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WaPo Editorial Board: Maryland’s Health Exchange Rollout “An Embarrassment”

09.08.11news-bush-anthony-brown-qa-911-edit

The left leaning Washington Post editorial board still seems to be a fan of the Obamacare, but they’re not too pleased with Maryland–and would be governor Anthony Brown’s–rollout effort. After praising the enrollment numbers reported by the state of California, the Post editors said:

You would have expected similar results in Democrat-controlled Maryland, where officials decided to take charge, instead of punting responsibility for new insurance marketplaces to the feds. Instead, the state’s rollout, led by Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), has been an embarrassment.

The numbers in California are higher than other states but still problematic given that the majority of new enrollees are in the older demographic. Obamacare needs young, healthy people to enroll for it to have a prayer of working.

Nearly 80,000 people have signed up for health insurance in California’s new exchange, another sign of strong enrollment growth in a crucial state for the Obamacare rollout.

However, one drawback in the new state figures is the high percentage of enrollees who are 45 to 64 years old. To make the healthcare law work, it’s important for government-run exchanges to recruit enough young and healthy people to offset the higher costs incurred by older, sicker patients.

The Post goes on to perpetuate the talking point that the problems with Obamacare are primarily due to a glitchy web site.

The problem is technical. A buggy Web site freezes on people shopping for insurance, among other problems. Some involved in marketplace enrollments have tried to use paper applications but, The Post’s Lena H. Sun reported, even that backstop isn’t working well. In October, Mr. Brown saidthat the state was having trouble connecting with broken federal systems. But that can’t explain why Maryland lags behind other states; every state operating its own marketplace faced the same issue.

The real failures of the Obamacare policy have only just begun to emerge, but even if one concedes that the web site is the primary issue, it is humorous given that Governor O’Malley dipped his toe in the presidential primary last week with a video touting his “success” as governor in making Maryland a leading state in technical endeavors.

Even a successful rollout of an Obamacare web site would be an eventual embarrassment given the fatally flawed policy upon which it is based, but Maryland’s poor performance in doing even that is yet another item that puts the lie to the “well-run state” myth.

 

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