Healthcare.gov's Technical Problems Are Taking Their Toll

Illustration for article titled Healthcare.gov's Technical Problems Are Taking Their Toll

First it was a bad script at the tech support hotline. Then it was general institutional failure stemming from the U.S. government's reliance on outside contractors. And now it's just the plain fact that when you're on a schedule and things go wrong you get behind.

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The deadline for having active health insurance coverage was supposed to be January 1st and March 31st at the latest. If you weren't covered by then you would have to pay $95 or one percent of your income, whichever is greater. But the Obama administration (and the Associated Press) realized that in practice this meant applying for coverage by mid-February, since it takes time to process an application. So the administration wants to revise the schedule for enforcing the penalties so people who apply last-minute, on or before March 31st, don't have to pay the fee.

Meanwhile the administration is saying that issues with healthcare.gov will be resolved "by the end of November," according to Jeffrey Zients, the former acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the person tasked with overseeing healthcare.gov's rehab process. He said that in that timeframe the site would work "for the vast majority of users." Zients is working with QSSI, one of the 55 contractors that created healthcare.gov, to get everything functioning. User issues have included problems making accounts and completing applications.

Though they have not been officially linked, it seems reasonable that problems with the website are another impetus to delay penalty enforcement so every citizen can get enrolled and avoid paying fees. If this isn't one of the motivations it is at least a convenient byproduct of the deadline modifications. More time to struggle with a frustrating site and sit on the phone with tech support. Woo. [USA Today, The Verge, Market Watch]

DISCUSSION

SGTalon
SGTalon

The government is not an IT company. The government is not an insurance company. The government has demonstrated since the beginning of time that they can't to ANYTHING right... EVER!

Please point to a single program, agency, or activity that the government has done that isn't a huge failure, outrageously over budget, corrupt, and the most inefficient way of doing it.

Why in the world people think the government can do this is beyond me. The government sucks at everything except spending our money... and the money we don't even have.

This program does absolutely nothing Obama promised.

  • You absolutely can't keep your plan that you like. Almost everyone that has insurance is having their plan cancelled or modified.
  • It doesn't save families $2500 or more per year, most people are 25%-200% higher premiums.
  • You can't keep your doctor. Almost every plan changes this.
  • The worst is the cost. It is now projected to be 4x the original estimate.

The worst part though is it doesn't address a single thing that is the real problem with Health Care. It doesn't address the cost of health care. It doesn't address the problems with insurance. It doesn't address anything! All it does is force everyone to buy health care whether they can afford it or not.. and at a higher price.

Thanks Obama.