Editorial: Math as Poor as the Website - The Caledonian-Record - St. Johnsbury, VT
ADVERTISE          ARCHIVES          CLASSIFIEDS          CONNECT          PHOTOS          SUBMIT          SUBSCRIBE          E-EDITION
The Caledonian-Record | St. Johnsbury, VT

L&T Auto

home : opinion : editorial February 6, 2016

Editorial: Math as Poor as the Website

On Tuesday, Department of Vermont Health Access Commissioner Mark Larson boasted to lawmakers that the state had hit its enrollment goals through the embattled Vermont Health Connect.

He said the state had enrolled over 100,000 Vermonters in federally qualified health plans, according to reporting from VTDigger.org. The Burlington Free Press put it at 36,846 households.

However it's reported, Larson's figures are pure fiction.

First of all, the state set a target to enroll 100,000 people in private health care plans - purchased through the $100 million Health Connect website. The goal specifically excluded Medicaid enrollees because the programs are completely different and have separate processes.

But in his figures, Larson still included 33,549 residents who were "automatically transferred" to Medicaid, according to VTDigger.

Secondly, Larson includes between 30,000 and 40,000 people who were enrolled directly by insurance companies, through their small-business employers, completely outside of the exchange. The state mandated participation from small businesses (with under 50 employees) but then couldn't deliver a functioning mechanism to allow it (and still has no timetable to do so). Ironically the same insurance companies so vilified by Governor Peter Shumlin are the same ones who delivered the lion's share of Larson's figures, Tuesday.

Of those people, only 16,534 have made any payment and actually have an insurance card, according to the Free Press.

Meanwhile, precisely none of them can make any changes to their status (so please no kids, marriages, coverage changes or mistakes in filling out your forms) and nobody could pay online. Most had miserable online enrollment experiences, followed by long hours on hold to a call-center, culminating in a paper application.

So the true figure of Vermonters enrolled in the state's health care exchange, after hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing and a third-world website, is 16,534. The state has no idea how many of them were among the 40,000 un-insured Vermonters whose plights were invoked to kick off this grand experiment. It forgot to include a mechanism to track that.

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Subscription Login

All Around Power

Wells River Chevy
Hayes Ford Bottom Banner


© The Caledonian-Record News 2014-2015

The Caledonian-Record, 190 Federal St., P.O. Box 8, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819 - 802-748-8121

Terms and Conditions


Privacy Policy


Email Headlines


Contact Us

New & Used Cars for Sale in Vermont: www.Auto802.com
Cash in on Vermont & New Hampshire's Best Deals at Kingdom Deals MyKingdomDeals.com