Patterico's Pontifications

11/30/2013

Healthcare.gov- Update

Filed under: General — JD @ 9:56 am

[guest post by JD]

Today or tomorrow is supposed to be the day that the ObamaCare website’s “glitches” are fixed. Depending on whom you ask, it will be fixed, it will work for the vast majority of users, the vast majority if users will have a better experience, or 80% will be successful. Regardless, it seems that there are still errors on the back end which would account for big problems down the road. It seems that they are going to use page load times as one of their metrics to prove success. The capacity issues are resolved, so long as everyone doesn’t rush to get on the website, hence their suggestions to try to log in at night and on weekends. Can you imagine Travelocity pimping off-hour capacity for website traffic? Even if they do “fix” the website, they were forced to push the small business exchange out until after the 2014 elections, coincidence, I am sure. They illegally waived the large employer mandate until after the 2014 elections. People will still encounter sticker shock at higher premiums and deductibles. Small business and large business plans will continue to be forced to cancel, on top of the individual plan wave of cancellations.

But the tech surge will certainly be deemed a success. Because they lie.

Related links

My website that he knew nothing about.

My lies are built on kindness

I can waive any portion of my law whenever I wish

it is fixed, but please please please keep people from using it right away

UPDATE – I forgot to note above, that there is still no payment system in place. So, by any rational metric, the system is a failure for 100% of users.

—JD

87 Responses to “Healthcare.gov- Update”

  1. Racists

    JD (ea1128)

  2. damage is done

    nobody will ever be able to talk about the competence of food stamp’s administration with a straight face

    happyfeet (8b8093)

  3. He’s not even a very good tyrant; he’s a petty tyrant. He can’t even claim “l’État, c’est moi” because he’s too chicken to govern at all. So he pushes horrible bills at us, blames Congress for it or scolds SCOTUS from his podium, but only owns it when something goes right.

    Patricia (be0117)

  4. Are you single and making more than 45K a year?

    Are you a couple without kids and making more than 85K a year?

    You’re going to love your new second car payment when your employer drops the company health plan. Are you close to making that amount? Better hope your boss doesn’t raise your pay to “make up for it” and push you into actually losing money.

    Thanks Obamaee!

    Lightwave (781eb9)

  5. Here is a cool article you may enjoy. Obamacare’s a hard sell (strictly non-partisan of course) for young Katie and Rhianna who are going door -to- door accompanied by Matt Labash. It’s a piece packed with great lines and real characters. A few people actually do seem to have a clue.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/hard-sell_769096.html?nopager=1

    elissa (a9a567)

  6. I’ve seen the weezul and teh damage done…

    Colonel Haiku (749a1f)

  7. They’re going to get the website to work sooner or later. After all, think of how many websites there are in the world that work reasonably well. It’s not brain surgery. And when that happens, they will declare victory and Obama will probably get a bounce in the polls.

    Since they don’t release accurate or timely statistics, I guess that bounce will last awhile because we won’t know how many are signing up and how much it’s going to cost the government in subsidies. But if people start losing their employer-sponsored health insurance, I expect Obama’s polls to move south again.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  8. They’re going to get the website to work sooner or later

    This doesn’t follow, as most non-working websites are not made public. If they stick to the original “design”, it might not work by this time next year. Some things are too complicated to ever work, like flying boat-cars.

    But we should focus not on the web site, but on the cancellations, the weak doctor networks and What Is In Store for the employer market that they are now going to hide until after the election.

    Campaign theme: “Do you suppose it’s good news they’re hiding?”

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  9. You’re going to love your new second car payment when your employer drops the company health plan.

    If you are 60 and married and make over the limit, it will be over $2000, likely more than your mortgage or rent, and almost certainly a worse plan that what you were getting.

    OTOH, if the employer drops the benefits without compensating in some way, he’ll lose his best workers, so expect a pay bump, which might be perverse.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  10. Kevin M:

    If they stick to the original “design”, it might not work by this time next year.

    I think they are redefining what “working” means — by telling people to go to the insurance companies’ websites if they don’t need a subsidy, and by giving people the option to look at plans without registering (something you can do today but couldn’t do last month).

    I don’t know how difficult it is to actually sign up and I suspect those glitches are still there, but they won’t affect as many people. The best news for Obama is they probably won’t impact reporters trying to get on the website for their reports.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  11. As simple as making an airline reservation on Bestbuy.com or buying a computer on Kayak.com.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  12. by giving people the option to look at plans without registering (something you can do today but couldn’t do last month).

