Video: Feds probing Maryland ObamaCare exchange

posted at 1:21 pm on March 11, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

We’ve been following the breakdowns of ObamaCare closely for some time, not just at the federal level, but also in state exchanges such as in Hawaii, Oregon, and Minnesota. The Maryland exchange will get more than just a few critical looks, though. The $200 million in federal funds spent on the exchange in Maryland will be the subject of a federal probe by the Inspector General’s office at HHS, as Baltimore’s WJZ reported yesterday afternoon:

 

 

At least someone is looking into the disaster. Rep. Andy Harris, who is the only Republican from Maryland in Congress, demanded a federal probe when it became clear that Maryland wasn’t going to look into the issue:

First a troubled rollout, now a federal investigation into Maryland’s healthcare exchange. …

“How $200 million could have been frittered away in that exchange,” said Congressman Andy Harris.

Maryland Congressman Andy Harris says his request for an investigation has been taken up by the Inspector General’s office.

“I’m not hearing about any state investigation, which is one of the reasons I thought the federal government should get involved,” Harris said.

Politico also reported on the probe, and gave a few more details on the failure that prompted it:

The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange is among the worst performing in the country, having enrolled just 39,000 people in private plans as of last week. And that’s despite the enthusiastic embrace of the law by state officials. State legislators are already reviewing the array of problems, which have political as well as fiscal implications. …

The inspector general’s office will be investigating five areas flagged by Harris and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees HHS. In particular, the IG will be looking at the contracting process, which awarded a $193 million contract to Noridian Healthcare Solutions to build the exchange. State officials fired the company last month.

Harris’s office also said the IG would be looking into problems with Medicaid enrollment, specifically the computer systems that determine who is eligible for the public health insurance program. The state has already received a waiver from federal health officials to wait six months before conducting so-called re-determinations, a process in which some enrollees typically fall off the Medicaid rolls. State officials estimated that the cost of the delay would total about $30 million in 2014 and 2015.

Meanwhile, the federal site is still having its issues, Jeryl Bier reports:

Although most life changes can now be reported online at Healthcare.gov or over the phone with a customer service representative, the final paragraph alerts consumers that any changes in contact information must be reported twice [emphasis in original]: “To change your home address, email address, or phone number, update the information on your Marketplace Profile page. Be sure to report address, email, and phone changes to your insurance company too. Otherwise they may not know about your new contact information.” …

Since Healthcare.gov must report changes in coverage or tax credits to insurance companies in order for coverage and billing to be accurate, it is unclear why the Marketplace is unable to communicate simple address, phone, and email changes. The site does not indicate when this capability will be added, so it’s up to consumers to do it themselves or face the risk that their insurance company won’t know how to reach them.

Be sure to click over to see the screenshots.

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The investigation will end with a few people being lightly reprimanded and a new check for a billion being issued to Maryland by the preznit himself.

None of these fools ever hold one another accountable, it’s just a shell game and we’re the marks.

Bishop on March 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

I can write the conclusion to the report now. It’s the GOP’s fault.

Walter L. Newton on March 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

And seriously, HotGas, can you update your Atari 1000 servers, the “duplicate comment!” and connection loss issues the last few days are really getting old.

Bishop on March 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

“How could $200 million have been frittered away in that exchange?”

That’s nothing, just wait until we see the bill for the federal 0bamacare program.

UltimateBob on March 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

What about the $634m wasted on healthcare.gov? Eye, meet plank.

Ward Cleaver on March 11, 2014 at 1:27 PM

“How could $200 million have been frittered away in that exchange?”

One might ask the same question of Jon Corzine about the $1.5 billion he made “disappear” from his investment firm.

Democraps are very good at making other peoples’ money vanish into thin air.

UltimateBob on March 11, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Heckuva job, Governor O’Malley, you officious hack.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 11, 2014 at 1:30 PM

The interesting thing about all of this is that, at its core, there’s actually some merit to some of the stuff that is supposed to happen with these exchanges. There’s an opportunity for transparency and information exchange that really is of benefit to the customers. And if implemented properly, without a federal mandate, on a state-by-state level, there could really be a revolution in how health insurance is sold and purchased.

But this really falls under the “incubator” paradigm. Let each state figure it out on their own. If they want to share information on processes and technologies, cool. If they have no desire to participate … cool again.

But this’ll never happen, because it would take way too much power away from the feds (and opportunities for graft, as Insta-Glenn is fond of pointing out). Being of service to the citizens is not on their checklist of “things to do this year.”

nukemhill on March 11, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Right, the question on everyone’s lips is, “How could Democrats p!ss all that money away?”

