Shumlin Administration’s Solution to Failed Exchange: Spend More Taxpayer Dollars

Montpelier, VT – Vermont Republicans believe in a health care system that makes affordable insurance and care available to every Vermonter, improves quality and keeps health care decisions in the hands of patients and their doctors.

Other the other hand, the Shumlin administration and the lopsided Democrat supermajority in the Legislature believe in a system that is reducing choices, increasing costs, failing to meet its most basic customer service promises, placing tremendous authority and decision making in the hands of unelected Montpelier regulators, and leaving needy Vermonters behind.

This week, more evidence was revealed showing continued failure of both the Shumlin health care plan and the administrations ability to manage state government.

At a legislative hearing Wednesday, Secretary Lawrence Miller testified that the Shumlin administration will likely miss yet another deadline to have the troubled website fully functioning.

As concerning, Secretary Miller also testified that the $70-million of taxpayer dollars already spent (as of June 2014) will not be enough to complete the work on the website. He anticipates that his agency will spend about $100-million more taxpayer dollars to get Vermont Health Connect fully operational.

Additionally, the Shumlin administration will add even more taxpayer funded bureaucrats to the agency in an attempt to resolve the myriad problems with the troubled website.

All of this comes after the agency recently hired another out-of-state consulting firm — at a price of $5.7-million — to fix the glitches that prevent Vermonters from correcting or changing basic information (like a wedding or birth) online. This was to be completed by August 1st — however Secretary Miller is already saying that deadline will also be missed. (Morgan True, Vermont Health Connect Shakes Up Practices, Adds Personnel, Vtdigger.org, July 24, 2014).

The repeated failures of the Shumlin administration to complete a fully functioning healthcare website on time and within budget illustrate a pattern of leadership and managerial failure and an administration that lacks both internal and external accountability.

Vermonters are rightly concerned with this lack of leadership and accountability within the administration itself and from the Democrat controlled legislative branch that has talked tough in the press but failed to take any meaningful action to fulfill its obligation to provide a check-and-balance to the administration.

It’s time for Governor Shumlin to take responsibility for the continued failings — and wasted tax dollars — associated with the Vermont Health Connect debacle, fire CGI, admit that their exchange had failed to make health insurance more affordable, replace both Secretary Doug Racine and Commissioner Mark Larson with competent and capable leaders and give Vermonters a better option than their failed experiment.

Decisive corrective action is the type of leadership and accountability Vermonters expect and deserve from their elected officials. Vermont continues to wait for it from the Shumlin administration.

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