In today’s American Spectator I ask how Maryland can recoup money from an IT contractor for an ill-fated “marketplace” that was paid for with taxpayer dollars provided by the federal government:
When former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley signed the bill that created his state’s Obamacare exchange, he bragged that it was “being established using no state funds… due to federal grants.” Later, when the online “marketplace” exploded on the launch pad and a new IT company was hired to untangle the wreckage, O’Malley’s top health official assured Maryland voters that this would be paid for with “leftover federal grants.”
Consequently, it surprised many when Maryland’s AG announced a $45 million settlement with the original contractor the proceeds of which would be split between the federal government and the state.
Why would the state receive any part of the settlement if, as O’Malley and his officials were at pains to point out, all the money used to build and repair the exchange came from Washington? Presumably, this question will come up during the “regulatory approval” process, which will involve negotiations between CMS, the U.S. Attorney’s office for Maryland, and various state insurance officials.
Maryland was given more than $179 million in federal grants. It’s difficult to believe that O’Malley went through the rest of the money and still had to raid the state’s coffers to get its Obamacare “marketplace” up-and-running.
To read the rest of the column, click here.