Nevada has become the latest state to acknowledge that their Affordable Care Act health care exchange is completely broken. The state has dumped Xerox and will use the federal exchange system for at least the next year. From the Las Vegas Review Journal:
The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange board voted unanimously Tuesday to end its relationship with Xerox, the vendor contracted in 2012 to build the exchange’s Nevada Health Link website.
In place of Xerox, the exchange will adopt the federal Healthcare.gov exchange’s eligibility and enrollment functions for the sign-up period that begins Nov. 15, though it will keep its status and funding as a state-controlled system. The exchange will also issue a request for proposals to evaluate replacement systems in coming years. A new platform could come from a state with a functional marketplace, or from a vendor with a similar, proven program.
Nevada is still considering spending another large amount of money on a second attempt to build their own exchange system but frankly that seems like a waste of money. There seems to be little added benefit to have the system run by the individual state unless the state is trying something substantially different like Vermont. They should just permanently switch to the federal system.
So far Oregon, Massachusetts, and Maryland have already scrapped their current exchanges systems and are moving to the federal exchange or trying to use a system from another state.
The whole idea of having 50 states spend billions to build and maintain 50 nearly identical systems was always idiotic. This design wasn’t included because experts actually thought it was good policy, but only because a few silly senators demanded it.
We should take advantage of the political dynamic that fortunately resulted in relatively few states trying to build their own exchange and properly nationalize the program like we should have since the beginning.