Problems continue to multiply for ObamaCare’s Health Care Insurance Exchanges

By Dave Andrusko

Baby23It is no doubt true that the impact programs such as “Saturday Night Live” and Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” can have can be absurdly exaggerated. But since their program is decidedly from the “progressive” side, when (as has been the case over the last week) they’ve ridiculed the rollout of ObamaCare’s health insurance exchanges, it says something about how universally obvious the administration’s incompetence is.

We’ve written about what’s happened beginning October 1 regularly for three weeks. Here are a couple of updates. We’ll only discussed in passing many of the problems already examined.

Today we’ll briefly talk about two questions. First, the famous “what did they know and when did they know it”; and, second, was this debacle readily anticipated—and will it likely get worse?

The New York Times began a story with this introductory paragraph:

“WASHINGTON — Just days before HealthCare.gov went live with disastrous results, top White House officials were excitedly briefing lawmakers, reporters, Capitol Hill staff members and Washington pundits on their expectations for the government’s new health care Web site.

A couple of paragraphs further in the story by Michael D. Shear and Sheryl Gay Stolberg

“The technical problems that emerged have raised questions — still not entirely answered — about how much the president’s aides knew, or should have known, about the site’s troubles.”

The remainder of the story tap-dances around the ridiculously rosy predictions for a smooth functioning system–

“Led by David Simas, a senior communications adviser in the West Wing, and sometimes joined by Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff, and others, the fast-paced PowerPoint briefings showed images of a shiny new Web site that was elegantly designed, simple to use and ready for what officials hoped would eventually be a flood of customers on Oct. 1. One lawmaker recalled comparisons to Travelocity, the travel booking site.”

— and the reality that the system is ridden with problems with stem to stern. In congressional testimony last week, contractors discreetly suggested this was a distinct possibility, given “that ‘end to end’ testing of the Web site did not take place until two weeks before the site made its debut.”

The other important reminder that has emerged is that the website’s manifold “glitches” and failures were a part of what supposed to be the “easy” component! There are a number of “big hurdles,” according to Jim Geraghty, that ObamaCare will run into in the next five months—seven, to be exact.

To name just one (from Reuters)

“A data center critical for allowing uninsured Americans to buy health coverage under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law went down on Sunday, halting online enrollment for all 50 states in the latest problem to hit the program’s troubled rollout.

“The data center operated by Verizon’s Terremark experienced a connectivity issue that caused it to shut down, affecting the federal government’s already problem-plagued online marketplace Healthcare.gov and similar sites operated by 14 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“Administration and company officials could not say how long it would take to fix the connectivity problem.”

As I was about to post, I read a report from “CBS News This Morning.” Here are the core paragraphs which are ominous for Americans, to put it mildly:

“For many, their introduction to the Affordable Care Act has been negative: a broken website, and now cancellation notices from insurance companies followed by sticker shock over higher prices for the new plans. It’s directly at odds with repeated assurances from the president, who has said ‘if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you.’

“But people across the country are finding out they’re losing their existing insurance plans under Obamacare because requirements in the law, such as prenatal and prescription drug coverage, mean their old plans aren’t comprehensive enough.

“In California, Kaiser Permanente terminated policies for 160,000 people. In Florida, at least 300,000 people are losing coverage.

“That includes 56-year-old Dianne Barrette. Last month, she received a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield informing her as of January 2014, she would lose her current plan. Barrette pays $54 a month. The new plan she’s being offered would run $591 a month — 10 times more than what she currently pays.

“Barrette said, ‘What I have right now is what I am happy with and I just want to know why I can’t keep what I have. Why do I have to be forced into something else?’

“According to HealthCare.gov, Barrette is eligible for some subsidies, CBS News’ Jan Crawford pointed out on ‘CBS This Morning.’ But Barrette told CBS News she has no idea what those subsidies would be because she cannot log on to the website — an issue U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is sure to be asked about when she testifies on Capitol Hill Wednesday.”

Please join those who are following me on Twitter at twitter.com/daveha. Send your comments to daveandrusko@gmail.com.