11-17-13 – Avalere Health Study Confirms Wilton Projections on Single Payer Costs

Avalere Health’s recent report, commissioned by Vermont Partners for Health Care Reform, Wendy Rotator Cardconfirms a projection prepared by EAI board member Wendy Wilton that the state will need roughly $2 billion in new taxes to support a single payer health care program. Both Avalere and Wilton concluded that the Shumlin administration’s estimate of $1.6 billion is too low.

Wilton produced her initial projection in 2011 with updates in 2012 and 2013 as more information became available from the administration through various reports. Wilton’s projection was done on her own time with information gleaned from the state’s reports and other health care reform sources. Her projection has been largely dismissed by supporters of Green Mountain Care, including Governor Shumlin. However, the results of the Avalere report make Wilton’s projection more difficult to ignore given the similar conclusions.

Wilton agrees with Avalere that hoped for administrative savings in the conversion to a single payer plan are unlikely and planned reductions in reimbursement rates will have a deleterious effect on the health care system through severe cost pressure on providers, including physicians and hospitals. Wilton also estimated that the federal subsidies will be lower than expected, putting more cost pressure on state taxpayers.

Wilton remains convinced that implementation of Green Mountain Care will also put the state’s financial health at severe risk. “The Shumlin administration’s single payer plan has significant and serious financial risks, likely outweighing benefits. Converting to a government health care system, funded by taxes, will double the size of state government in 2017. At this magnitude, errors or wishful thinking regarding projected costs or revenues could quickly wipe out Vermont’s fund balance. If the state’s balance sheet is deteriorated by adopting this proposal, the state will be unable to provide the basic services of government, such as roads, education and social services we do today and we may be borrowing to cure deficits. It seems like an awful lot of risk to solve a problem for about 4% of the Vermont population which is uninsured and not eligible for Medicaid. I would hope there might be other less costly and less disruptive options,” states Wilton.

Wendy Wilton has served as Treasurer of the City of Rutland since 2007, and was a candidate for state Treasurer in 2012. Wilton is the recipient of the 2012 Vermont Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Treasurer of the Year Award for her advocacy on issues relating to Vermont municipal government. She is a board member of the Ethan Allen Institute.

Wilton Analysis of GMC Finances

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris Campion November 17, 2013 at 10:19 pm

VHAP could have continued to cover uninsured Vermonters, at a fraction of the cost of implementation of Vermont’s exchange. Instead, we had a Shumlin administration rush to the front of the class to make sure the teacher knew he was 100% behind him, all the way – regardless of impact, or the financial facts on the ground.

The Obama administration is sure to thank Peter for his fine work in spending, unnecessarily, hundreds of millions of dollars just for implementation, dollars that could have gone to extending insurance coverage to the uninsured.

And now we’re left with the mess, which will likely involve begging for federal handouts in order to keep it afloat. None of this was required, necessary, or complex – yet it has been made into a financial and political disaster by the same people who purport, at every turn, that gov’t is the solution to all of our problems.

It seems like they have that math backwards. Shumlin and the ACA are creating disasters where none were occurring prior to their fixes. We should remind Peter of his massive failing in the next election – unless he’s moving on to bigger and better things in DC.

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