Uh oh: Maryland’s Obamacare exchange won’t be fixed for 4-6 weeks
posted at 12:56 pm on October 16, 2013 by Guy Benson
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:
— Chris Jacobs (@chrisjacobsHC) October 16, 2013
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.