It's a fair question but an unanswerable one. Maryland exempted the exchange from the normal procedures ostensibly because of the tight timelines the federal government established for the creation of state-based exchanges but also, we suspect, because of Gov. Martin O'Malley's desire for Maryland to be seen as a leader in the adoption of the Affordable Care Act. In retrospect, that urgency appears misplaced. Some of the states with the most successful exchanges — Kentucky, for example — started much later than Maryland did. As a result, they had simpler but more functional systems that were developed after the federal regulatory framework was better established. Moreover, it's not as if the state did no due diligence before signing contracts. It did conduct a procurement process, but a streamlined one that did not include approval by the Board of Public Works. Whether the normal process could possibly have detected the flaws that are now so painfully apparent is impossible to say, and Mr. Franchot admitted as much.