Green Room

Uh oh: Maryland’s Obamacare exchange won’t be fixed for 4-6 weeks

posted at 12:56 pm on October 16, 2013 by

This report seems like a big deal.  Maryland is dominated by Democrats is home to more bureaucrats-per-capita than any state in the union.  Annapolis energetically embraced Obamacare from day one, which is why MKH has been following the state’s healthcare travails so closely.  If their launch falters, it portends dark things for other, less-prepared precincts — including and especially the federal government.  Stymied by glitches and failures, Maryland’s online system has been a bust, and now Gov. Martin O’Malley’s office has been forced to make an admission:

Maryland-based Evergreen is one of nearly two dozen nonprofit insurers created by the health law. Called co-ops because they will be owned by the policy holders, they’re supposed to add competition and lower medical-coverage prices. But they can’t do either if customers don’t know they exist. Maryland’s insurance portal, intended to let shoppers compare plans and buy coverage, barely worked the first few days after it opened Oct. 1. When it did, it left Evergreen off the list of options, Beilenson said. That got fixed. But even Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, an enthusiastic supporter of the health law, says system flaws will take another month or six weeks to iron out.

Health policy analyst Chris Jacobs asks the obvious question:

The White House can’t or won’t say when the federal exchanges will finally be functional.  Some industry experts are counseling the administration to just shut ‘er down indefinitely and get started on an intensive repair effort, including on elements that haven’t even been tested yet.  But let’s say the self-delusion ends and Obama pulls that trigger later today.  Would his mess be cleaned up in time for the “drop dead date” centrist wonk Megan McArdle so persuasively laid out on Monday?  (By the way, if you haven’t already, read her piece.  ”Must read” is overused.  In this case, it truly applies).  Starting in January, all Americans are legally required to buy a product that many of them are unable to afford, and unable to access, because of this law.

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Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, an enthusiastic supporter of the health law, says system flaws will take another month or six weeks to iron out.

My IT project Rule: Take first project time estimate, multiply by 2, add 10%.

YMMV. CODING HORROR – Good read

Marcola on October 16, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Wow, it’s almost like these exchanges were created by the government.

Bitter Clinger on October 16, 2013 at 1:22 PM

one of nearly two dozen nonprofit insurers created by the health law

Uh-oh. Are these companies made up of Acorn-type orgs and their partisans? I wouldn’t trust my health to any of them!

PattyJ on October 16, 2013 at 1:35 PM

No sympathy

Obama will double down

cmsinaz on October 16, 2013 at 2:05 PM

What a mess

Deafdog on October 16, 2013 at 2:32 PM

My IT project Rule: Take first project time estimate, multiply by 2, add 10%.

You forgot to add the “government bureaucracy” factor, which will multiply your estimate by an additional 150% to 300%.

Simply because the government can’t leave well enough alone.

Turtle317 on October 16, 2013 at 3:36 PM

O’Malley wants to be President.

In Maryland, we use the Peter Principle for politicians. You screw up as Mayor of Baltimore? They elect you Governor. You screw up as Governor? They have you run for President.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on October 16, 2013 at 4:05 PM

I hope and pray that the state of Maryland suffers more than any other state. As a former MD’er, those idiots deserve the best Ocareless can offer.

HomeoftheBrave on October 16, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Forgive my glee.

obladioblada on October 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM

There is no way on God’s earth it’s fixed in six weeks. The problem is bad architecture plus bad code. They might be able to work on the code in six weeks, but the architecture requires a restart.

mbecker908 on October 16, 2013 at 5:49 PM

If you define being fixed means the ability to sign up for high premiums with high deductibles then yeah, they’ll fix it.

Blake on October 16, 2013 at 7:11 PM

…..allegedly…..

ProfShadow on October 16, 2013 at 7:15 PM

My IT project Rule: Take first project time estimate, multiply by 2, add 10%.

You forgot to add the “government bureaucracy” factor, which will multiply your estimate by an additional 150% to 300%.

Simply because the government can’t leave well enough alone.

Turtle317 on October 16, 2013 at 3:36 PM

I love your optimism.

Amendment X on October 17, 2013 at 1:50 PM