A Republican gubernatorial candidate in Maryland has volunteered to pay the tab for an Obamacare mistake, but it’s not the hundreds of millions of dollars that consumers will shell out for higher premiums, additional taxes, penalties, higher deductibles or higher co-pays.
That’s just not possible. And those aren’t a mistake; they’re deliberate.
What David Craig, the Harford County executive, is volunteering to cover is the damages to a Seattle business whose telephone number improperly was listed on the state’s broken Obamacare website.
“Hopefully, it’s a small amount,” he told Baltimore Sun. “If it’s a large amount, we’ll hold a fundraiser.”
The issue arose in October when calls from health insurance customers started arriving at the Seattle Pottery Supply company run by Sue Lunz. They didn’t stop until a couple of days ago.
The Sun reported the erroneous listing, and it took a week for the problem to be corrected, the report said.
Craig, the county executive running for governor, said the state should have stepped up and paid Lunz for the costs of the calls to her toll-free number. Officials reached out last week to find out the damages, but Lunz said she hadn’t totaled them up.
“We have been in touch with Ms. Lunz to apologize for the inconvenience, and to thank her for her patience and the kindness she has shown to callers from Maryland,” said state health exchange spokeswoman Dori Henry in a statement.
“Ms. Lunz could not estimate how much the wrong number may have cost her business, but she graciously accepted our apology.”
The report said Craig then sent Lunz a personal letter offering to pay the damages, along with his own apology for the state’s mistake.
It’s just the latest in a long list of problems for the Maryland exchange connected to President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act.
The Washington Post reported the Maryland website’s errors have included frozen accounts, wrong information and error messages.
The Sun also reported there were cases in which customers who contacted the state exchange were directed to agencies in other states.