Documents Related to Launch of Failed Health Exchange Site Released
Updated: Friday, May 23 2014, 12:46 PM EDT
For months FOX45 has been trying to piece together what happened to $200 million of taxpayer money used to build the state's failed Health Exchange website.
Efforts thus far have been thwarted; until now.
A state investigation has forced the release of the records, thousands of documents related to the launch of the Health Exchange site. For the most part the financial records turned over by the exchange hide the details of how the state approved lucrative contracts for companies tasked with building the site. But the few details that slipped through state censors reveal just why state officials might be reluctant to talk.
One of the documents show a proposal for training so-called "navigators," with a salary of up to $367 per hour for consulting work. It's a contract that would net nearly $300,000 for a week's worth of work.
And there's more.
One email to Rebecca Pearce, the woman in charge of the site's development for the state, reveals she was given a $5,000 raise in 2012 by Governor Martin O'Malley before the site even launched. The extra money bumped her salary up to $185,000 a year.
Another set of never-before-seen emails reveal panic among top executives just days before, and after, the site launched. The exchanges suggest no one had a clear picture of how to fix glitches that made the site one of the worst performers in the nation.
The documents offer a glimpse into just a few of the details that have prompted a federal investigation into what went wrong. It's a probe Congressman Andy Harris promises will end the silence and tell the story of the state's failure to launch, once and for all.
"I think they have to find out if it just wasn't proper oversight," Harris said, "if the contracting process wasn't proper or if there was in fact fraud and abuse."