Maryland’s problems are a microcosm of the issues we all saw with the rollout of healthcare.gov
Deep blue Maryland was quick to accept the federal dollars offered for Medicaid expansion as a result of the passage of Obamacare.
It has become a common theme among Democrats to blame the failures of Obamacare on Republican unwillingness to accept the law. It seems, however, that even the most ardent supporters of Obamacare can’t save the law from its inherent flaws.
Indeed, apart from the federal healthcare rollout debacle, we’ve seen blue states that wholeheartedly embraced Obamacare share in a litany of procedural and substantive follies of their own.
HotAir recently reported on one such case in Maryland.
The situation is bad enough that this essentially one-party state has devolved into a fight over whether they should abandon their $100 million dysfunctional site for the federal site, and Democrats running for governor are whacking each other with its failure.
The Washington Post also reported on the clear failure,
Maryland was one of 14 states that chose to build their own health-insurance marketplaces to implement President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which politicians and residents in the state strongly support. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) boasted that the marketplace and the Web site Marylanders would use to access it would be among the best in the country.
But the site failed within minutes of its Oct. 1 launch, blocking residents who were trying to get health insurance. The system has limped along since then. Ultimately, state officials say, they may have to rely at least partially on the federal health-care Web site or on sites operated by other states.
As of Monday, Maryland had paid Noridian $67.9 million for its work and had unpaid invoices totaling $12.9 million, state health officials said.
The problems going on in Maryland are a microcosm of the issues we all saw with the rollout of the federal healthcare exchange, healthcare.gov.
As with the federal site, one of the biggest problems in Maryland was that no one was actually accountable for the project’s success. So, even when warnings came about the projects impending failure, they fell on deaf ears.
More than a year before Maryland launched its health insurance exchange, senior state officials failed to heed warnings that no one was ultimately accountable for the $170 million project and that the state lacked a plausible plan for how it would be ready by Oct. 1.
Over the following months, as political leaders continued to proclaim that the state’s exchange would be a national model, the system went through three different project managers, the feuding between contractors hired to build the online exchange devolved into lawsuits, and key people quit, including a top information technology official because, as he would later say, the project “was a disaster waiting to happen.”
The Maryland rollout has become so plagued with problems, that it has attracted the eyes of Congress. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is seeking a federal investigation into Maryland’s health exchange website to determine whether taxpayers should recoup the federal dollars used to build the site.
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