The Obama Administration needs to get honest about healthcare.gov instead of making perky comments then immediately backtracking. Crucial back-end functions still aren’t done. Without a functioning back-end, touting front-end improvements is meaningless.
The back-end is dysfunctional at best. The Administration keeps trying to spin this like it’s just a pesky PR image problem. Yet, by their own admission, healthcare.gov still can’t properly process enrollments. Thus, it remains broken. Feeble lies and deliberate evasions by federal officials simply make a bad situation worse.
Federal officials said they had largely succeeded in repairing parts of the site that had most snarled users in the two months since its troubled launch, but acknowledged they only had begun to make headway on the biggest underlying problems: the system’s ability to verify users’ identities and accurately transmit enrollment data to insurers.
Mock James O’Keefe at your peril. His videos just forced a sleazy Enroll America director in Texas to resign. Me, I appluad what he’s doing. Tarango appears to be just another compromised politico.
Chris Tarango, Texas Communications Director for Enroll America, a Sebelius-linked group dedicated to signing people up for Obamacare, resigned following a Project Veritas investigation. The video exposé showed Tarango conspiring to release private data to help a political action committee.
Obama said healthcare.gov would have 80% functionality by today, yet 30-40% of crucial back-end work remains to be done. We need a full investigation as to why a third-tier consulting company in Canada got this no-bid contract, especially since they’d already botched a similar health care website in Canada.
Technicians are still working on the back-end functions of the site, or the portion that makes sure insurers get their checks when people who will receive subsidies enroll. As of last week, 30% to 40% of that work remained to be done.
This is pathetic. Despite perky assessments from Team Obama, if the back-end is nowhere near completion then neither is the website.
A bill collector told me a person’s social security number is the magic key that unlocks all the doors. Cracking healthcare.gov will give hackers access to millions of social security numbers, and lots more juicy accompanying data too. Our dimbulb Congress is clueless about this.
Security professionals [testifying to Congress] made a reasonable argument that the healthcare site was in fact fundamentally flawed where security was concerned and that it seemed that the government had in fact not considered the security import of the nature of the data they were to traffic in. SQL flaws are abundant on the site and the interconnections to backend databases including places like the IRS will make it the single point of failure for what I am sure will be the worlds largest compromise of PII [Personally Identifiable Information] data on the planet short of the machinations of the NSA.
Nextgov, who reports on federal tech news, presents a solid if depressing case why Obamacare is in dire trouble. Public opinion has turned sharply against it and even some Congressional Democrats are calling for major change and maybe even dismantling it.
If healthcare.gov is fully operational by Nov 30, then maybe things get turned around. However, apparently not even Obama thinks that will happen. Let’s be clear. The website was launched way too soon. Those working on the project knew it wasn’t ready and said the White House ignored them. Thus, fault for the disastrous rollout is almost completely the fault of an arrogant, delusional White House. They forced the launch for purely political reasons and it’s blown up in their faces.
There’s a growing likelihood that over time, enough Democrats may join Republicans to decide to start over and scrap the whole complex health care enterprise. That became clear when even Obama, to stop the political bleeding, offered an administrative fix that threatened the viability of the entire individual exchange market to forestall a House Democratic mutiny the next day. It was as clear sign as any that the president is pessimistic about the odds that the federal exchange website will be ready.
If Obamacare goes down, it will kill chances of healthcare reform for years to come.
This is damning stuff. O’Keefe has multiple Obamacare navigators on tape telling applicants to lie about their income. (And yes, he has released the raw, unedited video.)
However, he’s after bigger game, the links between the Enroll America, a nonprofit funding the agencies where navigators work and Battleground Texas, a Democratic Party PAC. They should have an arms length relationship with strict rules on data sharing.
O’Keefe captured an official for Enroll America, for which Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted to fundraising, being introduced at an event as “the official group for the DNC.” O’Keefe’s work also revealed that Enroll America might be working with the political action committee Battleground Texas, possibly sharing mined data between the two groups.
In an almost comical segment, a navigator admits he’s not been able to get a single person logged into healthcare.gov long enough to complete an application.
Obamacare health insurance plans have higher deductibles and co-pays than employer-paid plans. Out-of-pocket costs for most insured people will rise. Low income people will have most their healthcare insurance subsidized, or even free. They may even have out-of-pocket expenses reduced. However they still have to pay some of the deductibles and co-pays. Everyone else gets charged full-rate.
So, while many may pay less for insurance, they may well be spending more for healthcare.
Consider a family of four making $59,000 a year. They will have to pay $400 a month toward their insurance premium, after receiving a subsidy, said industry consultant Robert Laszewski.
“But then, they will get a plan with a $2,000 deductible and hefty co-pays,” he wrote in an email. “The Democrats that say everything is going to be OK really need to go on one of the open exchanges and take a hard look at what consumers will see.”
A family of four could easily reach the deductible. So, that’s $400 a month for insurance plus $166 a month for the deductible, making $566 a month or 11.5% of pretax income, a not insubstantial amount. If anyone gets seriously ill and requires hospitalization, the co-pays will clobber them.
By March of next year, I expect there will be considerable numbers of seriously pissed off people after they get their first few medical bills.
James O’Keefe is back with explosive video of Obamacare navigators pointblank telling applicants to lie. And, tossing gasoline on the fire, some of the grant money for nonprofits to hire navigators is going to a group run by the founder of ACORN.
This video is the first of a series. Future topics include possibly stinky and dubious ties between Enroll America, a 501 c3, and Battleground Texas, a Democratic party PAC. Watch the video. O’Keefe, who I admire, has the lies on tape. But wait Bob, you’re a leftie, how can you admire O’Keefe? Because I oppose fraud and corruption wherever it happens, that’s why.
It should be noted that James O’Keefe cites Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals as a major influence (Alinksy’s rules have nothing to do with ideology, and are about tactics and strategy.)
“Ironically, the book that primarily inspired O’Keefe’s work is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, the Bible of the radical left,” says hard right Frontpagemag.
WaPo, Forbes, and CBS explain in gruesome detail how the White House, for political reasons, rushed the launch of healthcare.gov long before it was ready. Yes, Republicans were trying to torpedo it. White House paranoia made things worse, to the point where they would not let developers write down what the specs were, for fear it would fall into enemy hands. Healthcare.gov essentially is the biggest startup in history yet every step of the way, politics intruded upon the process of developing the website.
1) Testing of healthcare.gov started a mere 5 days before launch.
2) Some hoped the testing would fail because they knew it wasn’t ready
3) Testing was done with a ‘simplified demonstration application”. They weren’t even testing the actual website.
Sebelius says Healthcare.gov needed six years of development, instead of two.
Three years ago, a trusted Obama health care adviser warned the White House it was losing control of Obamacare. A memo obtained by CBS News said strong leadership was missing and the law’s successful implementation was in jeopardy. The warnings were specific and dire — and ignored.
DiFi and Rogers are acting as a conduit, putting up a trial balloon, This is probably coming from Obama. However, healthcare.gov is so broken it needs to be taken offline just a few weeks after launch then it never should have been put online.
“It’s pretty clear, I think, to those of us who have been watching this rollout, that the technological base was not sufficient, and that the website didn’t function,” [adding] she thought the administration should take the site down “until it was right.”
Rogers likened the administration’s attempts to fix the website while it is running to “trying to change a tire on a car going 70 miles an hour down the expressway.”
“They need to take the site down, stabilize it, meaning they can’t continue to add code every week and then they need to stress test the system,” he said.