The Health Connector Tipping Point? Blue Mass Group Questions Governor’s Actions

We’ve been talking about the Health Connector, and the botched conversion to an Obamacare exchange since November of 2013.  We were the first to report that the original RomneyCare compliant exchange cost $3.45M to develop vs the $69M the Connector looked to spend for its new exchange.  We’ve been beating the drum, and its felt sort of lonely over here.  Well the good folks at Blue Mass Group, have finally had enough of the Governor’s inaction and have joined the chorus calling for something to be done.

No, Governor, this is not an “inconvenience.” The failure of the state’s health care Connector website and application process is actually endangering lives. Read John McDonough’s blog, where he quotes someone who’s seeing things as they are unfolding at the place where the rubber hits the road:

Governor Patrick Turns on the Lights – Health Stew – Boston.com.

“There is currently no solid process to get urgent medical need cases processed in a timely fashion. Uninsured consumers that have applied and are waiting an eligibility determination have two options to get needed health care right now: 1) Delay your appointment or 2) Pay out of pocket. To give you an example, a man with cancer had a kidney and part of his liver removed in December at a major hospital in Boston. He had a post-op appointment scheduled in early January and was told by his surgeon’s office that he couldn’t come for the appointment until he ‘got his MassHealth figured out.’ The ‘solution’ he was given was to delay his appointment or pay out-of-pocket. We’re hearing stories like this regularly at the advocate and provider tables.

“We have been given ‘contacts’ at the state to help us ‘resolve’ issues and get people coverage, but the system is so, so broken, to the point where these contacts take many days to find applications and then many days to process them. Also, we are seeing erroneous eligibility determinations come out of the new clunky systems they’ve built.”

What the fresh hell. “Inconvenience”?? Dying of cancer is an “inconvenience?” This requires an absolute full-court press, and a sense of urgency straight from the top. Glad to have the attention, but setting the right tone would really help.

“As the post on Blue Mass Group points out, this is not just about a malfunctioning website that has wasted millions of dollars, it is about life and death as seriously ill people lose their health insurance,” said Kirsten Hughes, MassGOP chairman. “It now appears everyone in this state understands the dire consequences of this situation, except for the Governor.”

more after the jump

Even our good friend Simple J. Malarkey, who blogs as Pogo over at BMG showed some concern:

If we believe in Government, we have a responsibility to make it work!(0+ / 0-) View voters

To echo dasox1 above. I believe wholeheartedly that government can and has played a major role in advancing society and steadying the gyrations of an erratic market economy (progressive/liberal policies over the last 100 years has saved capitalism, not crushed it).

With this belief, I have an equally strong aversion to bureaucracy-whether it is a private sector insurance company, a non-profit hospital or a government agency. Bureaucracy Happens! should be a bumper sticker.

Progressive/liberals have a responsibility to be the watchdogs against bad government. We can’t advocate for more government, if it evolves into bad government.

I’ve been hearing to many excuses about the online exchanges, the DCR problems, the DPH’s Compound Drug lapses, the endless backlog at the VA that only gets worse…and on and on and on. “Fox talking points” liberals counter…sometimes, yes. But often we dismiss valid points as “Fox talking points” and do a disservice to ourselves and our principles.

By dismissing problems as anecdotal or to blame lack of funding (the DCR didn’t do a home visit on the Fitchburg child for at least 6 months-that had nothing to do with lack of funding, but incompetency) when the real problems are elsewhere, progressives are handing our opponents the ammunition they need to destroy what we have built. And unfortunately when enlightened progressives suggests bureaucracies need improving, they are viewed by other progressives as being an opponent of the program, when in fact they want to improve it.

One point of contention with Blue Mass Group today came over Twitter. The person at the helm of the @bluemassgroup Twitter account said that Obamacare is not to blame for Massachusetts problems.

Obamacare has everything to do with the problems in Massachusetts, if it wasn’t for Obamacare, we’d still be using the same exchange as has worked for the entire time RomneyCare has been the law of the land.  It is because of the federal law that this whole train-wreck has happened.

It is time for the state to ask for an Obamacare Waiver, to exempt us all from this onerous law.

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno