The ObamaCare launch disaster wasn't all about the bumblers in the Obama Administration scarfing down $600 million and farting out a pile of 404 errors. The state exchanges had a lot of trouble, too. The worst ones are still abject nightmares, in which countless millions were paid for computer systems that remain almost completely unusable.
The L.A. Times has a horrifying story about the chaos in Oregon, Massachusetts, and Maryland, whose inept administrations are busy pointing fingers of blame at software providers and lawyering up to recover some of that squandered taxpayer loot:
Officials in Oregon, Massachusetts and Maryland are exploring legal options as they sever contracts with those who created their sites. All three states are considering a move to the federal exchange, which had its own grievous start-up problems but is now largely stable, or licensing the technology of a more successful state such as Connecticut.
In each case — and in Minnesota, where outside consultants said it could take two years to fix the state's website — the states have plowed remaining grant funds into tech surges to try to salvage their programs before Monday, the deadline for states that have not received extensions. IT teams were working in Maryland and Minnesota to help thousands of bewildered consumers whose applications were frozen or had vanished into what Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, called a "black hole."
In Oregon, where consumers still cannot enroll at the state exchange website, officials dispatched an army of workers and community allies to help panicked consumers — some with serious medical conditions and under threat of cancellation — enroll using paper applications. In Massachusetts, where the website failure threatened to increase the state's uninsured rate, officials have rushed to put more than 125,000 people on its Medicaid rolls to avoid a gap in their coverage.