I mean, Democrats of all people!

Akzed on March 11, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Heckuva job, Governor O’Malley, you officious hack.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 11, 2014 at 1:30 PM

This.

I can’t tell you how tasty the schedenfreude is right now wrt his polling amongst Maryland Dems and the 2016 race. What–5%? Third place behind Joltin’ Joe? Wow.

nukemhill on March 11, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Akzed on March 11, 2014 at 1:30 PM

I chuckled at that one.

UltimateBob on March 11, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Schad got banned.

John the Libertarian on March 11, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Schad got banned.

John the Libertarian on March 11, 2014 at 1:33 PM

WHAT???!?!?!? Are you serious? What for?

UltimateBob on March 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

UltimateBob on March 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Check out the TEMS post from yesterday.

John the Libertarian on March 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Is it any coincidence that the worst of the state exchanges are all in blue states? OR, MD, MN, HI, CA?

Athos on March 11, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Check out the TEMS post from yesterday.

John the Libertarian on March 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Wow, I missed that as well. *grumble*

Midas on March 11, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Check out the TEMS post from yesterday.

John the Libertarian on March 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Hmmmm…. wow.

Whatever she said, Ed didn’t like it very much at all.

UltimateBob on March 11, 2014 at 1:37 PM

hmmm, i would hardly expect a federal investigation to be critical of an 0bamacare exchange. however, how convenient is it to be able to blame all the problems on fraud?

chasdal on March 11, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Well,I guess you really oughtn’t attack someone’s looks, it’s OFF TOPIC and if they are Ed’s friend, it’s a DOUBLY bad idea.

Possibly, like Annoyinglittletwerp he can get back in.

JFKY on March 11, 2014 at 1:39 PM

And seriously, HotGas, can you update your Atari 1000 servers, the “duplicate comment!” and connection loss issues the last few days are really getting old.

Bishop on March 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

OTOH, the Atari 1000 is the last server made that doesn’t have an NSA backdoor, so there’s that.

slickwillie2001 on March 11, 2014 at 1:39 PM

And seriously, HotGas, can you update your Atari 1000 servers, the “duplicate comment!” and connection loss issues the last few days are really getting old.

Bishop on March 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Have passed this on to the Powers That Be, along with other feedback we’ve received from commenters.

Ed Morrissey on March 11, 2014 at 1:40 PM

One of the problems I see in the huge waste and graft in the implementation of the healthcare law is the same problem I see in the House investigations of Lerner or Fast & Furious: what prosecution can be done? The House has no power to prosecute, and the Justice Dept. is completely corrupt.

John the Libertarian on March 11, 2014 at 1:41 PM

The investigation will end with a few people being lightly reprimanded and a new check for a billion being issued to Maryland by the preznit himself.

None of these fools ever hold one another accountable, it’s just a shell game and we’re the marks.

Bishop on March 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Ain’t it the truth.

M240H on March 11, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Heckuva job, Governor O’Malley, you officious hack.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 11, 2014 at 1:30 PM

This.

I can’t tell you how tasty the schedenfreude is right now wrt his polling amongst Maryland Dems and the 2016 race. What–5%? Third place behind Joltin’ Joe? Wow.

nukemhill on March 11, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Yup, I’m with you. I despise my governor.

NavyMustang on March 11, 2014 at 1:41 PM

We’ve been following the breakdowns of ObamaCare closely for some time, not just at the federal level, but also in state exchanges such as in Hawaii, Oregon, and Minnesota. The Maryland exchange will get more than just a few critical looks, though.

Hawaii, Oregon, Minnesota, Maryland…. all smugly touted by Dem Governors as models for all state exchanges. All criminally disfunctional.

Happy Nomad on March 11, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Ed, Have you found out what is causing all of the issues with the HA websites? I had a comment yesterday ready on a thread and when I clicked on Submit Comment, I got this message.

The website cannot display the page

HTTP 405

Most likely cause:
•The website has a programming error.

Clicking on the back arrow did not help. I had to close the site, open it in another window and try again.

This appears for any OS & any browser from what I’ve read from others.

Thanks!!

bluefox on March 11, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Check out the TEMS post from yesterday.

John the Libertarian on March 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM
Hmmmm…. wow.

Whatever she said, Ed didn’t like it very much at all.