    I hadn’t heard that. That will greatly reduce the back-end load (which never should have been moved up front). That was their main design error. But it’s a two-edged sword in that people can see the sky-high rates. Question: can they search for their doctor(s), or do they have to go to the insurance sites for that?

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  13. I don’t know if you can search for doctors/networks because I didn’t look for that. I spent a little time there this morning but I generally try to avoid Healthcare.gov.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  14. But wait, there’s this:

    “You can preview Marketplace health plans and prices available in your area. But to find out the actual costs for your personal situation, you need to apply.”

    And their preview asks location & participants, but not participant ages. Then it gives “estimated premiums” that are ridiculously low for a lot of people.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  15. Kevin M,

    I agree with your general point but I’m not sure it will be as problematic for Obama because of the way they’ve set the website up. For instance, regarding pricing, the non-registration option gives you a choice of “49 and under” and “50 and over” when you’re looking at potential plans. And it specifically says the prices may not be accurate.

    The reports I’ve read said this approach understates the actual prices of the plans, e.g., for “50 and over” it tells you the rate for someone who is 50 but if you’re older than that, the rates will be higher.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  16. We cross-posted with the same point.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  17. This is very bizarre. I’m utterly unable to understand the thinking of Sebelius and Obama.

    They can’t actually want the entire thing to crater this badly, can they?

    I can’t think of a scenario where this makes sense even to people as stupid as I think Obama and Sebelius are.

    SPQR (028927)

  18. SPQR–I am with you. It is not possible to understand or even parse this whole fiasco scenario while applying any form of rational thought.

    elissa (a9a567)

  19. “They can’t actually want the entire thing to crater this badly, can they?” asks my friend SPQR (#17 — 11/30/2013 @ 12:41 pm).

    What about a scenario in which the goal, beyond the immediate (disastrous) short-term, is to create a situation in which the deceptive simplicity and allure of a single-payer system (i.e., nationalized healthcare controlled by the federal government to the exclusion of private insurers and private providers) becomes irresistible?

    It’s like the old joke about out-running the bear. You don’t need to be faster than the bear, just faster than everyone else running from it along with you.

    If you want to get to replace the pre-Obamacare system with single-payer — which has failed to gain popular acceptance despite many decades of P and argument by liberal Democrats (viz, Barack Obama) — you have to both destroy the pre-Obamacare system and leave no other workable alternative to single-payer.

    Obamacare is simultaneously destroying the pre-Obamacare system while proving that government involvement short of single-payer can’t work. So when it fails, do you think the Democratic Party will meekly accept its repeal?

    No sir, no ma’am. Friends and neighbors, they’ll point to the U.K., to Canada, and similar countries with single-payer and say, “Well, it’s not perfect, but we’re smarter than they are so we’ll do it better, and besides there’s no alternative.”

    How’s that work for you as a coherent scenario? Perhaps I’m delusional, but it not only seems logical to me, it scares me a great deal.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  20. ^^ Sorry, that ought to have read “PR and argument.” We can argue later about whether that’s a Freudian typo.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  21. Beldar:

    How’s that work for you as a coherent scenario? Perhaps I’m delusional, but it not only seems logical to me, it scares me a great deal.

    I think this is exactly right.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  22. Beldar, I thought that initially since many on the left privately said that this was going to be the road to eventual single payer– and they put the Medicare people “in charge”. But at this point in the multi-stage debacle I just don’t see anybody trusting Obama or “the government” to implement single payer and I do not see current or future members of congress of either party wanting to touch healthcare reform for decades other than to get rid of it.

    elissa (a9a567)

  23. Herein lies the problem, beldar, what is the way back to sanity,

    narciso (3fec35)

  24. here’s another great feature… if you’re *really* poor, with an income below poverty level, you apparently don’t qualify for subsidies, which seems silly.

    Because your income is equal to X% of the poverty level, you will not be eligible for tax credits in the exchanges. Tax credits are only available to people who make between 100% and 400% of the poverty level. Keep in mind that these results are estimates and you can still apply for exchange coverage if you are interested in receiving a tax credit.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  25. “49 and under” and “50 and over”

    I didn’t get that question. It might depend on the state. I used Texas for my sample (I’m in California and it would just redirect me to the CA site).

