Obamacare Exchanges Price Tag: $4.9 Billion

When the federal health exchanges launched and crashed last fall through Healthcare.gov, half-a-million dollars went to waste as government officials continued to throw money at the problem. At the state level, the numbers are just as bad, if not worse. According to numbers published by POLITICO and put out by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, failing state exchanges have already cost taxpayers $454 million and in the end will cost as much as $4.9 billion.

Nearly half a billion dollars in federal money has been spent developing four state Obamacare exchanges that are now in shambles — and the final price tag for salvaging them may go sharply higher.

Each of the states — Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada and Maryland — embraced Obamacare, and each underperformed. All have come under scathing criticism and now face months of uncertainty as they rush to rebuild their systems or transition to the federal exchange.

The $474 million spent by these four states includes the cost that officials have publicly detailed to date. It climbs further if states like Minnesota and Hawaii, which have suffered similarly dysfunctional exchanges, are added.

Their totals are just a fraction of the $4.698 billion that the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation calculates the federal government has approved for states since 2011 to help them determine whether to create their own exchanges and to assist in doing so.