Do Romneycare’s Health Connector Failures Signal ObamaCare Woes?

Massachusetts announced May 5 that it was abandoning its Health Connector website — the centerpiece of “Romneycare” that has been a model for ObamaCare nationally — after eight years of the landmark legislation in the Bay State.

Politico.com’s Kyle Cheney reported on May 5 that “Massachusetts has already spent $57 million on a system that never was able to enroll people with subsidies start to finish, and its failure has forced the state to enroll more than 160,000 residents in temporary Medicaid coverage — at an estimated $10 million-a-month cost.” In the wake of such massive inefficiencies, it’s perhaps not surprising that Massachusetts healthcare plan policyholders have long paid among the highest premiums in the nation — premium costs exceeded only by Alaska and the District of Columbia in 2012, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report.

Massachusetts appointed a new website administrator in February, Sarah Iselin, who has announced that the state is going toward a “dual track” of rebuilding its HealthConnectorMA.org website and making the state’s policies compliant for purchase on the federal government’s site. Iselin — chosen by Governor Deval Patrick to fix the website problem — had worked for the commissioner of insurance during the Romneycare rollout in 2006. She had also worked for the state’s largest health insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.