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May 21 2014

A Third ObamaCare Website Bites the Dust

Patrice J. Lee

First Oregon, then Massachusetts, and now Nevada joins the growing list of states to abandon their failed ObamaCare enrollment websites.

The Silver State Health Exchange was created to implement ObamaCare and it hired Xerox to develop and manage its site, Nevada Health link. The board that oversees the state’s health exchange gave Xerox the boot though, after a botched rollout of its website last fall delivered a list of problems that were never fixed.

Nevadans reported receiving error messages and were unable to complete applications. There were file transfer issues between the website and insurers that resulted in enrollees not receiving documentation even after their applications were processed.

Nevada paid $12.3 million to Xerox as part of a $75 million contract, which was supposed to have produced a fully-functioning website and an enrollment database to track customers’ plans and payments. According to Xerox, the website enrolled (meaning they signed up and paid) 10,000 Nevadans and determined that 190,000 were eligible for Medicaid.

The Hill reports:

The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange board voted unanimously to cut ties with Xerox, stating it had lost faith the company could fix a slew of problems that plagued its insurance exchange site before the November enrollment period begins.

CJ Bawden, a spokesperson for the exchange, said Nevada Health Link will re-direct all users to HealthCare.gov during the November 2014 enrollment period, but the state is looking for a new partner to build its health exchange site in time for the 2016 enrollment period.

While the site won’t be enrolling people, the state exchange program will continue to administer navigator sister programs, approve plan certifications and plan managements, as well as conduct their own marketing and advertising.
 
According to Bawden, Xerox had already been paid $12.3 million by the state to build the failed site and could not speculate how much more it would need to spend to get the site up and running properly with a new contractor.

I suspect you're thinking the same thing I am: why should Nevada waste more taxpayer money developing another ObamaCare website that may turn into just as big a mess as their current one? Give those unused funds back to the taxpayers and stop the madness.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result. It’s true that the contractor developed a flawed product, but government officials played a role in oversight of the project and their vendor. Are any Nevada officials being held accountable? Are those who managed the first website process the best to be given the reigns over another website development in 2016 as proposed?

This fall marks the next open enrollment period and states like Nevada, Oregon, and Massachusetts, which developed their own ObamaCare exchanges, are facing tough choices over how to enroll Americans.

ObamaCare’s prescription for pain is hitting the federal government and states alike. ObamaCare is a large, complex new entitlement program that is delivering failed promises, higher costs for Americans, and harm to our healthcare industry, labor market, and national economy.

The problem is not faulty websites or bad PR but the arrogant philosophy that ObamaCare is the cure-all for healthcare in America. In process and impact it continually proves to be a bad deal for Americans.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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