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  26. “Well, it’s not perfect, but we’re smarter than they are so we’ll do it better, and besides there’s no alternative.”

    My answer, “well, OK. but only after we hang you all for putting us in this box.”

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  27. if you’re *really* poor, with an income below poverty level, you apparently don’t qualify for subsidies,

    THis is so they can pretend there’s a distiction between MediCaid and Obamacare exchange policies. For a lot of people taking the bronze plans on thin HMO networks, Medicaid might be the better deal. It’s that bad.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  28. I heard on the radio today that one of their metrics is 90% success at establishing an account. Surreal.

    JD (d1fc85)

  29. this whole mess was brought to you by the 1st generation of socially promoted idiots.

    after a lifetime of being told they are special snowflakes & everyone receiving trophies, of course they are just going to move the goalposts in order to declare victory…

    actual achievment is a concept alien to their world.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  30. I promise you every lefty on a Sunday show will be saying the site is up and running and everything is beautiful. And every single talking head will bob his noggin like a spastic pigeon and we’ll all pretend it’s unicorns and rainbows because of Obama.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  31. Ag80 – amen

    JD (d1fc85)

  32. Beldar, I have no doubt that these twits intended to move towards single payer. But failure of the Obamacare govt provided piece does not lead there as it can’t be blamed on doctors or insurers.

    SPQR (768505)

  33. SPQR – no need to limit their failures to just the website. As more is revealed, their failures increase. Decreased access. Increased premiums. Increased deductibles. Rampant policy cancellations.

    JD (d1fc85)

  34. My friend elissa wrote (#22 — 11/30/2013 @ 1:07 pm):

    But at this point in the multi-stage debacle I just don’t see anybody trusting Obama or “the government” to implement single payer and I do not see current or future members of congress of either party wanting to touch healthcare reform for decades other than to get rid of it.

    And my friend SPQR (#33 — 11/30/2013 @ 3:17 pm) wrote:

    Beldar, I have no doubt that these twits intended to move towards single payer. But failure of the Obamacare govt provided piece does not lead there as it can’t be blamed on doctors or insurers.

    Remember that Obama didn’t write Obamacare, nor have much to do with it beyond signing it. He’s in favor of single-payer, meaning he put other Dems who were in favor of single-payer in charge of writing and implementing it — even though Obamacare isn’t single-payer.

    Now he’s a lame duck second-term POTUS anyway. Yes, he will take the short-term heat from the collapse of Obamacare, his signature and perhaps only “accomplishment.” But Dems who have to run for election or reelection to anything will indeed distance themselves from Obamacare and from him. That’s a given.

    So the question is what will replace Obamacare.

    You think the GOP plus enough Dems are going to vote to take 25-year-old kids off their parents’ insurance? To make pre-existing conditions a basis for rejecting or limiting coverage again? To permit genuine underwriting (risk assessment) to affect price and availability? Because all of that, and more, would be necessary to actually fix the system — by getting government the hell out of it and letting the market work again. Nothing but the free market can address both price and availability. If you doubt that, look at the single area of healthcare where quality has soared, price has plummeted, and availability is wider than ever — the one sort of healthcare that insurance has never covered and in which the government has meddled less than any other, cosmetic surgery. But I despair of convincing even Republican legislators, much less their constituencies, that what’s needed is more raw capitalism.

    No, the Dems will run for election and reelection confident that they can survive the short-term political hit — the loss of the Senate in 2014. They’ll still have Obama to cast a veto, so they’ll just go from mostly-stalemated (which they are now) to thoroughly-stalemated. They’ll count on the passage of time, the aforementioned veto, and its guarantee that no decent alternative from the GOP can be enacted as an Obamacare replacement in the meantime, to give them a decent chance to reclaim one or both chambers and keep the presidency in 2016.

    And they’ll run between now and then on single-payer as an alternative to Obamacare, insisting that “it hasn’t been tried here, but look, it works in the U.K.!” (If you don’t look too closely, and don’t mind death panels and rationing.)

    Even if they lose the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016, though, they believe — and may be correct in believing — that the implementation of single-payer would be a step from which the country could never return. They’ll pay almost any political price in the short and even middle term in order to accomplish an irreversible nationalization of a fifth of the national economy.

    We’re talking about policymakers the likes of Bill Ayers. We’re talking about folks who aren’t above creating a crisis simply because a crisis presents opportunities.

