Tag Archives: Avram Patt

Two-Biter Bites Again

Remember my pre-election post about Vermont’s Two-Biters? The Progressives who ran in Democratic primaries, lost, and then ran as Progressives?

Well, one of them cost the Democrats a seat in the House.

Up in the two-seat Lamoille-Washington district, which stretches from Morrisville to Worcester along Route 12, Democrat David Yacovone and Republican Gary Nolan were elected. Incumbent Democrat Avram Patt finished a close third.

Prog-turned-Dem-turned-Prog Marci Young siphoned off more than enough votes to elect the Republican Nolan. The final returns:

Yacovone 2,449

Nolan 1,915

Patt 1,698

Young   865

Patt lost by 219 votes, roughly one-fourth of Young’s total. I think we can safely assume that without Young in the race, he would have picked up enough additional votes to finish second.

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Two bites of the apple

The Progressive Party doesn’t have much of a ticket this year. Many of its candidates are running as Democrats because they stand a better chance of winning. Smart tactics in the short term, and something of a worry for Dems. They’re seeing previously “safe” seats peeled off by the Progs, potentially weakening their legislative caucuses.

This year, we have a new twist on that technique: Progressives running as Democrats, losing the primary, and then refiling as Progs for the same contest.

There are four such candidates (that I know of), all running for the House, and all in “safe” Democratic districts. The Two-Biters:

— Jill Charbonneau, Addison-1

— Steve May, Chittenden-1

— Marci Young, Lamoille-Washington

— Carl Etnier, Washington-5

This is of direct interest to me, because I live in one of those districts.

Each person must make up their own mind. Me personally, I’m disinclined to vote for a Two-Biter.

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The vultures descend

Here’s a little item that I find amusing. Maybe you will, too.

At yesterday’s meeting of the House Health Care Committee, Rep. Avram Patt (D-Shap’s District) brought up the subject of those long, confusing Explanation Of Benefits forms (EOBs) we get in the mail every time we see a doctor or have a covered service or procedure done. You know, the ones nobody ever reads?

Well, Avram Patt reads ’em. And he had some questions, mainly centered on the lavish “prices” for services beyond the basics. How are those prices arrived at? Do they reflect the cost of the services rendered? Does anyone — covered or not — ever actually pay that?

He had inquired about some of this with his insurer, and been told that if an uninsured person gets a whopping bill and complains, “it’s immediately negotiated down.” And the original fee? That’s an “algorithm” — a calculated starting point for negotiations.

Short answer, in other words: Nobody ever actually pays that price, and it seems to have nothing to do with cost.

The committee wanted more information on these questions and some others, and decided to seek testimony — mainly from Shumlin administration functionaries.

But lo and behold, I look at the revised committee schedule this morning, and at 11:00 a.m. I see a lobbyist clusterf**k. Lobbyists for MVP Healthcare, CIGNA, and Blue Cross Blue Shield will be lined up, one after the other, to explain those EOBs. Presumably in an industry-friendly, “No no, it really makes sense, please don’t ask us to change” sort of way.

That’s all. I just found it amusing that healthcare industry lobbyists were so quickly available on less than 24 hours’ notice, and all at the same time.