15 states have spent more than a billion dollars on ObamaCare exchanges

posted at 9:21 am on October 31, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Another line of defense for ObamaCare apologists blames Republican governors for refusing to open their own state exchanges.  If only every state would have created their own exchange, the argument goes, the federal website would have worked properly and consumers would already be enrolling as they are in the 15 states that have their own exchanges! CBS News investigated the state-based exchanges and discovered that they’re costing the federal government more than a billion dollars, while having many of the same problems:

Sources tell CBS News that the 15 states that have set up their own insurance exchanges used more than $1 billion to pay for their own Obamacare websites. That huge price tag, CBS News’ Jan Crawford reported on “CBS This Morning,” is being paid for by the federal government — courtesy of taxpayers — and some of these websites have also struggled to get off the ground. …

A CBS News analysis shows that the 15 states that opted to set up their own exchanges are spending more than $1.1 billion to launch and implement their own websites, often paying the same government contractors to do the same job in different states.

California has dedicated $359 million, while New York is spending $161 million. In Kentucky it’s $100 million, and in Oregon the price tag is $50 million.

The president has pointed to Oregon, which has enrolled 56,000 people in Medicaid – to argue things are working. “That’s 56,000 more Americans who now have health care,” the president has said. “That doesn’t depend on a website.”

And it’s a good thing, because Oregon’s website doesn’t work. The new Medicaid enrollments came through the mail. The state website has yet to enroll a single person.

At least five of the states have problems because they used the same contractor for their exchange as HHS did — CGI Federal.  Clay Johnson, one of Barack Obama’s “Presidential Innovation Fellows,” wonders aloud in his CBS interview whether CGI Federal “got paid five times for some of the same code” — code that has now been demonstrated as substandard.  Thanks to the states creating their own exchanges rather than going with a central exchange, that also means that the same code will have to get fixed in six different systems.  Will CGI Federal get more taxpayer dollars to do that, too?

Update: And even when the exchanges work, they’re not succeeding for other reasons (via TWS):

“Thus far everybody has taken a look at the rates and they’ve walked out the door. There’s sticker shock. They just can’t afford it.”


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I can’t believe Jan Crawford hasn’t received a visit from Luca Brasi.

No horse’s head?

BuckeyeSam on October 31, 2013 at 9:28 AM

The blame train rolls on. Democrats are so pathetic.

spec_ops_mateo on October 31, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Al Jazeera is now the go-to source for honest reporting on this debacle, man oh man.

And I have to wonder about that kid Leonardo, did he vote for Barky and why is he hesitant to use his last name….hmmmmm.

Bishop on October 31, 2013 at 9:29 AM

How does it make you feel that despite your education or background, the present government considers you stupid?

docflash on October 31, 2013 at 9:29 AM

There’s sticker shock. They just can’t afford it.”

How very unpatriotic.

Don’t these LIVs know that having healthcare is not only a civil right, but its also downright ‘Murican.

Time to put some skin in the game kids, Uncle Sam needs you.

Gatsu on October 31, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Update: And even when the exchanges work, they’re not succeeding for other reasons (via TWS):

We’re linking the al Qaeda Network now?

NotCoach on October 31, 2013 at 9:33 AM

CBS is lucky that it is not 2010.

mjbrooks3 on October 31, 2013 at 9:33 AM

“Thus far everybody has taken a look at the rates and they’ve walked out the door. There’s sticker shock. They just can’t afford it.”

Wow. I bet none of us around here never saw this coming!

NotCoach on October 31, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Come on everyone…bend over and take one for the LOOTERS!!!

BigWyo on October 31, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Meh–Colorado, another Obama loving state. Bone it-own it.

hillsoftx on October 31, 2013 at 9:36 AM

So many things about that second video clip are wrong.

1. Al Jazeera? WTF?
2. Leonardo? The idiot part-time resort worker who disguises his identity by going on camera but insisting on withholding his name? Classic Obama voter.
3. The Family & Intercultural Resource Center? WTF?
4. Why should Obamacare specifically make insurance premiums less expensive in Summit, CO?