    I doubt Obama himself is deep enough to have planned this, or that his ego could permit him to become a punch-line as part of its implementation. But those whom he’s empowered — whether they’re pulling his strings actively, or whether they’re just taking advantage of his inattention now that he’s put them into power — are quite capable of such deviousness.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  35. Let me announce, in about two and a half hours, healthcare.gov will officially work. President Obama told me so, so it must be so.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  36. here is a singing from an earlier decade not this objectively messed up one what celebrates the obamarape and taylorswift in equal measure

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dis191uHCZQ

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  37. Well he said 10 years, and four years later, and Schakowsky, Hacker, Frank, et al, have been singing from the same songbook, even more recently,

    narciso (3fec35)

  38. very very very very few of the people ensconced at any level of the neo-fascist failmerican polity are even a wee lil bit accountable for the outcomes of these suck-ass bullshit policies

    that includes the boehnerpoofter and the mcconnellwhore both

    this is how they roll

    it’s a big part of what makes these sinecures so attractive

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  39. She was a little annoying in the Twilight series, but I think Anna Kendrick has shown some promise;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmSbXsFE3l8

    narciso (3fec35)

  40. Beldar, I have no doubt that there are some Democrats in safe seats telling themselves exactly that.

    But on the margins, the Democrats trying to hang on to seats in challenging states like my own Colorado have to figure out strategy in the short term. Obama’s failures in Obamacare implementation are damaging their brand. They can’t sell single payer and are not going to try.

    SPQR (768505)

  41. Anna Kendrick took that song to #2 Mr. narciso

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  42. “If we can’t do it right this time, how will we ever get the time and resources to fix it?” — Any number of bosses I had in the tech industry.

    htom (412a17)

  43. 19. …No sir, no ma’am. Friends and neighbors, they’ll point to the U.K., to Canada, and similar countries with single-payer and say, “Well, it’s not perfect, but we’re smarter than they are so we’ll do it better, and besides there’s no alternative.”

    How’s that work for you as a coherent scenario? Perhaps I’m delusional, but it not only seems logical to me, it scares me a great deal.

    Comment by Beldar (8ff56a) — 11/30/2013 @ 12:56 pm

    They can try to make that case, Beldar. But tell me. How does this website prove that Pelosi/Reid/Sebelius/Obama are smarter than anybody?

    Steve57 (338553)

  44. SPQR, vulnerable Dem legislators on the margins aren’t driving this. Indeed, they’re barely relevant to this. Unless the GOP comes up with an alternative so tasty that it can pick up enough Dems to override a presidential veto, we’re going to watch this train wreck continue in fits and starts, probably with some limited and partial postponements and tweaks, until January 2017.

    But let’s assume I’m wrong about that, and that the vulnerable Dems and the GOP somehow manage to get Obamacare repealed over its namesake’s veto in lieu of something else. So what’s that alternative going to be? You and I both believe, I think, in TANSTAAFL. It means none of the alternatives is going to seem tasty.

    The best that any GOP leaders have proposed so far are “repeal and replace” plans, with “replace” being something like means-tested premium support and health maintenance accounts. You think that’s going to get a two-thirds margin in both chambers, no matter how well the GOP does in 2014? I doubt it, but even if it does that would still be another step toward more federal involvement in healthcare, more federal government distortion of the market, more complication and complexity, more income redistribution. Because in this area, government is the problem, no “solution” that relies on government and more governmental involvement is going to work; even if something like that could pass, in other words, it’s a half-step toward the Hard Left’s ultimate goal of single-payer.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  45. Steve57, it will be a different crowd of Dems making the pitch then. Maybe a Clintonista team.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  46. They come back like the cicada, on a 17 year cycle,

    narciso (3fec35)

  47. The Democrats have a tough row to hoe. If they had an actual row to hoe, there would be no problem for the right.

    Most lefties have no idea what I’m talking about.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  48. National Soros Radio says monday is key cause of how…

    so many people will have been talking about obamacare over the weekend with their relatives

    We do know a big test is likely to come on Monday, when people who have been talking to relatives over the long holiday weekend — or who wake up and suddenly realize it’s December and they want coverage in January — all try to sign on at once.

    National Soros Radio is rich white people radio. They don’t understand that in the real world people are still buying christmas presents, mostly on credit, and most people understand that if you don’t buy your stupid obamacares this year you’ll either get a waiver or a very light fine/tax/fine/tax.

    Nobody what is young and healthy is stressing about buying obamacares.

    They have real world actual problems.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  49. I guess time will tell, Beldar. I was far more worried about an evolution to single payer six months ago than I am today. Obama’s lies have soured a lot of people, even including many Democrats, on the idea`of government’s overt intrusion into something as personal as healthcare. Maybe it’s just me but I sure don’t see more government “cowbell” being a smooth sell for quite some time to come.

    elissa (33282f)

  50. will food stamp *ever* have the for reals presidential experience like Real Presidents get to where he gets to be president without Whorenanke’s training wheels?

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  51. This isn’t exactly about Healthcare.gov, but it’s about Obamacare. A great video made in 2009. And I’m not joking about it being great.

    http://neoneocon.com/2013/11/30/the-truth-the-whole-truth-and-nothing/

    Neo-Neocon provides the link to where it’s still up on whitehouse.gov.

    Steve57 (4f25e8)

  52. A roundup with all the fixin’s

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/lets_talk_turkey.html

    narciso (3fec35)

  53. This lampoon never gets old. In fact it gets funnier as time goes on (“He was real good at the internets”)

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  54. Beldar–

    The only concern the middle class ever had about health insurance was the preexisting conditions thing. As people get older, they get sick and the baby boomers are hitting that wall now.

    The previous attempt (HIPAA plans) was expensive and extremely restricted (60-day grace period from last policy). The insurance companies were stuck in a no-win situation, where no one company could meld sick people into the individual policy pool (as they do in the employer marketplace) and stay competitive.

    Obamacare did fix this (and then some), but piled on so much else that the fix wasn’t worth it. In the end, the old HIPAA plans were cheaper and better.

    If the Republicans could solve this in some simple way (e.g. mandate inclusion of the previous insured sick, and underwrite the loss for some limited time) they would have a good start at getting those democrat votes. One of the good things about Obamacare is that any alternative will look simple and cheap by comparison.

    If the Dems stonewall, employees will soon find themselves with dropped coverage, weak coverage or weak networks and they will revolt. Pissing off the baby boomers, who all care about their health insurance, is just about guaranteed to kill you at the polls.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  55. National Soros Radio is rich white people radio.

    And none of them buy insurance on the individual marketplace (aka the National Sacrifice Zone).

    Up to now it has been the healthy self-employed, and them alone. Now we have added the sicker self-employed, and the working poor without employer insurance (who are given monopoly money to spend). That the prices have skyrocketed for the healthy self-employed should not really be a surprise.

    Oh, wait, that’s what we were so blue in the face saying the last 3 years. Almost forgot.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  56. Oh, and the people who never had insurance ever, but are now sick and want free medicine. WHich Obamacare gives them.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  57. Humpty Dumpty can’t be put back together again, note the guilty parties, like the CMS, CGI, QSSI, are not labeled as such;

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/01/us/politics/inside-the-race-to-rescue-a-health-site-and-obama.html?pagewanted=5&_r=1

    narciso (3fec35)

  58. The White House says Healthcare.gov is operational, which is their way of saying “Move along, nothing to see here.”

    narciso’s NY Times’ link makes it clear the Obama Administration has real-time access to everything that happens on the website, so it was never true that they don’t know how many people were signing up. It’s time for the Obama Administration to give us daily updates on how many people are signing up and how much the government is paying in subsidies, so we can really judge how well Obama’s signature achievement is progressing.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  59. DRJ – I wish you could sit in on a press briefing and ask questions.

    JD (5c1832)

  60. I can’t think of a scenario where this makes sense even to people as stupid as I think Obama and Sebelius are.

    I was debating a person of the left yesterday and — yea, yea, I’ve mentioned this before, but I think the nature of this facet of human behavior doesn’t sink into the average person, even various conservatives — there really is a true-believer, religious-mystical-devout quality to the biases of such people. They’re so beholden to the assumption that do-gooderism and compassion (however they define that) are so crucial and so interwoven to their very essence — and opinions — that nothing else is important. So facts and reality be damned.

    In a way, it’s like debating religion with a devout, Bible-is-totally-literal Christian who doesn’t believe the Earth is older than 7,000 years, or something along those lines. Or a Muslim who says ruthlessness in the name of Islam doesn’t jibe, sidestepping the fact that Mohammed was a vengeful, bloodthirsty, pro-assassination leader.

    Mark (58ea35)

  61. I hadn’t dug, that far into the piece, DRJ, I noted the obvious omissions and misdirections,

    narciso (3fec35)

  62. You probably won’t read this in the NYT.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/191667-healthcaregov-team-we-have-met-the-goal

    Administration officials acknowledge that there are more errors to fix with HealthCare.gov. The severity of these issues is unknown, and it is possible that some have yet to be discovered.

    These idiots don’t even know the severity the errors they know about and have yet to fix?!?!

    I have never seen stupidity of this magnitude coupled with such an astounding level of mendacity in my life. They are willing to lie right to your face. And they’re lying about something that a good percentage of the country knows about. At least more people outside the Obama administration know more than the clowns inside.

    Anyway it’s a fun read. Especially the comments. The hydrophobic Obamabots are out in force employing their usual debating skillz. Which as we all know consist of drooling on their keyboards as they throw their incoherent tantrums.

    Steve57 (4f25e8)

  63. It’s Dec. 1. Obamacare works. Shut up. Thank you.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  64. The Kids are All right.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jO-7BFe2Y4M

    Patricia (be0117)

  65. Just got up and logged on….
    Is HealthCare.gov working?

    askeptic (2bb434)

  66. DRJ, how can the WH tell how many subsidies are being issued when the website’s backroom can’t even accept payments yet, because they still have to have someone “build that”?
    (Liz Warren will get right on that)

    askeptic (2bb434)

  67. You gotta love the Obama administration. That article from The Hill has an Obamacare.gov Progress report attached in SCRIBD. The report brags that, “The team has knocked over 400 bug fixes and software items off the punch list.”

    The most transparent administration in history, indeed. A month ago Zients testified there were dozens of items on their punch list. (Sounds like a to-do list for your kid’s birthday party.)

    Zients said the HealthCare.gov assessment identified a “punch list,” counting dozens of issues with performance and functionality. One of the top priorities, he said, is to address troubled application data some insurers have received from the federal exchange, though he acknowledged more trouble could be ahead.

    “We’ll add to that list as we find new issues,” Zients said.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/jeff-zients-healthcaregov-working-by-end-of-november-98850.html#ixzz2mFME7kQ5

    Now we learn they’ve fixed 400 items. And we still don’t know how many hundreds, or thousands, or millions more bugs/software items that they’re aware of so far left to fix.

    So that latest progress report is pure propaganda. But transparently so. Assume for the sake of argument that testimony was truthful (quit laughing) and by dozens he didn’t mean over a hundred. So they knew of about 8 dozen software issues. And then they found at least 4 new problems for every problem they fixed or logged. At least 4, because we have no way of knowing how big their punch list is now; we just know they’re high-fiving about knocking 400 of them off their list.

    At that rate they’ll never fix the website. They’re finding more problems at a faster rate then you can fix them. The number needs to be trending down, not up. And then there’s this:

    Still unresolved is the flawed application data being transmitted to insurance companies in the form of so-called 834 forms. Unless these errors are fully fixed, new policyholders could encounter serious problems when they seek to use their coverage.

    Guess what? That was Zients’ top priority when he talked to the WaPo on the same day he testified before Congress.

    At the top of those punch list, Zients says, are issues with 834 files, the data that insurance plans get when someone uses HealthCare.gov to enroll in their health insurance plan. Many report that those forms are coming out garbled, with inaccurate information about who has signed up.

    “It is at the top of the punch list and will get punched out as fast as it can be done,” Zients says. He did not specify any of the other items on the list.

    (Of course he didn’t specify; this is “transparent” Obama administration.)

    So CMS didn’t fix Zients’ number one priority. But it’s fixed, Obama tells us. Now all they have to do is still fix that, all the other bugs with the user interface that they’re still discovering, build a payment system, build the interfaces between healthcare.gov and all the other federal legacy systems it’s supposed to interface with, and add a veneer of security because security wasn’t built into the system from the start. Oh, yeah, and go back and fix Zients’ number one priority item.

    Have I missed anything?

    Steve57 (4f25e8)

  68. Link to the WaPo article.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/25/heres-the-obama-administrations-plan-to-fix-healthcare-gov/

    The earlier mention of the 834 form problems was from today’s Hill article.

