The Daily Caller says that while Maryland’s Obamacare exchange has been struggling to get past crashes and glitches, the state has continued spending millions on marketing.
Said Republican gubernatorial hopeful David Craig in a statement: “Up to $150 million is going towards promoting a failing exchange, and throwing good money after bad needs to end now. The task before us is how to mitigate this situation so people can get health care, because Maryland citizens are still having trouble with the website.”
Approximately 18,257 Marylanders have enrolled in coverage via the exchange, 12% of the expected 150,000 consumers state officials believed would flock to the site.
While the exchange itself comes in at $107 million, the ad budget is currently soaring at $123 million in federal grants and another $24 million boost from the state of Maryland, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Maryland isn’t the only state that has held onto ad campaign funds for Obamacare exchanges while the sites themselves were having problems or were crashing. Oregon’s folk-themed ad campaign was put on hold just before Christmas Eve — a whole month after former Director Rocky King admitted the website’s enrollment features wouldn’t launch before January at all, said the story.
Vermont, a unique exchange that’s transitioning to a state single-payer system, has been given $9 million in federal funding for ads. But just 22,600 Vermont residents have selected a plan on the exchange, which has been subject to a host of its own technical problems, said the story.
RBR-TVBR observation: Regardless of what you think about Obamacare and the associated state exchanges, the money is going to broadcasters and that’s a good thing. Consumers need to know where to go and find out more. Yes, it’s complicated and hopefully the ads will help at some point.