Last week the State of Vermont pushed a story on media that said open enrollment at Vermont Health Connect (VHC) was going great. Yes, the state conceded, its $100 million site had to close down for catastrophic security and operational failures. But now things are marvelous.

A couple of days later VTDigger carried a story from front-line system "navigators" that told a different story.

In that version, critically sick people and their children were being denied medical care and coverage because the maddening VHC bureaucracy and its defective $100 million website still couldn't perform simple tasks. Needless to say the situation remains stressful for all involved parties. Moreso, probably, for people who used to have access to doctors but now don't.

Meanwhile collection notices went out last week from MVP Health Care, to thousands of Vermonters who may or may not have made insurance payments through VHC. There's apparently no way to know such complicated things.

So, thanks to Peter Shumlin and his bumbling band of bureaucratic kobalos, there are thousands of Vermonters spending dozens of frustrating hours on the phone, attempting to buy a product mandated by law, only to find themselves without access to a doctor, broke from making pointless wallet-busting premium payments, and hounded by a collections agent.

And the cost to taxpayers for this cautionary calamity will only be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

It should be fun when they take over the entire system.

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