Commentary

McClaughry: Hospital to pay single-payer architect $400K

By John McClaughry

On June 9 the UVM Health Network announced the appointment of Anya Rader Wallack  to a high level position.  She is quoted as saying  “I believe the American health care system is in crisis and can only be fixed by people who have a clear vision for reform and are in a position to improve it.” In case you are wondering who she’s talking about, she added  “I have dedicated my professional life to improving our health care system and keeping it affordable.”

Anya Rader Wallack was the chief architect and promoter of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s single payer health care plan during the first two years of his governorship,  at which point she abruptly fled the state when she saw it couldn’t be made to work. The Shumlin Plan collapsed in ruins in December 2014. Now she’s back, with a PhD in “social policy”, as chief promoter of the Brumsted Health Empire at UVM. She will be paid $400,000 to supply her “clear vision” to “keeping our health care system affordable.”  Gov. Scott is paid $184,100 for his services.

I never met or even communicated with this woman and have no personal complaint about her. But I have a real problem when a wizard comes into Vermont, creates an unworkable $3 billion plan, ignores all criticism, watches it implode, abruptly gets out of town – and then reappears seven years later to pocket $400,000 a year to supply her clear vision that produced a colossal failure last time around.

The author, a Kirby resident, is founder and vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

Categories: Commentary

7 replies »

  1. The hiring of Wallack is verification that “crony capitalism” is in full force at UVMMC and a direct indictment of the Green Mountain Care Board. That’s $400,000+ of health care dollars NOT providing health care. Perhaps Jonathan Gruber will be the next political Hack to be hired? The political hubris surrounding health care in Vermont is a repugnant stench.

  2. NO ONE belongs between a patient and their physician. Certainly, no administrator and no government entity belong privy to one’s most personal and vital health concerns. Still, legislators and highly paid professionals convince the public to do away with “fee for service” medicine in favor of “single payor”, OneCare, or a multitude of other schemes purported to “save money” or “improve outcomes”. How can we know what’s best?

    There are only a fixed numbers of dollars available in the healthcare pie. Whether OneCare, Single Payer, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) or any other scheme purported to “save money” or “improve outcomes”, the more slices cut, the more pie being eaten by others, those who are NOT the patient nor their physician. The more slices cut by others, regardless of the compelling names they give themselves, the less pie left for patients and their needs. Similarly, the less available to the very people ultimately and primarily responsible for delivering the actual medical care.

    Regulators now require so many hoops for physicians to jump through to get paid by third parties, more time is spent on such activities than on taking care of patients. Worse, the newest “solution”, schemes which require little or no such administrative time spent by physicians. How is this accomplished? By taking their incentive out of the equation and making physicians all but automatons. Anti-incentives have been designed into these schemes to suppress dissent, complaint, and meaningful physician input. Many young physicians today have unwittingly made such deals with the devil. Giant hospital networks have taken over private practice removing the very patient advocates from the equation who have made American medicine the envy of the world.
    Today, Administrators, government officials, and other third party trained professionals use words, to induce people to share their pie, to give it away, no longer available for needed medical care nor available to those rendering medical care. If you think you’re getting something for nothing, think again. Pie costs money.

    When you hear “the American medical care system is in crisis” you’re really being told: you may need good medical care, you may pay good money for your medical care, but because of the “crisis”, prepare to give away pie. Slices of your pie are going to people who have nothing to do with choosing the recipe, shopping for its ingredients, cooking in a hot kitchen since the early morning hours, nor keeping it fresh and delicious. What made medicine in America great during the 20th Century? One pie, sliced two ways. The true crisis is the severing of the relationship between a patient and their physician.

    What else do we need? A robust competitive healthcare insurance marketplace, affordable insurance to help patients during their time of need. Patients, their doctors, and third party insurance for protection. That’s it. No one else at the table. What do I do during the holiday season? I bring my doc a fresh baked pie!

  3. It’s comical how Vermont is always issuing Public Service announcements warning everyone to be on the alert for scammers.

  4. She is a gigantic fraudster and grifter. Shame on her. And shame on UVM for hiring her for this bogus job. Who owes her and for what reason? Who is her dole?

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