by Rob Roper
Governor Peter Shumlin was pretty much run out of town on a rail, nearly losing his election to Scott Milne in 2014 and, seeing the writing on the wall, declining to run in 2016. His would be successor, Sue Minter, got shellacked. And, a big reason for Shumlin’s demise was and is his utter failure and total mismanagement of healthcare reform.
Single payer was a long, drawn out, expensive disaster that ultimately failed to launch, and the Vermont Heath Connect website has cost taxpayers $200 million and it still does not work. Behind all of these disasters is Shumlin lackey and Director of Healthcare Reform, Robin Lunge.
However, the reward for all this costly incompetence (a symptom of arrogant, ideological blindness) is not a one way ticket out of town, but rather a six year, appointment to the Green Mountain Care Board — a job that requires 32 hours a week with an annual salary of $96,678.
Are… you… kidding… me…?
The Green Mountain Care Board was put in place to manage Vermont’s transition to a single payer healthcare model. That plan is dead, so, one might ask, is the GMCB even still around? If the body had any remaining vestige of credibility, it is gone with the flagrantly crony appointment of Lunge to its ranks. It is worth noting that Lunge replaces Dr. Alan Ramsay, and, as such there is no longer a single M.D. on the board that governs every aspect of our healthcare.
The new Scott administration will be coming into office facing a $50 – $70 million budget gap. One place to start filling that hole should be eliminating the Green Mountain Care Board and its budget from the state ledgers.
- Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute