If nothing else, the collapse of multi-million dollar state-based exchanges has created a PR problem for health reform, but that’s only part of the issue.

In Massachusetts, there is a stew of simmering revelations about apparent mismanagement of the Health Connector, a once working exchange created in 2006 that upon an update for the Affordable Care Act ceased functioning while consuming $1 billion.

Massachusetts health officials knew the Connector was in trouble for a year before its Oct. 1, 2013, launch date, according to an investigation by the Pioneer Institute, a public policy research organization.

“Instead of raising concerns about the project,” a team of University of Massachusetts Medical School contractors and MassHealth “misled the public by minimizing the shortcomings of the contractor hired to build the website, asked state workers to approve shoddy work and appear to have covered up the project’s abysmal progress in a presentation to federal officials,” said Josh Archambault, a senior fellow at Pioneer Institute and author of the report.

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