Vermont’s $170 Million Exchange Isn’t Operative Yet

Tell us again how great those state exchanges are:

The statutory deadline of Oct. 1 has long since gone by, but Vermont Health Connect remains essentially inoperative. You can review the Obamacare-approved insurance plans offered for 2014, but you can’t buy one. Kyle Midura of WCAX-TV observed on the Oct. 18 “Vermont This Week” program that site visitors “almost inevitably get an error message.”

Governor Shumlin first dismissed Vermont Health Connect’s missed opening date as a “nothing burger.” He then said the exchange would be operative by Nov. 1, and that unspecified people were “working 24/7” to get it going. Most recently, he waffled on the Nov. 1 deadline as well, saying it might be ready by Nov. 3. Midura noted that administration officials view this as a “soft deadline” — more a suggestion than a requirement that triggers real-world consequences.

How the hell do you roll out a website where people can’t pay for what they’ve bought?

According to Mark Larson, the commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access, a top priority is to make it possible for people to pay on line for the policies they select. To date, roughly 1,800 people have chosen their coverage but they’ve been unable to complete their financial transaction. Larson says the system is being rigorously tested.

Cost of Vermont’s exchange? $170 million. Heck of a job, fellas.

Most Popular

Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More