UltimateBob on March 11, 2014 at 1:37 PM

I can’t imagine Schad saying anything to get banned…this is sad…

RedInMD on March 11, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Ed, Have you found out what is causing all of the issues with the HA websites? I had a comment yesterday ready on a thread and when I clicked on Submit Comment, I got this message.

The website cannot display the page

HTTP 405

Most likely cause:
•The website has a programming error.

Clicking on the back arrow did not help. I had to close the site, open it in another window and try again.

This appears for any OS & any browser from what I’ve read from others.

Thanks!!

P.S. I clicked on Preview and received this message:

Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!
And a message that said Word Press Error

bluefox on March 11, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Schad got banned.

John the Libertarian on March 11, 2014 at 1:33 PM

WHAT???!?!?!? Are you serious? What for?

UltimateBob on March 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

He said HD’s were for girls so I had him banned.

Bishop on March 11, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Another Word Press Error & this message:

You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.

bluefox on March 11, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Is there an official list of people and churches we need to be sure to steer clear of in making our remarks? You know, a handy scorecard of sorts – kind of a ‘these folks/establishments/topics’ are on the HA ‘protected’ list?

Midas on March 11, 2014 at 1:47 PM

The investigation will end with a few people being lightly reprimanded and a new check for a billion being issued to Maryland by the preznit himself.

None of these fools ever hold one another accountable, it’s just a shell game and we’re the marks.

Bishop on March 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Live in MD as well Bishop??

Gatsu on March 11, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Yup, I’m with you. I despise my governor.

NavyMustang on March 11, 2014 at 1:41 PM

I’m surprised it isn’t pointed out that the guy who is responsible for rolling out MD’s exchange is Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown- O’Malley’s hand-picked successor. It will be interesting to follow the money and find out just how much of it ended up in Brown’s campaign funding via private contractors or other methods.

Happy Nomad on March 11, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Have passed this on to the Powers That Be, along with other feedback we’ve received from commenters.

Ed Morrissey on March 11, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Sorry Ed, I didn’t see that. Phone ringing. Just wanted to post that since this was a new thread.

Thanks for checking these issues out.

bluefox on March 11, 2014 at 1:50 PM

I can’t imagine Schad saying anything to get banned…this is sad…

RedInMD on March 11, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Could it have been alcohol-related? (not to hijack the thread)

UltimateBob on March 11, 2014 at 1:52 PM

It’s Maryland. Corrupt democrats are a dime a dozen and nothing new. SIGH! They will still win.

fight like a girl on March 11, 2014 at 1:52 PM

He said HD’s were for girls so I had him banned.

Bishop on March 11, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Well, they do make the smaller “hugger” model, so…..

UltimateBob on March 11, 2014 at 1:52 PM

I don’t know Midas, do you walk into a store/restaurant insult the owner’s best friend and expect service?

Apparently, Schadenfreude made a comment concerning Ms Di Pasquale’s looks/virtue…and Ed didn’t like it. Is there some problem with that?

JFKY on March 11, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Yup, I’m with you. I despise my governor.

NavyMustang on March 11, 2014 at 1:41 PM

I live in neighboring Delaware, and used to drive to MD to fill my tank because gas was so much cheaper there, due to lower gasoline taxes.

But the boy genius O’Malley raised the gasoline tax so high that the prices are now the same as they are in Delaware.

And then, to top it off, he comes up with that insane “rain tax” and other taxes.

If I lived in Maryland, I would have to seriously think about moving to another state.

UltimateBob on March 11, 2014 at 1:55 PM

It’s Maryland. Corrupt democrats are a dime a dozen and nothing new. SIGH! They will still win.

fight like a girl on March 11, 2014 at 1:52 PM

If you’re paying a dime a dozen for corrupt MD Demonrats, then you’re being overcharged. The really scary thing is just how bad public policy decisions are when you have a state that has one-party rule at every level of government. That’s how you get Annapolis deciding it is a good idea to tax citizens for rain.

Happy Nomad on March 11, 2014 at 1:56 PM

I can’t imagine Schad saying anything to get banned…this is sad…

RedInMD on March 11, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Could it have been alcohol-related? (not to hijack the thread)

UltimateBob on March 11, 2014 at 1:52 PM

The post in question was Monday at 4:36 PM. So that is a possibility.

Schad’s comment was the very first one on the TEMS thread, too.

Del Dolemonte on March 11, 2014 at 2:01 PM

…If I lived in Maryland, I would have to seriously think about moving to another state.

UltimateBob on March 11, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Costa Rica or BUST, baby!

