“Obamacare is the gift that keeps giving,” writes Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute. Read here from Mr. Tanner the woes plaguing some of the bluest of the blue states.
If any state could get its exchange right, one might think, it would be the home of Romneycare.
But despite spending more than $134 million, when the law’s exchanges debuted on October 1, the state was only able to deploy part of its website. As of mid March, Massachusetts had about 84,000 residents on temporary health-insurance plans while work continues on the website. The state still hasn’t been able to transfer another 100,000 people on a state-subsidized health plan into federally approved plans. Now, the legislature is debating whether to try to adapt software used by Colorado and Kentucky or to scrap its exchange altogether and let the federal government step in.
Obamacare remains popular in heavily Democratic Massachusetts, but the Republican candidate for governor, former insurance executive Charlie Baker, is running a surprisingly competitive race, within seven points of Martha Coakley according to recent polls.
The state’s exchange, MNSure, cost taxpayers more than $141 million, but has been in crisis mode almost since the moment it began. State officials had expected MNSure to enroll up to 1.3 million people for insurance by 2016, but so far barely 117,000 people have signed up. The exchange is also facing a significant budget shortfall for next year that could force the state to raise taxes.
Governor Mark Dayton remains popular in the state, but it’s worth noting that his lead over Republican challenger Jeff Johnson is down to just six points in recent polling.
Read more here.