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The Politico reports that four failed state healthcare exchanges that cost close to half a billion dollars to create will likely cost much more to fix:
Nearly half a billion dollars in federal money has been spent developing four state Obamacare exchanges that are now in shambles — and the final price tag for salvaging them may go sharply higher.
Each of the states — Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada and Maryland — embraced Obamacare, and each underperformed. All have come under scathing criticism and now face months of uncertainty as they rush to rebuild their systems or transition to the federal exchange.
The federal government is caught between writing still more exorbitant checks to give them a second chance at creating viable exchanges of their own or, for a lesser although not inexpensive sum, adding still more states to HealthCare.gov. The federal system is already serving 36 states, far more than originally anticipated.
As for the contractors involved, which have borne most of the blame for the exchange debacles, a few continue to insist that fixes are possible. Others are braced for possible legal action or waiting to hear if now-tainted contracts will be terminated.
The $474 million spent by these four states includes the cost that officials have publicly detailed to date. It climbs further if states like Minnesota and Hawaii, which have suffered similarly dysfunctional exchanges, are added.
Their totals are just a fraction of the $4.698 billion that the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation calculates the federal government has approved for states since 2011 to help them determine whether to create their own exchanges and to assist in doing so. Still, the amount of money that now appears wasted is prompting calls for far greater accountability.
PJ Tatler’s Rick Moran provides a depressing reality check on the issue of “accountability” in government:
Unfortunately, there’s no law against a politician or bureaucrat wasting taxpayer money. If there were, I would imagine we’d have to build a few more prisons to house the majority of politicians in America who have voted for “roads to nowhere” and other such boondoggles. And a few more prisons constructed for all the bureaucrats who shouldn’t be put in charge of redecorating their office much less a $200 million dollar IT project.
So no one will go to jail. And I suspect President Obama won’t press the issue of a refund very hard, considering the fact that he doesn’t want to advertise how much money his namesake achievement has cost the American taxpayer.
Nothing to see here…move along.
Politicians may not be able to go to jail over bad policy and wasting taxpayer dollars, but they can certainly be voted out of office. Let’s all do our part – starting with NC’s Senator Kay Hagan, who helped craft this pile of fail in the first place and who has, after months of dodging and weaving on the issue, now decided to ‘fully embrace‘ Obamacare. Let’s send Kay packing in November, shall we?