Another ObamaCare exchange bites the dust in Massachusetts

Maryland announced it would abandon its lousy state exchange and borrow software from Connecticut, with an option to dump the whole expensive mess and revert to the federal system if that doesn’t work out. Oregon’s ObamaCare system went down in flames, an epic disaster that brought FBI agents running to search for signs of corruption amid the wreckage. And now it looks like Massachusetts is preparing to throw in the towel, as reported by The Hill:

Massachusetts is preparing to abandon its troubled ObamaCare website, a system so problematic that the state was forced to enroll tens of thousands of people in temporary insurance plans through Medicaid.

The plan underscores the depth of technical problems with the Massachusetts Health Connector and echoes a recent decision by Cover Oregon, another glitch-ridden marketplace, to hand federal health officials the reins to its system this month.

Massachusetts officials are pursuing what they described as a “dual-track strategy” for their insurance marketplace, combining new, off-the-shelf enrollment software with a back-up plan to shift the system into if the transition takes too long.

“I???ve said all along that no option on the table would be perfect, and the dual track certainly has its benefits and its challenges,” said Sarah Iselin, special assistant to Gov. Deval Patrick (D), in a statement Monday.

“It does, however, solve for two realities: we need a reliable website to help people during the next open enrollment period, and we need to be in a position to achieve a fully integrated system in 2015.”

Too bad they only had three and a half years, and about $70 million, to get ready for the challenge of ObamaCare. Who can expect a government bureaucracy to perform under that kind of pressure? Maybe Massachusetts should have considered hiring the same company that worked on the federal exchange. Oh, wait, they did.

Well, I guess we can cut them some slack, because it’s not as if Massachusetts had any experience with running any sort of centralized state health care system in the past, under any of its previous governors.

As in so many other places, ObamaCare proved to be a bridge to the high technology of the 1950s in Massachusetts. The Wall Street Journal reports: “Tens of thousands of people submitted old-fashioned paper applications and about 190,000 have been put on temporary Medicaid plans until the state can determine exactly what coverage they are eligible for. The state system has had a hard time sorting out eligibility, among other issues.”

I guess we’re not supposed to ask about the millions that vanished into the black hole of the Massachusetts exchange – luckily, they’re only said to have paid about a quarter of that $70 million contract – but some officials are still crass enough to value taxpayer money over the glories of our Great Health Care Leap Forward. Back in The Hill:

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said in a statement that “Americans are once again out millions of dollars with nothing to show for it” in the wake of Massachusetts’ closure, and state officials should have to answer for their failure.

“Federal taxpayers should not be on the hook for the additional costs to clean up this debacle, which are sure to be high as the state scrambles to join the federal exchange,” Issa said.

Sorry, Rep. Issa, but as you know, when it comes to ObamaCare, there will be no hope, change, or refunds for the American people.