By Robert Maynard
In a recent Vermont Public Radio news article, Bob Kinzel posses the following question: “Was Vt. Health COOP Undermined By Push For Single Payer?” Many of True North readers know that story of how the Vermont Health Coop’s failure to to win state approval in time to sell its policies on the exchange was partly responsible for The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cutting off all funding. CMS made the argument that the Coop’s business model now faced “insurmountable obstacles.” An interview with COOP CEO Christine Oliver reveals that the state’s drive towards singe payer was part of the problem:
In its letter to cut off funding, CMS said the COOP’s lifespan could be very short if Vermont implements a single payer system in 2017. As a result, Oliver says her group faced obstacles not present in other states.
“The impact that single payer might play on that is what led from my reading of CMS’s letter to their decision that the timetable seemed different that it would be for say other COOPs,” said Oliver.
With friends like this, who needs enemies?