” You thought Healthcare.gov had problems?
A handful of state-run exchange websites—which cost nearly half a billion dollars to build—still don’t work, nearly seven months after they first went live.
Largely inoperable state exchange websites in Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon and Nevada have racked up $474 million federal tax dollars so far, Politico first reported. The costs will continue to climb as states scramble to salvage the flailing websites or transition onto the federal exchange.
Maryland will spend an additional $40 million to save its website, which has already cost $90 million. Nevada has spent $50 million to date and will decide in the coming weeks how much more it will spend on repair efforts. Massachusetts will pour an additional $121 million into fixing its severely troubled state portal, while also using the federal portal as a back up plan.
“ Taxpayers will have to pay whether their state-based exchange fails or not,” said Josh Archambault, a senior fellow at the conservative Foundation for Government Accountability.
Meanwhile, Oregon’s website, which already cost $259 million, is so troubled that the state has opted to scrap the site entirely and spend an extra $5 million to use Healthcare.gov instead.
The Obama administration had intended for states using the federal portal to gradually transition away from HealthCare.gov and onto their own exchanges. However, since so many states had issues with their websites, it appears that the opposite is happening. Minnesota, Nevada and Rhode Island are all considering following Oregon and switching to HealthCare.gov. Not one of the 36 states using the federal exchange intends to set up their own exchanges.”