Massachusetts, Model for Obamacare, Struggles to Comply With Obamacare's Requirements

Whitehouse.govWhitehouse.govThe health care overhaul passed in Massachusetts under Gov. Mitt Romney was a state-level model for the federal reform plan that became Obamacare.

But Massachusetts has had an exceedingly tough time upgrading its own system to comply with the federal law. Via The Boston Globe, the state's new exchange technology is still broken:

Connector executive director Jean Yang said Thursday that the manual systems created to bypass the malfunctioning website are complicated. The agency has been working to identify stalled enrollments, so that a crisis management team can address them.

The team was working on between 40 and 50 cases Thursday, Yang said, though she could not say how many were related to premium payments that were not properly processed. She said the Connector is planning to improve customer service with better training.

The fixes have not “happened as fast as we would have liked,” Yang said. “We won’t stop until it’s all taken care of.”

The Connector website was developed by CGI, the same firm that created the federal website that got off to a rocky start.

But, while the federal site is largely fixed, major components of the state site still do not work, including those that process payments, determine whether people are eligible for subsidies, and transfer information automatically to health insurers.

At Forbes, meanwhile, Josh Archambault notes that by some measures Massachusetts has the worst performing exchange in the nation: The state has enrolled just 5,428 people—0.2% of its first year goal of 250,000, a lower percentage than any other state. (In response, the state has lowered its year-one goal to 200,000.) At this point, the state has failed to enroll a single person through its online exchange. Every enrollment so far has been via a manual workaround. 

At least two other states gung-ho about health reform—Maryland and Oregon—continue to struggle with their exchanges as well. 

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  • wareagle||

    well, as Dr. Obama himself noted, getting insurance is, like, hard.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Fucking Romney.

  • Paul.||

    He'd be president if you Hit & Run teabaggers hadn't been so obstinate.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Or if he had a shred of charisma.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Or a single libertarian bone in his body.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Mitt Romney has bones? I always assumed was made entirely of something more malleable to the current winds.

  • Ted Levy||

    "The state has enrolled just 5,428 people—0.2% of its first year goal of 250,000, a lower percentage than any other state." Ah, Pete...check your math...0.2% of 250,000 is 500.

  • wareagle||

    so a bit more than 2% then. Get the ticker tape.

  • JWatts||

    Whoa, hold on there.

    "In response, the state has lowered its year-one goal to 200,000"

    That rounds to 3%.

    Now if they can only lower the goal to 10,000, MA will be well over 50% at that point!

  • some guy||

    HuffPo commenters like to remind people that this is essentially a Republican law and that the blame for its failure clearly lies with Republicans for refusing to support their own law.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    And in retaliation against the awful ReTHUGlicans, I will refuse to vote for them until they repeal this distructive law.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yeah, need some old school Republicans. "Mr. Obamachev, tear down this law!"

  • R C Dean||

    So, a law passed by a Democrat legislature is transmuted into a Republican law if a Republican Gov. signs it?

  • some guy||

    Don't ask me. I don't think stupid.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's called Romneycare, right on the label. See? So it's ALL THE REPUBLICANS' FAULT. Just like they own slavery for freeing the slaves.

  • Tim||


  • Francisco d Anconia||

    So will they send Amanda Knox back to prison in Italy?

  • 110 Lean||

    I am willing to harbor her.

  • ||

    Don't stick your dick in crazy dude.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Dude, crazy is so much fun! Life would be boring without crazy chicks.

    Just don't be dumb enough to enter into contracts with them.

  • Paul.||

    If it weren't for the crazy, I'd never get laid.

  • The Other Kevin||

    My lawyer sources say yes.

  • The Other Kevin||

    My lawyer sources say yes.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No chance--by U.S. standards, she was denied due process in more than a few ways. Though she'd better stay in the U.S. unless her appeal gets her acquitted again.

    This is an instance where the defendant may be guilty, but the state blew it six ways to Sunday.

  • tarran||

    For the nth time Amanda Knox is INNOCENT!


    Unless she invented a magic cloth that removed her DNA, and her boyfriend's DNA from the scene while leaving copious amounts of Rudy Guerre's DNA splashed everywhere.

    What this case shows is that the Italians are savage barbarians who are unfit for civilized company.

    They assumed that since Amanda Knox was an american, that she was some sex-crazed nymphomaniac, because the Italians are superstitious, racist buffoons.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I didn't mean to suggest she actually is guilty, only to say that even if she is, the state is so far out of whack that we won't extradite. I bet you can count on a few hands the total number of times the U.S. has refused to extradite someone convicted of murder in a western country.

  • Paul.||

    I've been very neutral on the Knox trial, but wasn't it suggested that she didn't commit the murder, but apparently was in the room covering her hears while the victim screamed?

    No one has to answer if it's been hashed out 1000 times. Like I said, I haven't followed it much.

  • BigT||

    MA, OR, MD = bluest of blue.

  • Rasilio||

    Not sure how you can leave New York, Illinois, and most especially California out of that.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    My GOP voting relatives that live in Illinois would like me to take a moment to note that unlike all the other states listed they do have at least one statewide elected GOP official (Senator Kirk).

  • paranoid android||

    Pssh, Kirk probably just found some way to reprogram the computer the night before the election to make sure he won.

  • Pro Libertate||


  • ||

    You bleed! You bleed, Kirok! Behold a senator (R-IL) who bleeds!

  • Square||

    I would leave CA out of that and argue that it is a different kind of blue.

    My brother and I both grew up in CA, but he lived in Maryland for about the past seven years, and Maryland Democrats are a completely different breed of stick-up--the-butt statists than CA Democrats, who are conservatives in a state that's far more politically wacky than outsiders even dream of.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    So is the server allowing Reason to upload new stories down today?

  • Pro Libertate||

    It was slow yesterday. Maybe it's because of Chinese New Year?

  • ||

    Maybe all the editors are spending their time masquerading as derpers on the immigration threads.

  • David Gentry||

    Dear Mr. Suderman,

    Thank you so much for your articles! I am so glad I found them. I write a blog that often features ObamaCare, and I am quoting you with attribution. My blog is

    Do you know if there is for sale a NON-ObamaCare compliant catastrophic health care policy? A generally healthy person or family may wish to pay the individual mandate penalty in order to purchase a catastrophic policy and then negotiate prices with health care providers and pay them directly for ordinary medical expenses.

  • XM||

    Do taxpayers in Massachusetts still have to pay taxes to support Romneycare, even though plans approved under that system might be void under Obamacare? Romneycare has some sort of separate insurance plan for the poor, but I imagine most of those people are eligible for medicaid.

  • cheap soccer jerseys||

    What this case shows is that the Italians are savage barbarians who are unfit for civilized company.


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