Washington’s state-run insurance exchange botched the launch of its second open enrollment period when a “glitch” forced the website shut down on the first day. Officials have had plenty of time to fix the problems that have afflicted the website that has cost taxpayers millions during the first enrollment period which ended last March. The latest in a persistent series of website “glitches” earned the ire of state lawmakers—in fact, even Democrats expressed frustration.
State Rep. Eileen Cody, D-Seattle, told Washington Health Benefit Exchange officials, “It’s just mind-boggling. With as much money as we have spent on this to not have it work is just not acceptable.” She went on to say, “We had gotten reassurances,” Cody said. “Who’s getting fired? Our contractor? This is just not acceptable.”
Bill Hinkle, a Health Benefit Exchange (HBE) board member, told King 5 last night, “You can’t understand the frustration as a board member that I have… I would say it’s time for a change. If nothing else it’s time for a change in effort and direction if not a change in other things.” Hinkle included a change in leadership as a possibility.
Here’s hoping the Exchange board refrains from giving CEO Richard Onizuka another pay raise. Last year, even after all the problems that plagued the Exchange, Onizuka’s annual salary shot up by 13% – from $157,000 to $177,400. His raise was applied retroactively to August 2013 for good measure.
Photo from the Columbian.