Buried on the second page of a New York Times article on California Health Benefit Exchange’s gung-ho efforts to deliver a yet unnamed portal in preparation for the full effects of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) are the costs:
The exchange itself has so far been financed by three grants, worth $237 million, from the federal government. Most of the money is committed to consultants, including Accenture, which has a $327 million contract to build and support the initial operation of the enrollment portal.
But who’s footing the bill? Only all of California’s nearly 38 million residents:
“It’s all good for consumers,” she said. “But somebody’s got to pay for it, and that’s going to go into the premium.”
Despite the full-throttle approach here, another uncertainty is the outcome of the presidential race. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, has vowed to repeal the health care law and restructure Medicaid, not only scrapping the planned expansion but making the program much leaner. Even without a repeal, Republicans could undo the federal subsidies and other financing for the law if they won the presidency and even a narrow majority in the Senate.
“If the federal funding stopped,” Mr. Lee said, “we would be at a ‘press reset’ button.”
Move over $18M recovery.gov 2.0, California is set to dethrone the federal government when it comes ridiculously expensive website boondoggles.
And by the way, Accenture is indeed the same outfit that was previously called Andersen Consulting (Arthur Andersen). The same firm infamously tied to the Enron document shredding scandal is now in charge of delivering the world’s most expensive website to gullible Californians.