It has been a while since we last talked about the gigantic messes that some state Obamacare exchanges are. Maryland’s exchange is one of the leaders in that group. The state ditched its original exchange last year because it was too glitch-ridden to work. Now, news has come out that Maryland overcharged the federal government by almost $30 million. Per The Hill:
Maryland’s yearlong audit found two major accounting problems.
The first was a 37 percentage point difference between estimated enrollment and the actual enrollment, which auditors said amounted to an extra $15 million for Maryland. Another $12 million was misallocated because of flawed Medicaid enrollment estimates, they said.
Maryland officials argued that any inconsistencies were the result of unclear federal guidelines, which they said did not require updated enrollment figures. While the state agreed with several recommendations involving tighter controls over enrollment data, exchange officials said they would not refund the federal grant dollars.
If anything, The Hill underreports the numbers a bit here. According to the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services’ report, they are $15.9 million and $12.5 million, respectively. That’s a grand total of $28.4 million that the state of Maryland wrongfully charged the federal government.
Remember, all of these issues took place while Martin O’Malley was governor. Right now, he’s considering a bid for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency. It’s also his appointees on the state board overseeing the Maryland exchange that are refusing to pay the federal government back for the misused money. In other words, Democrats in Maryland are actively defending defrauding American taxpayers of almost $28.4 million. Unless Hillary completely implodes, O’Malley probably won’t even sniff the nomination, but it’s useful to remember stories like this Justin case.
Fortunately for us, Maryland elected Republican Larry Hogan governor in the 2014 elections, and he has stressed that those O’Malley appointees don’t have the power to make the decision to refund or not to refund the federal government. It is Hogan, not the state board, that will make the final decision on this, and he is currently reviewing the report to see what actions need to be taken. I personally think Hogan will do the right thing, but we need to make sure he understands that this money must be refunded.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.