a cluster fuck of epic proportions.

I was told in another post its not started yet so anything positive or negative about Obamacare shouldn't be used here for entertainment purposes.



#12 elkhorn

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 10:30 AM

Obamacare has not started yet

What date was ACA signed into law?
Why are you a retard?

#13 elkhorn

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 10:32 AM

It's a MN fail as well, but Obama says "no excuse for not signing up".

Actually I read mn had 3700 people enrolled, their site is ok, you can shop plans without en rolling, which is what the Feds failed to do on their site




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