Monday, December 9, 2013 Troubles Are Far From Over

James C. Capretta writes at e21:

The Obama White House has spent the past week trumpeting the supposedly fixed website, with the hope that the strong negative perceptions now held of Obamacare can be partially reversed in the coming months. Among other things, we are now told that 29,000 people “signed up” for coverage through on December 1 and 2. (Incidentally, this story emerged after administration officials had repeatedly refused to provide real-time enrollment counts in October and November.) The law’s defenders are using this information to make the case that all is now well and the program is back on track.

It is certainly true that is performing better than it did on October 1. As others have noted, that is not saying much. But, despite the relentless cheerleading by the administration and its allies, no one should assume that the Obamacare website story is behind us. The real test of is whether it is transmitting accurate data about those signing up for coverage to the insurance plans selected by the consumers. We have no idea if that is happening today, and plenty of reason to suspect it is not. 
For starters, the administration has never fulsomely described the problems that have been “fixed.” It is a simple matter to make a front-end enrollment system work if you are not worried about accuracy on the back end. One of the main reasons was so slow and cumbersome in early October was because of the many checks that had to be built into the system to verify payment accuracy. This is, after all, taxpayer resources we are talking about here. is supposed to accurately screen and calculate monthly “premium subsidies,” paid out of the federal treasury, for millions of potential insurance enrollees. What if the administration “fixed” by turning off some controls? Sure, it would speed up processing, but at what price? Given the debacle that was unfolding in October, would anyone be surprised if the administration opted to throw all worries about erroneous payments overboard so that more people could quickly sign up for coverage?
Read the rest here.

1 comment:

  1. Disgruntled Insurance LobbyistDecember 9, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    "We have no idea if that is happening today, and plenty of reason to suspect it is not."

    As of last week, transmission of accurate data to insurance companies was NOT happening.