Following money to insurers

May 05, 2012

Rutland Herald

Mr. Wennberg complains that Vermont’s implementation of H.559 limits insurance to those who meet the criteria and are listed on the Vermont exchange. He conveniently ignores the fact that health coverage within the exchange must meet minimum standards for each of the coverage levels, bronze, silver, gold, etc. This means that the insurance companies must provide standard, well-defined coverage and compete on cost. This is good for the Vermont consumer. Insurance companies competing on a level field. No games in the fine print.

Mr. Wennberg does not like this. He wants insurance “outside the Exchange,” i.e. outside the rules,” so companies can sell whatever policies they want. Buyer beware. More profit and less risk for the insurance company. In fact, he wants this pickerel shoot opened for more out-of-state insurance companies. He seems to favor insurance companies over Vermonters.

He also complains about Vermonters taking advantage of federal money under the exchange. He claims the money will be “clawed” into state treasuries. Wrong. He seems to ignore that the federal credits and subsidies as part of the exchange are designed to pay private insurance companies properly for coverage they provide to low- and middle-income family. It pays insurance companies, not the state treasury.

Mr Wennberg’s title is “Follow the money.” Yet he refuses to tell us who is paying him, funding his front organization “Vermonters for Health Care Freedom.” His positions, at their root, behind the spin always seem to favor the insurance industry establishment. Is that where following his money will lead?