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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Maryland's $125.5 Million ObamaCare Train Wreck That Could Have Been Avoided

 “Maryland is set to scrap its ObamaCare state exchange after spending at least $125.5 million. The state’s exchange website ‘is broken beyond repair.’ So is the trust in Governor Martin O’Malley and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown to lead on important issues. Together they promised to ‘lead the nation’ in building a state ObamaCare exchange. Instead, they ignored warnings signs and are left with the dubious honor of having the first federal investigation into their failed exchange and now the first exchange to be totally abandoned. Maryland deserves better leadership.” - RGA Communication Director Gail Gitcho

As Enrollment Period Ends, Maryland Set To Scrap Broken ObamaCare Exchange That “Cost At Least $125.5 Million”
Maryland Set To Terminate State Exchange That “Cost At Least $125.5 Million” Which “Is Broken Beyond Repair.” “Maryland officials are set to replace the state’s online health-insurance exchange with technology from Connecticut’s insurance marketplace, according to two people familiar with the decision, an acknowledgment that a system that has cost at least $125.5 million is broken beyond repair.”  (Mary Flaherty and Jenna Johnson, “Maryland Set To Replace Troubled Exchange With Connecticut’s System,” The Washington Post, 3/28/14)
  • “The board of the Maryland exchange plans to vote on the change Tuesday, the day after the end of the first enrollment period for the state’s residents under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.”  (Mary Flaherty and Jenna Johnson, “Maryland Set To Replace Troubled Exchange With Connecticut’s System,” The Washington Post, 3/28/14)

Earlier This Month, The Federal Inspector General Launched A “First Of Its Kind Probe” Into What Went Wrong
A Federal Inspector General Is Probing What Went Wrong In Maryland, The First Examination Of Its Kind To Be Revealed Publicly. “A federal inspector general is launching a review into what went wrong with Maryland's health insurance exchange, the first examination focused specifically on how millions of dollars in federal money was spent by the state, according to the lawmaker who requested the probe.” (John Fritze, “Federal Inspector To Audit Maryland Health Exchange,” The Baltimore Sun, 3/9/14)

Demolition Of State Exchange “A Particular Embarrassment For Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown” And Gov. Martin O’Malley
“But Maryland Will Be The First To Walk Away From Its Site, A Particular Embarrassment For Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), Who Was Placed In Charged Of Implementing Health-Care Reform In Maryland By Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).” (Mary Flaherty and Jenna Johnson, “Maryland Set To Replace Troubled Exchange With Connecticut’s System,” The Washington Post, 3/28/14)

The Washington Post: “The Exchange Has Become A Major Embarrassment For Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley And Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown.” “Costs were outlined Thursday in a routine budget review presented to state lawmakers after months of outrage and political finger-pointing over the health-exchange debacle. Hopes of developing a site that would be a model for the nation have melted away as the exchange has become a major embarrassment for Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown.” (Jenna Johnson and Mary Pat Flaherty, “Maryland Begins To Put A Price On Health-Care Exchange Debacle,” The Washington Post, 2/27/14)

Maryland’s ObamaCare Exchange Problems To Tarnish The “Political Image Of Gov. Martin O’Malley And His Handpicked Successor, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown.” “The troubles hitting Maryland’s health exchange could have a lasting impact by tarnishing the political image of Gov. Martin O’Malley and his handpicked successor, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, according to experts assessing elections in 2014 and beyond. For O’Malley, who is contemplating a White House bid, the crisis could test his credentials as a data-driven and technologically savvy leader. Brown, who made his leadership on health care reform a selling point in his candidacy for governor, risks being overshadowed by O’Malley in publicizing efforts to repair the website.” (Erin Cox, “Faltering Exchange Could Mean Trouble For O’Malley, Brown,”  Baltimore Sun, 12/24/13)

Indeed, Democrat Governor Martin O’Malley Promised That Maryland’s State ObamaCare Exchange Would “Lead The Nation”, Established Council To Oversee The Operation With Lt. Governor Anthony Brown As Co-Chair
Just 24 Hours After ObamaCare Was Signed Into Law, O’Malley Promised That Maryland Would “Lead The Nation” In Putting It In Place. “Barely 24 hours after President Obama signed his landmark health law, Gov. Martin O’Malley promised that Maryland would ‘lead the nation’ in putting it in place…But when Tuesday arrived, Maryland’s Web site stumbled badly. People couldn’t log on, forcing state officials to delay the opening of the exchange for four hours. Even after it opened, many frustrated users were unable to create accounts, the first step in buying coverage. All told, fewer than 100 people have managed to enroll.” (Lena H. Sun, “Maryland’s Health Insurance Web Site Stumbles Badly In First Days,” The Washington Post, 10/4/13)

Less Than A Day After ObamaCare Became Law, O’Malley Called Press Conference To Announce Creation Of Maryland’s Own ObamaCare Exchange. “It’s a situation far different than what O’Malley predicted on a sunny morning in March 2010, less than 24 hours after Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. O’Malley called reporters to the entrance of an Anne Arundel County emergency room to announce that Maryland would begin drafting plans to ‘immediately begin the work to ensure our state leads the nation.’”  (Aaron C. Davis and Mary Pat Flaherty, “Maryland Officials Were Warned For A Year Of Problems With Online Health-Insurance Site,” The Washington Post, 1/11/14)