BuckeyeSam on October 31, 2013 at 9:37 AM

How very unpatriotic.

Don’t these LIVs know that having healthcare is not only a civil right, but its also downright ‘Murican.

Time to put some skin in the game kids, Uncle Sam needs you.

Gatsu on October 31, 2013 at 9:32 AM

The same people who peed themselves in ecstasy when Dog Eater bloviated about spreading the wealth and fairness and yack yack yack, and then they voted for him twice.

Welcome to Econ 101, kiddos, it’s time to pay the fiddler and the fiddler wants his money.

Bishop on October 31, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Just shop around…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:37 AM

A buddy and I were wondering a few years ago if the State portals would be deployed using a common framework with a centralized interface spec. This would have resulted in a faster dev cycle, homogeneous test/operational guidelines, a more stable, compliant, extensible and less-expensive deployment.

These are standard practices that have been in place for twenty years for professionals – those that get paid based on the merit of their skills and effort.

I guess they didn’t.

Tsar of Earth on October 31, 2013 at 9:37 AM

***

And I have to wonder about that kid Leonardo, did he vote for Barky and why is he hesitant to use his last name….hmmmmm.

Bishop on October 31, 2013 at 9:29 AM

I thought I heard an accent from Leonardo. I’d like a check on his immigration status. Someone should see whether he’s taking flying lessons.

BuckeyeSam on October 31, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Just shop around…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:37 AM

I love it! Hey, Leonardo, Obama has a tune for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQGXa3FiXKM

BuckeyeSam on October 31, 2013 at 9:42 AM

The black market in sub-standard plans is exploding….

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:42 AM

BuckeyeSam on October 31, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Classic…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Leonardo’s subsidy is $300+?!

A young healthy male will get $300 a month from tax payers to fund a Ponzi scheme… heck of a job Bammy.

mjbrooks3 on October 31, 2013 at 9:44 AM

I’m going into the sub-standard plan business…when this whole thing crashes I’ll be a billionaire…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:45 AM

The black market in sub-standard plans is exploding….

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:42 AM

How would a black market in insurance work? Typical black markets provide a service or product upon payment, thus the exchange of goods is immediate without having to trust in the seller to provide at a later date. How does a consumer hold a black market insurer to account when it comes time to file a claim?

NotCoach on October 31, 2013 at 9:46 AM

How do you become a “Presidential Innovation Fellow”???…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:47 AM

NotCoach on October 31, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Cash for services…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:48 AM

There’s sticker shock. They just can’t afford it.”

I call BS. Americans are dying to both pay more taxes and sign up for awesome new insurance. That’s why they’re happy their old, inadequate, TEA Party insurance plans have been canceled.

Long live the People’s Insurance Exchanges!

mankai on October 31, 2013 at 9:48 AM

At least five of the states have problems because they used the same contractor for their exchange as HHS did — CGI Federal. Clay Johnson, one of Barack Obama’s “Presidential Innovation Fellows,” wonders aloud in his CBS interview whether CGI Federal “got paid five times for some of the same code” — code that has now been demonstrated as substandard. Thanks to the states creating their own exchanges rather than going with a central exchange, that also means that the same code will have to get fixed in six different systems. Will CGI Federal get more taxpayer dollars to do that, too?

Counterpoint – if those 5 states had relied upon the feds to run their exchanges, CGI Federal would have charged the feds an additional amount virtually identical to the amounts they charged those 5 states for the same code. At this level, it is not the number of different clients, but the number of people the site is designed to serve, that drives the price.

The president has pointed to Oregon, which has enrolled 56,000 people in Medicaid – to argue things are working. “That’s 56,000 more Americans who now have health care,” the president has said. “That doesn’t depend on a website.”

Do note the fact I bolded Medicaid. Single government payer is the goal, after all.

Steve Eggleston on October 31, 2013 at 9:51 AM

NotCoach on October 31, 2013 at 9:46 AM

More and more doctors are not accepting and/or dealing with ANY insurance companies, and going to a cash for services model…

As a result pricing is dropping by up to 70% or so. Once this practice becomes more prevalent, the government and insurers will not be happy.

You don’t muscle in on their action without consequences…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Yes, I do note the irony in “the number of people the site is designed to serve” – it was designed to serve 4 at a time.

Steve Eggleston on October 31, 2013 at 9:53 AM

$100 million in Kentucky?

That’s a hell of a lot of bourbon.

Mr. Bingley on October 31, 2013 at 9:54 AM

How would a black market in insurance work? Typical black markets provide a service or product upon payment, thus the exchange of goods is immediate without having to trust in the seller to provide at a later date. How does a consumer hold a black market insurer to account when it comes time to file a claim?

NotCoach on October 31, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Easy – they send in Knock-Knees Tony.

Steve Eggleston on October 31, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Cash for services…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:48 AM

That’s just going to doctor’s office or hospital normally without insurance. That isn’t black market activity. It is not illegal to seek services without insurance. And many doctors are going to switch over to a cash only practice under ObamaCare. Some already have.

NotCoach on October 31, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Easy – they send in Knock-Knees Tony.

Steve Eggleston on October 31, 2013 at 9:55 AM

The buyers have muscle?

NotCoach on October 31, 2013 at 9:56 AM

That’s just going to doctor’s office or hospital normally without insurance. That isn’t black market activity. It is not illegal to seek services without insurance. And many doctors are going to switch over to a cash only practice under ObamaCare. Some already have.

NotCoach on October 31, 2013 at 9:55 AM

I give it about 2 years and this government will deemed this practice as illegal…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:57 AM

The buyers have muscle?

NotCoach on October 31, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Some of them do. That will result in, what was called back in the day, a mob war.

Steve Eggleston on October 31, 2013 at 9:58 AM

That’s just going to doctor’s office or hospital normally without insurance. That isn’t black market activity. It is not illegal to seek services without insurance. And many doctors are going to switch over to a cash only practice under ObamaCare. Some already have.

NotCoach on October 31, 2013 at 9:55 AM

If Pelosi gets the gavel back in 2015, the cash market will become, like it has in Canada and the UK, the black market.

Steve Eggleston on October 31, 2013 at 9:59 AM

NotCoach on October 31, 2013 at 9:56 AM

The government is now nothing more than an extension of an organized crime syndicate…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:59 AM

That isn’t black market activity

.

Whats interesting about black markets, is that they are actually the real free market systems…the more government intervention and control that’s in place the more the free market goes underground…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 10:02 AM

The government is now nothing more than an extension of an the Chicago organized crime syndicate…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Just putting a finer point on it.

Fallon on October 31, 2013 at 10:02 AM

The black market in sub-standard plans is exploding….

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Um, I’m pretty sure black markets are racist.

pain train on October 31, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Bartering for medical services will also be on the upswing…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 10:05 AM

TRAIN WRECK!

GarandFan on October 31, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Clay Johnson, one of Barack Obama’s “Presidential Innovation Fellows,” wonders aloud in his CBS interview whether CGI Federal “got paid five times for some of the same code”

I’ve got a ton of criticism for O’Care, but Johnson’s comment is total hooey. In the aggregate, every video game sold, every unit of QuickBooks sold – in fact, every piece of software sold anywhere – entails a software developer receiving payment multiple times for the same piece of code. Put another way, if you walk into a book store and purchase a single copy of “The Shining,” you can’t walk out of the store with the store’s entire stock of the novel; paying once entitles the purchaser to one copy of the work, not to every copy of the work. Because each government entity that purchased CGI’s services engaged in a separate sales transaction, Johnson’s musings are just plain stupid.

Jazz on October 31, 2013 at 10:08 AM

‘What we found out was, shovel-ready jobs affordable health care just isn’t as (hehe) shovel-ready affordable as we had thought.’

BKeyser on October 31, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Jazz on October 31, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Oh c’mon Jazz, here you go spreading those scandalous rumors again that Obama and Co. don’t understand how business works.

