It’s only three and a half pages long. And it’s much more of a conceptual outline than a fully formed plan. But a March 24 memo, authored by a policy analyst hired by the Legislature earlier this year, shows that at least some lawmakers are already considering alternatives to the single-payer proposal Gov. Peter Shumlin will drop on their desks next year.
For millions of American taxpayers, the federal tax return due on April 15 serves more than one purpose. In addition to tallying up what they owe - or are owed - IRS income data determine who qualifies for benefits of all kinds. This year, for the first time, the Veterans Administration will use federal tax returns as a means test, to decide whether a veteran is eligible for subsidized health care.
State Auditor Doug Hoffer says it’s possible that his office and the federal government will work together to review the troubled roll-out of Vermont Health Connect, the state's health insurance exchange.
The price tag for getting Vermont Health Connect up and running exceeds $180 million and most of the money has come to the state in the form of federal grants.
A new independent report concludes that the exchange encountered serious technical problems for several key reasons.
Less than three years from now, Vermont is scheduled to make the transition to a single-payer health care system. And while the all-important question of how to pay for it has been put off until 2015, lawmakers say it’s time to start making some tough decisions about what that future system will look like.
Gov. Peter Shumlin added a high-level slot in his administration today when he made former Commerce Secretary Lawrence Miller the new “senior advisor to the governor and Chief of Health Care Reform.”
Miller will report directly to Shumlin, officials said at a news conference Thursday, and serve as the governor’s point person on health care reform issues. Previously, Robin Lunge, who serves as director of health care reform, was the top administration official working exclusively on health care reform issues.
State officials and the contractor for the Vermont Health Connect website have agreed on a new schedule for launching missing functions that includes additional financial penalties for missed deadlines.
Under the amended contract signed Tuesday, tech giant CGI must deliver "change of circumstance" functionality by May 21. By July 2, small business functionality must work. Failure to deliver by those dates will result in penalties in addition to the $5 million in "liquidated damages" the state has already claimed for CGI's incomplete work.
With the closure of North Adams Regional Hospital in Massachusetts, some patients may come to Vermont for care at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.
Now, the hospital is gearing up for a potential influx of new patients.
Though it’s across the state line, SVMC is now the closest hospital to North Adams and Williamstown, Massachusetts. And with the abrupt closure of the North Adams hospital last week, many patients are wondering where to turn.
An independent review of the troubled roll out of the state's health care exchange concludes that a combination of factors is responsible for many of the problems at Vermont Health Connect.
The report says the federal government, the Shumlin Administration and the major contractor of the project all contributed to the situation.
Gov. Peter Shumlin called for the independent review after the state’s health care exchange encountered numerous technical problems last fall. The report was done by the firm Berry, Dunn, MacNeil and Parker of Portland, Maine.
Gov. Peter Shumlin is fiercely defending his plan to implement a single payer health care system after Senate President John Campbell expressed concerns about the plan.
A number of Democrats are reluctant to commit to a single payer plan before there’s a comprehensive review of the $2 billion financing system that will be needed to pay for it. Some Democratic lawmakers worry that moving to a single payer health care system in several years could be a political liability. They also want to know the details of the benefit package that will be part of a single payer program.