Through Executive Order, O’Malley Created The Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council To Oversee The State’s Efforts To Implement The ObamaCare Exchange. “Governor Martin O’Malley unveiled an Executive Order today outside the Emergency Room at Anne Arundel Medical Center, where the Governor outlined ways in which federal health care reform, signed by President Obama yesterday, will impact families in Maryland.  The Executive Order creates the Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council to advise the administration on policies and procedures to implement the recent and future federal health care reform legislation as efficiently and effectively as possible. As states assume the critical role of implementing multiple aspects of health care reform, the Council will make policy recommendations and offer implementation strategies to keep Maryland among the leading states in expanding quality, affordable health care while reducing waste and controlling costs.”  (Press Release, “Governor Martin O’Malley Announces Health Care Reform Council,” Office of Governor Martin O’Malley, 3/24/10)

“Council To Ensure Efficiency In Implementing Health Care Expansion, Cost Control Measures.” (Press Release, “Governor Martin O’Malley Announces Health Care Reform Council,” Office of Governor Martin O’Malley, 3/24/10)

“Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, DHMH Secretary John M. Colmers To Co-Chair Council.” (Press Release, “Governor Martin O’Malley Announces Health Care Reform Council,” Office of Governor Martin O’Malley, 3/24/10)

“Maryland Was Among The Earliest And Most Enthusiastic Supporters Of What Became Known As ‘ObamaCare,’” Second State “To Enact Legislation Creating An Exchange.” “Of the 14 states that opted to build and run their own health-insurance marketplaces, Maryland was among the earliest and most enthusiastic supporters of what became known as ‘ObamaCare.’ And it became the second state, trailing California, to enact legislation creating an exchange.”  (Aaron C. Davis and Mary Pat Flaherty, “Maryland Officials Were Warned For A Year Of Problems With Online Health-Insurance Site,” The Washington Post, 1/11/14)

O’Malley And Brown Ignored Warnings For Over A Year That The State Lacked A “Plausible Plan” For The Exchange That Had A “Calamitous Debut”

Washington Post Investigation: Members Of O’Malley’s Cabinet “Failed To Heed Warnings” That The $170M Exchange Lacked Accountability And Was “A Disaster Waiting To Happen.” (Aaron C. Davis and Mary Pat Flaherty, “Maryland Officials Were Warned For A Year Of Problems With Online Health-Insurance Site,” The Washington Post, 1/11/14)

According To Budget Officials, The O’Malley-Brown Exchange Was A “High-Risk Undertaking From The Outset.” (Aaron C. Davis and Mary Pat Flaherty, “Maryland Officials Were Warned For A Year Of Problems With Online Health-Insurance Site,” The Washington Post, 1/11/14)

“On A Conference Call At The Start Of The Final Week Of September, Senior Aides Gave O’Malley A High-Level Summary Of Expected Troubles With The Exchange.”  (Aaron C. Davis and Mary Pat Flaherty, “Maryland Officials Were Warned For A Year Of Problems With Online Health-Insurance Site,” The Washington Post, 1/11/14)

“The Web Site Would Not Allow Some People To Check For Subsidies Or To Select Plans, But Everyone Should At Least Be Able To Log On, He Was Told, According To Several Aides.” (Aaron C. Davis and Mary Pat Flaherty, “Maryland Officials Were Warned For A Year Of Problems With Online Health-Insurance Site,” The Washington Post, 1/11/14)

“The Governor Ended The Call, Said John Griffin, His Chief Of Staff, Saying The State Should Move Forward.’” (Aaron C. Davis and Mary Pat Flaherty, “Maryland Officials Were Warned For A Year Of Problems With Online Health-Insurance Site,” The Washington Post, 1/11/14)

“But Two Days Later, Griffin Requested That A Roomful Of Aides To The Governor And Brown Vote On Whether To Proceed. Most Gave The Oct. 1 Launch A Green Light.”  (Aaron C. Davis and Mary Pat Flaherty, “Maryland Officials Were Warned For A Year Of Problems With Online Health-Insurance Site,” The Washington Post, 1/11/14)
  • In Endorsement Of His Gubernatorial Campaign, U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski Credited Brown For Making Sure Maryland’s ObamaCare Exchange Was “Ready To Go.” “On Oct. 1, while we’re fighting to save ObamaCare, we know that in Maryland we have a health exchange that’s ready to go because of Anthony Brown.” (Michael Dresser, “Mikulski Backs Brown In Primary For Maryland Governor,” The Baltimore Sun, 9/22/13)
“The Next Day, O’Malley Smiled As Obama Visited Prince George’s County And Praised State Leaders For Being Ready To Roll.”  (Aaron C. Davis and Mary Pat Flaherty, “Maryland Officials Were Warned For A Year Of Problems With Online Health-Insurance Site,” The Washington Post, 1/11/14)

Tags: Maryland, Obamacare Trainwreck To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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