NavyMustang on March 11, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Schad’s comment was the very first one on the TEMS thread, too.

Del Dolemonte on March 11, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Ya, if you’re going to go crass, it’s better to do it deeper in the thread!! At least Resist started posting again.

Deano1952 on March 11, 2014 at 2:03 PM

OK, who did NOT see this coming? The web site was a disaster, it did not keep track of the number of people who applied for insurance and differentiate between the number of people who have paid premiums.

The news has already exposed the fact that FELONS have been discovered running / working on several of the exchanges. The company / guy who was hired to build the Obamacare web site AFTER he and his company had been fired by Canada who had hired him to build their web site. Canada fired him for ineptitude, for the horrible job he was doing, for being late – for F*ing up their web site. Of course, it helped that the guy was an ex-schoolmate of Michele Obama. ‘Captal Cronyism’. It’s all about the money, to include the corruption involved – funneling money to your buddies and allies.

As Harry Reid admitted months ago, Obamacare was never meant to improve anything, never meant to get health care for people who didn’t have it — there are twice the number of people without insurance now thanks to Obamacare. This administration is crooked as h#ll, the worst in U.S. history, and anyone who didn’t see this coming is blind as a bat!

easyt65 on March 11, 2014 at 2:10 PM

BTSOM,I’m lost,what’s the TEMS?

docflash on March 11, 2014 at 2:12 PM

BTSOM,I’m lost,what’s the TEMS?

docflash on March 11, 2014 at 2:12 PM

The Ed Morrisey Show.

Del Dolemonte on March 11, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Check out the TEMS post from yesterday.

John the Libertarian on March 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

what is TEMS post?

dmacleo on March 11, 2014 at 2:17 PM

ahh thanks

dmacleo on March 11, 2014 at 2:19 PM

and anyone who didn’t see this coming is blind as a bat!

easyt65 on March 11, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Or a Democrat…

oscarwilde on March 11, 2014 at 2:22 PM

“How $200 million could have been frittered away in that exchange,” said Congressman Andy Harris.

Well, $200M would buy a LOT of apple fritters. MMMMMM!!!

Marcola on March 11, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Go to jail…go directly to jail…do not pass ‘Go’…do not corruptly collect ‘any more tax dollars’…

easyt65 on March 11, 2014 at 2:30 PM

“How could $200 million have been frittered away in that exchange?”

Well, you have to plan ahead…

JohnGalt23 on March 11, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Well, $200M would buy a LOT of apple fritters. MMMMMM!!!

Marcola on March 11, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Depends on how much you (over)charge the government for each fritter.

Happy Nomad on March 11, 2014 at 2:46 PM

I don’t know Midas, do you walk into a store/restaurant insult the owner’s best friend and expect service?

Apparently, Schadenfreude made a comment concerning Ms Di Pasquale’s looks/virtue…and Ed didn’t like it. Is there some problem with that?

JFKY on March 11, 2014 at 1:54 PM

No, you’re absolutely right. The ‘manager’ (not owner, technically) can refuse to serve anyone that insults their friend.

However, they should definitely remain unperturbed when someone accosts and insults the store/restaurant patrons, *their* family and friends, *their* religion, etc. Because *those* insults don’t really count.

But wait, this insult didn’t even happen in the store/restaurant in question; someone in the store/restaurant made a disparaging comment about someone at the clothing store next door – a completely different enterprise – and was kicked out of the store/restaurant. But the drooling imbecile in the corner continues to insult the restaurant patrons, unabated. Yay.

Midas on March 11, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Inspector General a.k.a. “Gadget” of HHS is investigating Maryland?
You’re joking Mr. Feinman.
There will be no findings there will be no indictments, there will be no charges brought, there will be Sound and Fury resulting in … nothing.
Perhaps they’ll find some sop Republican (in Maryland they’ll have to look long and hard to find one) and blame it all on his cat.
There has to be something in that Piedmont watertable … nothing else can explain the Gimmedat behaviour as you get closer to the beltway.

And a lousy $200 million? That’s chicken feed. How about the $880 Billion passed around by King Putt with his Affirmative Action Stimulus Program? How’s THAT working out for you TAX PAYERS?

Missilengr on March 11, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Schad got banned.

John the Libertarian on March 11, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Well, I’m sorry to hear that. Had he been warned?

MisterElephant on March 11, 2014 at 3:14 PM

“How could $200 million have been frittered away in that exchange?”

