From the Craig/Haddaway Campaign:
Harford County Executive and Maryland candidate for Governor David Craig urged U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Administration healthcare point man and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown to solve a problem on the federal health care website which sends Marylanders to other states to seek in-person assistance. The so-called navigator program and other iterations such as application assisters are provisions of the Affordable Care Act intended to help people sign up for health insurance coverage.
Sebelius wrote in the op-ed, “A happy, healthy New Year,” which ran in the Baltimore Sun January 1, that people could seek “in person” assistance by consulting a local help section on health care.gov.
The section allows consumers to enter a zip code to get assistance in person if they are having difficulty with the Maryland exchange. Entering a Baltimore zip code, however, sends consumers to distant areas including York, Pennsylvania and Alexandria, Virginia.
“This should be a relatively easy fix for the two Administrations to work together on to incrementally reduce mass confusion over the Affordable Care Act,” said Craig. “The federal and state government should be directing people to the correct resources in a consistent and accurate manner, and the misleading data on the federal website only makes matters worse for people already having trouble getting health insurance in Maryland.”
It turns out Baltimore zip code 21201 is served by an organization on 201 E. Baltimore St within that same zip code. The non-profit has received 30 major grants, $23 million in cumulative funding and $8 million in taxpayer funds from the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange which administers Maryland Health Connection. Maryland is one of 14 states administering their own exchange.
It appears a software glitch causes zip code searches to direct people to neighboring states that opted to use the federal exchange. The David Craig campaign used a live chat customer service feature on the federal site attempting to clarify if it is the government’s intention to send Maryland consumers to Virginia to seek in-person assistance. When asked if it was required to go to Virginia to seek assistance, the federal government’s live chat representative said, “Yes that is correct.”
“This is unacceptable,“said Craig. “Federal and state information need to be integrated at least on a basic level, or they need to disable the zip code search function.”
Typing in “Baltimore” on some computers directs consumers to a link to Maryland Health Connection, where ultimately resources can be found within the state. Many individuals, however, are accustomed to providing zip codes in daily transactions, which in this case, will either send people across state lines or cause them to give up on seeking assistance.
Gee the “man” had an original thought-“fix our national health care snafu” keep up the good work mr craig!
The Money Tree says
Filthy Craig lectures others; how quaint. I gotta weight Obamacare against Craig’s wish to load high rises across the county as more negative to my life? You suck filthy Craig,. Your welfare queens are developers – it’s the same filthy Craig.
Concerned Citizen says
Craig’s empty posturing to insert himself in state and federal level issues- as if his opinion on anything carries weight with others is laughable at best. I have never been so eager to see an outgoing county executive leave office.
Thank god Craig inserted himself into this issue, I’m sure it will get fixed now. I’m sure he was looking for PR for the issue and not himself, right?
Arturro Nasney says
That’s the way Ryan. If you can’t argue facts on the issue throw rocks at the guy who said it. I’m sure that Lt Gov Brown has worked very hard to get the issue to the point of being FUBAR. He has worked on BRAC and health care for the last seven years and both of them totally messed up by his incompetence. No, you won’t read that in the Sun but if you watch the local news, you will see it clearly between the lines. Even our local media can’t make a genius out of a flaming idiot.