SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

March 26, 2014

Bungling mars health care deadline

(Continued)

“No one is more disappointed than I am that we fell short in our rollout of the exchange, and I take responsibility for those failures,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat.

Vermont Republican leaders have asked for an investigation by federal prosecutors and are hoping to capitalize on the bumbling exchange by targeting Democrats, who control both houses of the state Legislature, in this year’s elections.

“People are just disgusted with it,” said Rep. Brian Savage, the assistant House minority leader.

Some states, including Nevada, are giving consumers extra time to get through the process if technical problems prevented them from completing their enrollment by Monday. As of last week, only 22,000 successfully purchased private coverage in Nevada.

In all five states, officials are trying to limp through the end of this year’s signup period while focusing on fixing problems so the exchanges run more smoothly when the next open enrollment period begins in November.

Nevada officials said they will push Xerox for improvements and await the assessment from Deloitte, but officials concede there will be a lot on the line.

“We can’t go through this again,” Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval said. “We’re not going to wake up every morning seeing stories of Nevadans who can’t navigate through the system; that aren’t getting insurance cards; the gentleman who had a heart attack who is still sitting in limbo not knowing what his status is.

“This has cascaded to absolute worst-case scenario.”

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