I doubt it’s being frittered away. Like all the money ‘disappeared’ from Ocare.. “green energy”..GM..etc. etc, part of it will be used for the coming elections, buying fraudulent votes/padding union pension plans to keep the unions from failing from within..with the rest of it finding a home in the pockets of organized crime.

Mimzey on March 11, 2014 at 3:40 PM

“How could $200 million have been frittered away in that exchange?”

Uh, because it was stolen?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 11, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Goodness gracious….all this fraud!

How many undeserving people could be getting SNAP with that $200 Million and we won’t even discuss the number of free OBAMAPHONES we could give to people not looking for jobs…..

originalpechanga on March 11, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Hey, Oregon spent $200,000,000 (although I don’t think that was all federal funds) on their website and it didn’t work at all. They make Maryland look like pikers in the grossly inept liberal department.

talkingpoints on March 11, 2014 at 5:13 PM

“How could $200 million have been frittered away in that exchange?”

It was run by, and for, Democrats!

Another Drew on March 11, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Video: Feds probing Maryland ObamaCare exchange

Hardly seems fair. As our blogger treasure put it:

Ed –
You mean the websites aren’t working perfectly on day one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen seventeen eighteen nineteen twenty twenty-one twenty-two twenty-three twenty-four twenty-five twenty-six twenty-seven twenty-eight twenty-nine thirty thirty-one thirty-two thirty-three thirty-four thirty-five thirty-six thirty-seven thirty-eight thirty-nine forty forty-one forty-two forty-three forty-four forty-five forty-six forty-seven forty-eight forty-nine fifty fifty-one fifty-two fifty-three fifty-four fifty-five fifty-six fifty-seven fifty-eight fifty-nine sixty sixty-one sixty-two sixty-three sixty-four sixty-five sixty-six sixty-seven sixty-eight sixty-nine seventy seventy-one seventy-two seventy-three seventy-four seventy-five seventy-six seventy-seven seventy-eight seventy-nine eighty eighty-one eighty-two eighty-three eighty-four eighty-five eighty-six eighty-seven eighty-eight eighty-nine ninety ninety-one ninety-two ninety-three ninety-four ninety-five ninety-six ninety-seven ninety-eight ninety-nine one hundred one hundred one one hundred two one hundred three one hundred four one hundred five one hundred six one hundred seven one hundred eight one hundred nine one hundred ten one hundred eleven one hundred twelve one hundred thirteen one hundred fourteen one hundred fifteen one hundred sixteen one hundred seventeen one hundred eighteen one hundred nineteen one hundred twenty one hundred twenty-one one hundred twenty-two one hundred twenty-three one hundred twenty-four one hundred twenty-five one hundred twenty-six one hundred twenty-seven one hundred twenty-eight one hundred twenty-nine one hundred thirty one hundred thirty-one one hundred thirty-two one hundred thirty-three one hundred thirty-four one hundred thirty-five one hundred thirty-six one hundred thirty-seven one hundred thirty-eight one hundred thirty-nine one hundred forty one hundred forty-one one hundred forty-two one hundred forty-three one hundred forty-four one hundred forty-five one hundred forty-six one hundred forty-seven one hundred forty-eight one hundred forty-nine one hundred fifty one hundred fifty-one one hundred fifty-two one hundred fifty-three one hundred fifty-four one hundred fifty-five one hundred fifty-six one hundred fifty-seven one hundred fifty-eight one hundred fifty-nine one hundred sixty one hundred sixty-one one hundred sixty-two
verbaluce on October 1, 2013 at 10:18 AM

It’s only 162 days!! You can’t expect the websites to be working perfectly yet!!

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 11, 2014 at 6:19 PM

“How could $200 million have been frittered away in that exchange?”

It was run by, and for, Democrats!

Another Drew on March 11, 2014 at 5:35 PM

I hear archaeologists have finally found the lost city of Atlantis, and figured out why it disappeared in a cataclysm a few thousand years ago.

It was run by Democrats!

I know this is so, because Nancy Pelosi heard it from a Republican friend.

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 11, 2014 at 6:21 PM

“How $200 million could have been frittered away in that exchange,” said Congressman Andy Harris.

I asked Harry Reid about that. He said someone who worked in the White House told him he heard the president say, “Well, I guess I got to make a little profit!”

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 11, 2014 at 6:23 PM

200 million here a few billion there and all of a sudden you have a campaign contribution that will get you an ambassadorship.

jpcpt03 on March 11, 2014 at 6:37 PM