Obamacare Glitches May Give Mass. GOP an Edge in November

Tuesday, 04 Feb 2014 01:09 PM

By Courtney Coren

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The problems Obamacare has caused in Massachusetts may give Republicans an edge in the Bay State's midterm elections.

"No other state has suffered more from Obamacare than Massachusetts," said GOP candidate Richard Tisei, who is challenging Democratic Rep. John Tierney for Tierney's congressional seat, Politico reports.

"Our website was fully functional and hadn't really experienced any problems," Tisei added. "Now we have the worst website in the country . . . The state's going to have to spend millions and millions of dollars just to get back to where we were."

Massachusetts already had an insurance exchange website set up under "Romneycare," which was passed in 2006 when Mitt Romney was governor, but it had to be revamped to comply with rules under the new federal healthcare law. Much like HealthCare.gov., the Massachusetts website was also filled with glitches and has yet to be permanently fixed.

Tisei has promised that if he's elected, the first thing he will do as a congressman is author a bill that would exempt Massachusetts from Obamacare.

The Republican candidate for governor, Charlie Baker, said he would also seek an exemption for Massachusetts from the Affordable Care Act.

"There are a lot of people in Massachusetts who are being negatively impacted by something that hasn't really moved the ball here for people at all," Baker said. "Massachusetts led the country on health reform. I would like to see us get back into a leadership position."

While Massachusetts' former healthcare law was used as a model for Obamacare and was once considered largely successful, it is now having the same problems that have plagued the federal website. To build its website, Massachusetts enlisted CGI, the same contractor that built the troubled HealthCare.gov site.

The Bay State website has sent inaccurate data to insurance companies and left those who wanted subsidized coverage unable to enroll, and those people have temporarily been put on Medicaid.

In the meantime, Massachusetts has had to take costly measures to make sure insurance policies aren't lost, at the same time the state works to get the website fixed.

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