Mr. Bingley on October 31, 2013 at 10:15 AM

The buyers have muscle?

NotCoach on October 31, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Some of them do. That will result in, what was called back in the day, a mob war.

Steve Eggleston on October 31, 2013 at 9:58 AM

The “muscle” will most likely be on the insurers’ side. And the results will be, well, something like this;

Vicar: It’s about this letter you sent me regarding my insurance claim.

Devious: Oh, yeah, yeah – well, you see, it’s just that we’re not, as yet, totally satisfied with the grounds of your claim.

Vicar: But it says something about filling my mouth in with cement.

Devious: Oh well, that’s just insurance jargon, you know.

Vicar: But my car was hit by a lorry while standing in the garage and you refuse to pay my claim.

Devious: (rising and crossing to a filing cabinet) Oh well, Reverend Morrison, in your policy… in your policy… (he opens the drawer of the filing cabins and takes out a shabby old sports jacket; he feels in the pocket and pulls out a crumpled dog-eared piece of paper then puts the coat back and shuts the filing cabinet)…. here we are. It states quite clearly that no claim you make will be paid.

Vicar: Oh dear.

Devious: You see, you unfortunately plumped for our ‘Neverpay’ policy, which, you know, if you never claim is very worthwhile, but you had to claim, and, well, there it is.

Vicar: Oh dear, oh dear.

Devious: Still, never mind – could be worse. How’s the nude lady?

Vicar: Oh, she’s fine. (he begins to sob)

Devious: Look Rev, I hate to see a man cry, so shove off out th’ office. There’s a good chap.

Except not at all funny.

It must be remembered that “insurance” used to be a big moneymaker for organized crime. The system The One has created could recreate the conditions for such all too easily. And there are plenty of groups who are ready and able to cash in on it.

I’m self-divided between thinking that The One & Co. never thought of this (as forethought does not seem to be their strong suit other than dreaming about their Utopia), and thinking that at least some of them anticipate just this and are hoping to cash in on it.

Dishonest and stupid is no way to go through life. Unless, of course, you’re a progressive politician.

clear ether

eon

eon on October 31, 2013 at 10:15 AM

I’ve got a ton of criticism for O’Care, but Johnson’s comment is total hooey. In the aggregate, every video game sold, every unit of QuickBooks sold – in fact, every piece of software sold anywhere – entails a software developer receiving payment multiple times for the same piece of code.

Jazz on October 31, 2013 at 10:08 AM

At least as I see it, the difference here is the U.S. government didn’t simply software purchase licenses, as is the case with Windows, or Oracle, or Java, they paid a contractor to develop code that the government owns. As such they should be able to reuse the code as they see fit.

pain train on October 31, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Hey, I thought BOcare was going to reduce costs?

Did someone lie?

JackM on October 31, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Hey, I thought BOcare was going to reduce costs?

Did someone lie?

JackM on October 31, 2013 at 10:17 AM

In an interesting way it actually will reduce cost, if you stay away from the government and insurance companies and go directly to the doctor…

PatriotRider on October 31, 2013 at 10:25 AM

People’s Insurance Exchanges!

mankai on October 31, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Yep. Call it like it is!

TerryW on October 31, 2013 at 10:28 AM

The president’s signature legislation. Let it be a daily disaster… Beat those drums…

Pest on October 31, 2013 at 10:35 AM

The president has pointed to Oregon, which has enrolled 56,000 people in Medicaid – to argue things are working. “That’s 56,000 more Americans who now have health care,” the president has said. “That doesn’t depend on a website.”

Do note the fact I bolded Medicaid. Single government payer is the goal, after all.

Steve Eggleston on October 31, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Year after year the proggies celebrate new numbers of patrons of Food Stamps, with Medicaid it’s no different. More voters, more workers for the Democratic Party plantation.

slickwillie2001 on October 31, 2013 at 10:37 AM

I’m curious in the Oregon case, how many sign-ups for Medicaid are normal in a month?

HakerA on October 31, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Meh–Colorado, another Obama loving state. Bone it-own it.

hillsoftx on October 31, 2013 at 9:36 AM

It’s not the state, it’s the urban/hippie/Democrat conglom of Denver/Boulder/Aspen. And included in that, the inflow of Leftwingers pushing gay issue, drugs, Mexico and Obama.

They’ve overrun Colorado and it’s unrecognizable from what the state was not so very long ago.

Lourdes on October 31, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Hey, I thought BOcare was going to reduce costs?

Did someone lie?

JackM on October 31, 2013 at 10:17 AM

No you racist thought criminal! They didn’t lie. Most people’s insurance has gone down by at least $2500 per year. Why just one fellow I know had his rates lowered from $5000 per year to $8500 per year. Besides if your policy was cancelled your current premium has been decreased by whatever amount you were paying. On another note we have always been at war with EastAsia.

Oldnuke on October 31, 2013 at 10:38 AM

JackM on October 31, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Oh yeah, report to room 101 of the nearest People’s Reeducation Camp and Day Care Center. Bring some rats.

Oldnuke on October 31, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Single government payer is the goal, after all.

Steve Eggleston on October 31, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Considering the disclosures about CGI, it sounds more like single receiver was the goal (with a little redistribution afterwards).

AesopFan on October 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Considering the disclosures about CGI, it sounds more like single receiver was the goal (with a little redistribution afterwards).

AesopFan on October 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM

That’s what I meant ;-)

Steve Eggleston on October 31, 2013 at 11:00 AM

1. Al Jazeera? WTF?
2. Leonardo? The idiot part-time resort worker who disguises his identity by going on camera but insisting on withholding his name? Classic Obama voter.
3. The Family & Intercultural Resource Center? WTF?
4. Why should Obamacare specifically make insurance premiums less expensive in Summit, CO?

BuckeyeSam on October 31, 2013 at 9:37 AM

But federal funding for “The Family and Intercultural Resource Center” is explicitly mandated in Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution.

thuja on October 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM

You insert a “middle man”, and pay him, and expect the same price as without the middle man?

Especially when the middle man is the government and the money grabbing congress?

And all of this “sticker shock” is a surprise?

right2bright on October 31, 2013 at 12:23 PM

The president’s signature legislation. Let it be a daily disaster… Beat those drums…

Pest on October 31, 2013 at 10:35 AM

I agree…but still in the back of my mind, is the cure worse than the disease? After congress gets done.

How many times is the “replacement” worse than the original…that is what we have to protect against.

This chaos could lead us to something even worse…priority is always to win back the senate while this is still going down the tubes, and not advance any “cure”.

right2bright on October 31, 2013 at 12:26 PM

“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”

Schadenfreude on October 31, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Meh–Colorado, another Obama loving state. Bone it-own it.

hillsoftx on October 31, 2013 at 9:36 AM

It’s not the state, it’s the urban/hippie/Democrat conglom of Denver/Boulder/Aspen. And included in that, the inflow of Leftwingers pushing gay issue, drugs, Mexico and Obama.

They’ve overrun Colorado and it’s unrecognizable from what the state was not so very long ago.

Lourdes on October 31, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Yep!

Just got back from working a month on a big house up in ski country.

The designer (who like me is from Texas) blasted FOX news DOOM 24/7 throughout the house.

Drove the locals in the crew craaazy.

*snicker*

workingclass artist on October 31, 2013 at 1:39 PM

This chaos could lead us to something even worse…priority is always to win back the senate while this is still going down the tubes, and not advance any “cure”.

right2bright on October 31, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Yep!

Exhaust the citizenry with continual crisis and blame the opposition.

Obama and his Fascist Ilk are basically holding the country hostage…And because He’s historical he’s teflon.

workingclass artist on October 31, 2013 at 1:41 PM

lol

Murphy9 on October 31, 2013 at 3:24 PM

…it’s free!

KOOLAID2 on October 31, 2013 at 10:23 PM