Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It HHAPpens

An additional $500,000 was approved for HHAP with the approval of the 2011 operating budget. This means that taxpayers have paid and committed $1.5 million dollars to the program that has helped a few hundred people get access to health care over a three year period.

Greg Fox nicely summarizes HHAP:

“As we ask others to do more with less, Healthy Howard, Inc. continues to seek to do less with more,” Fox said during his closing remarks.

Health Officer Peter Bielenson provided interesting testimony to the Senate about HHAP(.pdf) in early 2009. He makes several claims, including that there would be 2,200 enrollees in the first year, the program would be extended to 15,000 enrollees if it works, and the program would be made "sustainable and self-sufficient". HHAP has been an epic failure on all three of these counts.

Obviously, at this point the HHAP is not about helping people so much as saving political face for Ken Ulman. Our tax dollars will keep this boondoggle afloat until federal regulations finally kill it in 2014, at which point it will be framed as successful stop gap health care measure instead of the failure it really is.


Anonymous said...

If you've read the stories like I have, HHAP has enrolled and served 850people and helped 4,000 others get affordable insurance coverage. Guess you don't want to help your neighbors get access to health care?

Freemarket said...

It's really a question of price. Paying $1.5 million to accomplish what lille HHAP has done is just too much.

Btw, the Health-E-link software that located subsidized insurance for 4,000 people (not sure if they actually got that insurance) cost $70,000. That portion of HHAP is the cheapest. It might be good to continue that part, but not the health coaches, etc.