    Steve57 (4f25e8)

  69. It’s not the size of the known unknowns that is daunting, it is the probability of the size of the unknown unknowns!

    The PPACA should be, along with FrankenDodd, the impetus for a Congressional restriction on the size of any bill to something under 100-pages, or in an ideal world, not to exceed the word-count of the U.S. Constitution without Amendments.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  70. Excellant point, Steve57. Their most important bug obviously wasn’t … probably because of yet more political interference.

    SPQR (768505)

  71. This is akin to proceeding with the surge, without firing Rumsfeld, keeping Fallon at Centcom,

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/12/01/read-the-white-house-obamacare-progress-report/?tid=pm_business_pop

    narciso (3fec35)

  72. I forgot to note above, that there is still no payment system in place. So, by any rational metric, the system is a failure for 100% of users.

    —JD

    The work-around for that is that they will make lump sum payments to the insurance companies of approximately what they owe – and they can do that – what are actuaries for, after all? – and some time later, when and if they get the calculators working, they’ll reconcile the amounts.

    Sammy Finkelman (c720af)

  73. Sammy, and you see no possibility of abuse there?

    ** facepalm **

    SPQR (9c5bd8)

  74. 25. Comment by redc1c4 (abd49e) — 11/30/2013 @ 1:33 pm

    if you’re *really* poor, with an income below poverty level, you apparently don’t qualify for subsidies, which seems silly.

    You are supposed to get Medicaid then. There’s a potential booby-trap with Medicaid with people whose income is not reliably that low, but so far the news media – and consevatives – have not picked up on that.

    Also, in some states which have not expanded eligibiliy for Medicaid (enrollment is going up anyway in states like Texas and Florida because of the “woodwork” effect) some people may be ineligible for Medicaid and also not eligible for subsidies.

    Because your income is equal to X% of the poverty level, you will not be eligible for tax credits in the exchanges. Tax credits are only available to people who make between 100% and 400% of the poverty level.

    I thought it was 133%.

    Keep in mind that these results are estimates and you can still apply for exchange coverage if you are interested in receiving a tax credit.

    Gamble or lie about your expected 2014 income.

    Sammy Finkelman (c720af)

  75. Fox News had somebody one defending Obamacare.her arguments were, to some degree, tu quo quos.

    About people losing their insuiance, she said someone else there had proposed a plan that would also do that – he denied that. He’s still interested in that plan.

    About people having limited networks she said that conservatives believed that people who can pay more ought to get more (different words to that effect) and isn’t that what a free market is?

    Then later she went on to continue to call the regular Obamacare plans higher quality – she’d earlier conceded that because of limited provider networks they were lower quality.

    Sammy Finkelman (c720af)

  76. 73. Comment by SPQR (9c5bd8) — 12/1/2013 @ 11:39 am

    Sammy, and you see no possibility of abuse there?

    ** facepalm **

    Assuming it gets straightened out or reconciled within a year or so, the only abuse possible there with making approximate payments will be interest free loans, or being owed money by an insurance company and not being able to get it back because the insurance company went bankrupt.

    Of course they could make calculations that are wildly off, but they probably won’t.

    Sammy Finkelman (c720af)

  77. Consumers paying bills by guesstimate and hoping to be covered???? Companies affording coverage by guesstimate and hoping to be paid after the fact???O.M.G.

    elissa (33282f)

  78. Another problem with healthcare.gov: Some people can’t get their identities verified. (the precautions against impersonation are so tight some people just can’t manage it.)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/us/id-verification-lagging-on-health-care-website.html?_r=0

    In the New York Times last Tuesday.

    That’s the sort of thing you have customer service for – but Obamacare telephone customer service – at 1-800-F1 (rest of the expletive deleted) – is worse than anything ever encountered at PayPal, eBay or amazon.com.

    Inthis case they are told by healthcare.gov to call Experian, which is doing the ID verification. Experian says it needs a reference number from healthcare.gov, which keeps telling people identity verification is “in process.”

    Jo Ann Fields of Felton, Del., appears to be lost in the same labyrinth. “I mailed a copy of my voter registration card on Oct. 24, and I have not heard anything back,” Ms. Fields said. “I uploaded the voter registration card, and they said I would get an email response. I have had no response. I called the health insurance marketplace — 800-318-2596 — and they say to give it more time. My application is stuck in ID verification.”

    Uploading copies of documents like driver’s licenses, Social Security cards and voter registration cards doesn’t help, or even mailing them to the office of the federal insurance marketplace in London, Ky. It’s all backlogged.

