They will now waste another $50 million in taxpayer dollars to migrate to Connecticut’s exchange.
Via Baltimore Sun:
The board overseeing Maryland’s health exchange voted unanimously Tuesday evening to scrap its dysfunctional website and adopt software developed by Deloitte Consulting and used by the more successful health exchange in Connecticut.
The software is free for Maryland to use but Health Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein will negotiate an emergency $40 million to $50 million contract with the software company to develop the site. Isabel FitzGerald, secretary of the state’s Department of Information Technology, who stepped in to help fix the exchange, will oversee the project.
The move comes a day after open enrollment under the federal Affordable Care Act ended Monday, when consumers still were having trouble with the glitch-prone website. Maryland is the first state with a troubled website to switch to another system.
“Our launch did not go as we had planned, our launch failed,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said at a press conference after the vote. “We don’t always succeed on our first try, but we don’t give up. And we usually hit our goals.”
The Democratic governor also blamed IBM and its software for the website’s technical problems. “We take responsibility for fixing this, and we’ll see IBM in court,” O’Malley said.
IBM said in a statement that it went beyond its contractual obligations to help Maryland meet enrollment goals and that state officials didn’t properly manage the exchange.
“In brief, the state’s enrollment goal was reached despite its own failures of leadership,” said IBM spokesperson Mitch Derman. “We will now turn our attention to a successful transition of the project.”