Obamacare website still not finished
More than 18 months after the disastrous roll out of the Obamacare website healthcare.gov, the backend of the site still isn't finished. This, despite a warning last year that failure to fix the "Financial Management Platform" part of the website would threaten not only the Obamacare program, but the insurance industry itself.
The website remains unfinished. Politico reported last week that the back end of Healthcare.gov “still isn’t properly wired to the health insurance companies.” Problems persist with subsidy payments, and information verification, resulting in roughly 800,000 enrollees receiving inaccurate subsidy information.
“Even though consumers had a largely smooth enrollment experience this year, the fact that these gaps persist behind the scenes 18 months after HealthCare.gov launched shows that the system is still not working as intended,” Politico said. “Instead of a swift process, health plans use clunky workarounds and manual spreadsheets. It takes time and it costs money.”
Kevin Counihan, the chief executive officer of Healthcare.gov who previously ran the Connecticut health insurance marketplace, recently told insurance brokers that “CMS is spending a lot of time focusing on how to improve the federal exchange’s back-end functions and that the agency meets at least weekly with a group of insurance officials from large companies to discuss its two-year development plan,” Politco Pro reported.
“We’re taking this very, very seriously,” Counihan said. “It’s not going to be as fast as everybody wants, but we’re going to get there. We’re going to make good progress this year and even more progress next year.”
The House Energy and Commerce Committee said on that timeline, the back end of Healthcare.gov would not be completed by the time President Obama leaves the White House.
“The committee first uncovered that the backend of the health care exchange was not built in November 2013,” the committee said on Tuesday. “The following month, [the]then-Health and Human Services Secretary told the committee, ‘The financial management system, which is getting the insurance companies their money for accelerated tax credits and cost-sharing, is due to go into effect in mid-January.’ That was ‘mid-January’ of last year.” (Emphasis in original.)
“Now, two open enrollment periods and more than 16 months after the exchanges first went live, the HealthCare.gov CEO reveals the backend will still not be complete for two more years,” they said.
So the Obamacare lies continue and consumers are suffering the consequences of the incompetence of federal bureaucrats. This tax season, 3-4 million Obamacare insurance consumers will be forced to pay back an average of $541 to the IRS because the website cannot figure subsidies accurately. This is not only an annoyance, it calls into question the entire infrastructure built up by healthcare.com and how the program will work in the coming years - another two years of inaccurate information to consumers.
Opponents of Obamacare warned that most of these snafus would happen. They were ignored. We are paying the price for the lies and incompetence of the Obama administration while seeing premiums rise and confusion reign.