    Sammy Finkelman (c720af)

  79. 77. Comment by elissa (33282f) — 12/1/2013 @ 12:05 pm

    Consumers paying bills by guesstimate and hoping to be covered????

    That’s built into Obamacare, because the actual amount owed may depend on what’s in a 2014 tax return filed in the spring of 2015.

    People are being advised to exercise caution in making estimates so they don’t get hit with abill in 2015 – although that’s a mistake really, because any reduced co-payments in a silver plan are not recovered, and too low premiums are rcovered only by taking it from a federal tax refund, if any.

    Now people who turn out not to have really been qualified for Medicaid – don’t even think about that! I know someone who got as $15,000 demand or bill (New York State was steering people into Medicaid already more than a year ago) This will now go nationawide.

    Companies affording coverage by guesstimate and hoping to be paid after the fact???O.M.G.

    The estimate is there anyway. But the problem was was that there was no payment system to pay the insurance company the government’s share of the premiums.

    Rather than have the computer program attempt to calculate an exact total, they will make an estimate after inspecting a random sample, and send the insurance companies that amount of money. They can’t get that part of the website ready by the time they have to sed money.

    Now if people don’t pay their portion, or stop paying, there could be an overpayment. There is, I think, a 30 day grace period for which if the insured person doesn’t pay the government does, and a further 60 day grace period during which maybe nobody will pay but they can’t cancel for non-payment.

    Well, I suppose they can cancel retroactively, but if someone has a big medical bill that will be paid for by the insurance company they might then pay the back premium and, if not, no.

    Sammy Finkelman (c720af)

  80. It is really pretty amazing when an enterprise can piss off people who are getting their product for free, but Obamacrater will manage it.

    Ooops. typo.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  81. That’s built into Obamacare, because the actual amount owed may depend on what’s in a 2014 tax return filed in the spring of 2015.

    No, Sammy. You still have to pay your premium. The exact premium. Or you won’t be covered. You may not get the subsidy you thought you would based upon how close your guesstimated income was to your actual income, but that’s neither here nor there as far as the insurance company is concerned.

    Steve57 (4f25e8)

  82. C’mon Steve, this is the Age of Obama – Details, shmeetails.
    After all, the insurance industry trusts this guy to do right by them after all the support that they threw behind getting BarryCare passed.
    Of course, if he pays on a Medicaid schedule, they may not survive bankruptcy.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  83. Assuming it gets straightened out or reconciled within a year or so, the only abuse possible there with making approximate payments will be interest free loans, or being owed money by an insurance company and not being able to get it back because the insurance company went bankrupt.

    Really Sammy? And you don’t see insurance companies that toe the line in PR getting paid before others?

    SPQR (768505)

  84. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 12/1/2013 @ 5:49 pm

    And you don’t see insurance companies that toe the line in PR getting paid before others

    They may treat some insurance companies differently than others, but not by deliberately not paying them.

    I think all the insurance companies will break away from the PR at about the same time.

    Sammy Finkelman (bcd7c8)

  85. “That’s built into Obamacare, because the actual amount owed may depend on what’s in a 2014 tax return filed in the spring of 2015.”

    Comment by Steve57 (4f25e8) — 12/1/2013 @ 4:13 pm

    No, Sammy. You still have to pay your premium. The exact premium. Or you won’t be covered. You may not get the subsidy you thought you would based upon how close your guesstimated income was to your actual income, but that’s neither here nor there as far as the insurance company is concerned.

    So the extra money in 2015 is owed to the government, not the insurance company? That sounds right.

    But if you one month, you get covered for four until the policy is terminated.

    I think health insurance sticker shocke is already affecting consumer spending.

    More people shopped – about 1% more – which might be less than population growth would do – but they each spent less. between Thanksgiving and Sunday.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/02/business/economy/gloomy-numbers-for-holiday-shoppings-big-weekend.html?hpw&rref=business&_r=0

    More than 141 million people shopped online or in stores between Thursday and Sunday, according to a survey released Sunday afternoon by the retail federation, an increase of about 1 percent over last year. And the average amount each consumer spent, or planned to spend by the end of Sunday, went down, dropping to $407.02 from $423.55. [= ~96% of 2012 SF] Total spending for the weekend this year was expected to be $57.4 billion, a decrease of nearly 3 percent from last year’s $59.1 billion.

    Sammy Finkelman (bcd7c8)


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