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Obamacare rollout: Even deep blue states in deep trouble

Obamacare rollout: Even deep blue states in deep trouble

Maryland’s problems are a microcosm of the issues we all saw with the rollout of

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,

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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Henry Hawkins | March 2, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Well, I’m simply brokenhearted over Maryland’s dilemma.

    Valerie in reply to Henry Hawkins. | March 2, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Both Maryland and California take great pride in their idea of “good government,” and both bought into this Obamacare legislation wholeheartedly. And yet, neither state has been able to make it work.

    I don’t think the problem is at the State level.

David Yotham | March 2, 2014 at 2:24 pm

So you met someone who set you back on your heels
Goody, goody
You met someone and now you know how it feels
Goody, goody

Gee, that’s to bad! I wonder how loud they can squeal? Probably like little piggies, as they’re getting their tails nipped off! ROFL

I hope they embrace the pain, and I hope it’s MAJOR pain – not any of this minor discomfort for the liberal elites.

Bruce Hayden | March 2, 2014 at 2:28 pm

No one should be surprised. Most of the states that built their own exchanges are red states. It has to be part of why they tried to build such, and, why they failed. They got all this free money from the feds to squander on building a web site, and for the most part, squandered it as expected, with several going so far as using the same crappy contractor that the feds used, and likely for the same crooked reasons.

What Dems can’t quite address is the internal dissonance between being the party of big government because central control planning is supposedly so much more efficient and effective than private parties making those decisions, and the party of corruption and cronyism, where you are expected to have to pay to play, and those who pay the most to the politicians, get the contracts. The theory is that society would run better if the best and the brightest were in charge making the decisions. The reality is that the most cunning and ruthless are the ones who inevitably get control, and they invariably put their own well being ahead of everyone else’s.

    “Most of the states that built their own exchanges are red states.”

    I don’t think that’s right, is it?

    Radegunda in reply to Bruce Hayden. | March 2, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Dems are inclined to argue that we need much more government than earlier generations did because society is so much more complicated now (a premise that is just assumed, not demonstrated).

    They don’t explain how a centralized government could have the all-seeing wisdom to micromanage more and more aspects of a large and increasingly complex society. They just assume that a bunch of people with Ivy League degrees and a commitment to “social justice” knew what’s good for the citizens of Missoula and Dayton and Wenatchee and Salinas and Flower Mound.

    P.S. I accidentally “down-thumbed” you when I was trying to hit “reply”, and it won’t let me take it back 🙁 Sorry!

And Maryland is still in better shape than Oregon.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to RCosta. | March 2, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Yes, MD is WAY ahead of OR which, AFAIK, has 0 signups for its portal (all signups are done with paper apps). Repub congressmen are asking OR what happened with the $130,000,000 allocated to them for healthcare website.
    I don’t have the link handy anymore but one of these blue paradises had a handful of applicants actually succeed on the first day of signups. Incredulous state officials called each of them personally to check.

“We’ll build our own. How hard can it be? That way we get to keep the boodle”

I really feel bad for people that have to live in states like MD…

Hunt Valley, MD


Phillep Harding | March 2, 2014 at 4:31 pm

My, my, my.

Such a shame.

I guess “hope” is not enough.

So the federal government burned through 600 million dollars to botch their website, but that’s not all.
If 17 states received aprox. 130 million to build (or botch) their own websites, that’s an additional 2,210 million in botched websites.

In the meantime, three coders built an equivalent in only three days and spending a few hundred.

Of course, it’s not fair to compare the creation of Health Sherpa to the rollout of the more complicated government ACA site…
But it does cast light on the difference between what can be done by a small group of experts, steeped in Silicon Valley’s anything-is-possible mentality, and a massive government project in which politics and bureaucracy seem to have helped create an unwieldy mess.

reallyoldpilot | March 2, 2014 at 9:51 pm

To me, the election of a communist thinker like Barrack Obama is a blow to Americans of incredible significance. Evidently, if the election wasn’t rigged, Americans now desire a leader who is destroying our free enterprise system, our economy, and our medical system?
Much of my life was spend defending against socialist and communist thought and disturbance. I never would have thought I’d live to see the day an American president would put into place a phony wasteful, non-functional ACA healthcare system the majority of American citizens object to and do not want!
Why the Democratic party is so un-American and supports the wholesale slaughter of our American individual freedoms and our constitution is an utter disgust and a disaster…
Americans will not thrive under a dictator like Barrack Obama or his form of government.

For funzies I subscribe to several ‘democrat’ newsletters. You should see the ‘optimism’ pouring out of these newsletters re obamacare. Super funny.