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Lagging Health Insurance Exchange Glitches Leave Major Medicaid Improvements in Limbo

The fate of Vermont’s online health insurance exchange will be determined by whether or not a new contractor meets a series of deadlines this fall for improved functionality. But it turns out a lot more than just Vermont Health Connect is riding on those deadlines. Other major health care IT projects are sitting in limbo indefinitely, until state resources now consumed by fixing Vermont Health Connect get freed up.

Ignore Policy at Your Peril

Without easy narratives that match familiar story schema, policy and regulation are deemed too dull or too dense to fit within a click-driven, deadline-oriented news cycle. And that’s a problem.

Vermont’s Shadow Budget: How The State Forgoes $1 Billion In Taxes Each Year

As the Vermont Legislature works to overcome a $100 million budget gap for fiscal year 2016, one of its largest fiscal liabilities remains outside the reach of the annual budget bill. The state gives up about $1 billion in tax breaks annually through policies that have remained largely unchanged in recent years, even as lawmakers struggle to balance budgets.

Unlike state spending, most of the tax breaks are permanent – unless they’re amended. They’re not voted up or down annually like the budget. But every two years, the state tallies how much money it’s not collecting. Here’s the latest glimpse of who gets to keep it.

Back to business

Three and a half years ago, I left self-employment to attend graduate school. The one thing I wanted at the end was a job — a regular paycheck. Now, I’m giving up a regular paycheck to return to my business, Niles Media. And it feels great.

Data viz: state revenues

State revenue data is released officially in a PDF format that limits the public’s opportunity to analyze the health of Vermont’s income streams.

This ongoing, interactive data visualization, created from official sources and updated monthly with some exceptions, provides four years of actual revenues in the state’s major funds.