How many lies about the status of the Obamacare website have we been told?

We return now to the continuing disaster that is the healthcare.gov website. Despite assurances going all the way back to the rollout of the website that the backend - the "guts" - of the website would be operational by first, January, then, mid March, and now, September, the facts are, as Hit and Run points out, a little different.

The back end of Obamacare’s federal exchange—the guts of the system designed to communicate with and manage payments to health insurers—still isn’t finished, despite explicit promises from the administration that it would be finished months ago. And it may not be ready this year. 

A document posted by the administration yesterday lists requirements for the next tech contractor to work on the federal insurance portal, according to Politico, which reports that whichever company wins the next contract, which would begin when the administration’s current contract with Accenture, the company that replaced the original contractor CGI earlier this year, runs out in 2015, "is also slated to help construct major back-end components of the site that insurers need to get paid accurately."

It’s the latest indication that the administration is having a serious problem completing work on the federal exchange’s crucial back-end payment systems.

Accenture was supposed to have the back end up and running by mid March. This deadline followed an assurance by HHS Secretary Sebelius that the work would be completed by mid January. As it turns out, they aren't even close to finishing the work as this is being written:

The back-end financial systems were not ready in March, or in April. They are still not ready now. Insurers are relying on quasi-manual workarounds instead. And in April, the administration, which refused give an estimated timeline for completion of the back end financial management systems when questioned by Politico, indicated in a document that the workarounds would last at least until September of this year.

Insurer payments are not the only issue. Incomplete work on back-end systems also appears to be affecting the federal exchange's ability to verify income and citizenship for people who apply for coverage. A June report from the HHS Inspector General found more than 2.9 million inconsistencies in federal exchange applications as of the end of February, a figure that grew to 4 million as of the end of May. Most of those inconsistencies have not been resolved. Serco, the contractor charged with processing those inconsistencies, has blamed delays in the "eligibility support desktop (ESD) functionality" that was supposed to help deal with eligibility verification problems. Former HHS Sec. Sebelius certified in January the the exchange's eligibility verification systems were working.

The administration has yet to speak the truth about the construction of the all-important backend of the Obamacare website. They have lied to insurance companies, they've lied to Congress, and they've lied to the American people.

The consequences of those lies may be billions in over subsidized insurance policies for consumers, billions more in overpayments to insurance companies, and the prospect that undeserving illegal aliens, fraudsters, and criminals are all gaming the system.

The president must be thankful that all these foreign crisis have pushed this mess out of the news cycle. Otherwise, Obamacare would once again become a big political issue that speaks to the administration's veracity and competence.

We return now to the continuing disaster that is the healthcare.gov website. Despite assurances going all the way back to the rollout of the website that the backend - the "guts" - of the website would be operational by first, January, then, mid March, and now, September, the facts are, as Hit and Run points out, a little different.

The back end of Obamacare’s federal exchange—the guts of the system designed to communicate with and manage payments to health insurers—still isn’t finished, despite explicit promises from the administration that it would be finished months ago. And it may not be ready this year. 

A document posted by the administration yesterday lists requirements for the next tech contractor to work on the federal insurance portal, according to Politico, which reports that whichever company wins the next contract, which would begin when the administration’s current contract with Accenture, the company that replaced the original contractor CGI earlier this year, runs out in 2015, "is also slated to help construct major back-end components of the site that insurers need to get paid accurately."

It’s the latest indication that the administration is having a serious problem completing work on the federal exchange’s crucial back-end payment systems.

Accenture was supposed to have the back end up and running by mid March. This deadline followed an assurance by HHS Secretary Sebelius that the work would be completed by mid January. As it turns out, they aren't even close to finishing the work as this is being written:

The back-end financial systems were not ready in March, or in April. They are still not ready now. Insurers are relying on quasi-manual workarounds instead. And in April, the administration, which refused give an estimated timeline for completion of the back end financial management systems when questioned by Politico, indicated in a document that the workarounds would last at least until September of this year.

Insurer payments are not the only issue. Incomplete work on back-end systems also appears to be affecting the federal exchange's ability to verify income and citizenship for people who apply for coverage. A June report from the HHS Inspector General found more than 2.9 million inconsistencies in federal exchange applications as of the end of February, a figure that grew to 4 million as of the end of May. Most of those inconsistencies have not been resolved. Serco, the contractor charged with processing those inconsistencies, has blamed delays in the "eligibility support desktop (ESD) functionality" that was supposed to help deal with eligibility verification problems. Former HHS Sec. Sebelius certified in January the the exchange's eligibility verification systems were working.

The administration has yet to speak the truth about the construction of the all-important backend of the Obamacare website. They have lied to insurance companies, they've lied to Congress, and they've lied to the American people.

The consequences of those lies may be billions in over subsidized insurance policies for consumers, billions more in overpayments to insurance companies, and the prospect that undeserving illegal aliens, fraudsters, and criminals are all gaming the system.

The president must be thankful that all these foreign crisis have pushed this mess out of the news cycle. Otherwise, Obamacare would once again become a big political issue that speaks to the administration's veracity and competence.