The Washington Post has revealed startling new information relating to the launch of Maryland’s state based healthcare exchange website. For those who are unaware, the site launched in much the same manner as the now infamous healthcare.gov. That is to say, it was extremely glitch prone and essentially nonfunctional. In fact, so much so that a mere four individuals managed to sign up for a plan through the website in the first 24 hours. Even after $170 million of taxpayer money was spent to finance this ill-fated government program, the website is still highly dysfunctional and taxpayers have been shelling out millions more to fix it since the disastrous October 1st ‘launch’.
However, this failed launch did not come without forewarning. In the months before the exchange went live on October 1st, many of those contracted to work on the website had quit, with one stating that it was a “disaster waiting to happen”. The warnings had started as early as the fall of 2012, with auditors pointing out that key deadlines to build the website were being missed. All the while, Democratic leaders in the state and even President Obama were touting the state’s exchange as a model for the nation and rushing to take credit.
Those same leaders, such as tax-happy Governor Martin O’Malley are now pushing “emergency” legislation, to the tune of as much as $10 million, to expand a state government healthcare program to cover those Marylanders who were unable to procure health insurance due to the non-responsiveness of the exchange’s website. Officials are now significantly walking back previous goals of 150,000 enrolled via the state exchange by March 31st. If this all sounds familiar, it is because it is. On the national level, healthcare.gov launched in a similarly disastrous fashion, fraught with excuses, a lack of accountability, and a hefty price for taxpayers.