APRIL 22, 2014
In the latest of many Obamacare boondoggles, one state’s disastrous health insurance exchange is being abandoned after receiving more than $90 million from American taxpayers, who are also being forced to fund a replacement program that will cost tens of millions of dollars.
It’s an inconceivable fleecing by our own government, hell bent on shoving the president’s hostile takeover of the nation’s healthcare system down our collective throats. Hundreds of millions of dollars have already been wasted to promote Obamacare in the last few years and Judicial Watch has been a leader in exposing the scandal as well as legally challenging the unpopular healthcare law (officially known as the Affordable Care Act) in federal court. Back in 2011 JW obtained documents from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) outlining a $200 million Obamacare multi-media propaganda campaign.
Just a few months ago JW reported that community healthcare centers across the country shared $150 million in federal grants to enroll people in Obamacare. Shortly after that chunk of cash was distributed the administration gave dozens of leftist organizations $67 million to help people “navigate” health insurance exchanges that at the time had not even been fully established. Of important note is that the feds assured the so-called navigators would perform their duties in a “culturally competent manner.”
These examples are listed to document the exorbitant amounts of money that the administration has already blown to bolster its horrendous law. The federal allocations also include large sums to help states launch market places where the public can shop for health insurance. Part of the failed plan includes creating websites that facilitate the process, allowing one-stop shopping at the push of a button. After all, the United Nations has declared—and President Obama has confirmed—that internet service is a basic human right.
Maryland, the state mentioned at the top of this piece, got an astounding $180 million from the feds to launch its insurance marketplace, likely because its governor, Democrat Martin O’Malley, has been one of the law’s most ardent cheerleaders. The figure includes an “Exchange Planning” grant of $1 million,” a $6.2 million “Early Innovator” grant, a $27 million “Level One Establishment” grant to conduct data and policy analysis and an whopping $123 million to “support continued policy development and consumer outreach, assistance and education.”
More than $90 million was spent on technology, according to a mainstream newspaper report, that confirms the Maryland exchange website never worked properly, crashed on its first day and struggled through the first enrollment period. “State officials have said the exchange is so structurally flawed that it would be cheaper to replace the system than continue to fix it,” the news article says. And how much is that going to cost U.S. taxpayers? A breathtaking $40 to $50 million and that doesn’t even include “software and hardware costs.”
Maryland officials have already hired another company to oversee the replacement of the defective program, which probably means the cash continues to flow from Washington. Downplaying the serious gouging, Governor O’Malley has the audacity to call it an “upgrade” of the system. Maryland’s health secretary, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, blamed the problem on contractors when he testified before Congress a few weeks ago. Federal lawmakers summoned Sharfstein when the board overseeing Maryland’s exchange voted unanimously to shut down its website in the aftermath of a state audit citing serious issues related to management and planning.
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