AP: The ObamaCare insurance exchanges? Not like Travelocity.

posted at 8:41 am on July 26, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

I know it’s rough, but try to contain your shock, everyone: The Obama administration is woefully behind on yet another aspect of the Patient “Protection” and “Affordable” Care Act that they so strenuously assured us would be an integral and simplifying part of the law. Crazy, right?

The Obama administration promised that they were going to single-handedly transform the health insurance market by creating online marketplaces, called “exchanges,” through which consumers would be able to very easily shop around for and compare different competitively priced insurance plans, as well as calculate the federal subsidies for which they might qualify — much like shopping for flights on Travelocity or Expedia, they said.

The administration had been hoping that most states would at least partially undertake the endeavor of creating said exchanges through their own auspices, but most unfortunately for them, that didn’t pan out, as most states declined to do so independently and the Obama administration is now stuck doing all or part of the exchanges in 35 states. Would-be consumers are supposed to be able to begin signing up for ObamaCare via these new and complex computer systems on October 1st, 2013, but the Associated Press reports that the administration has “yet to demonstrate the technology platform that will help consumers get financial help with their premiums and pick a plan”:

Struggling with a deadline crunch, some states are delaying online tools that could make it easier for consumers to find the right plan when the markets go live on Oct. 1.

Ahead of open enrollment for millions of uninsured Americans, the feds and the states are investing in massive call centers.

“The description that this was going to be like Travelocity was a very simplistic way of looking at it,” said Christine Ferguson, director of the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange. “I never bought into it.”

“The bottom line is that with tight timelines … states have had to scale back their initial ambitions for Day 1,” said Paul Hencoski, leader of KPMG’s government health practice, which is advising nearly 20 states. “A lot of the more sophisticated functionalities that might have been offered through the Web are being deferred to later phases.”

When the markets first open, Hencoski said, “there will be a significant amount of manual processing of things that will later be automated.” Translation: emails, phone calls, faxes.

It’s never been a secret that creating all of these online exchanges from scratch was going to be a bureaucratic feat of herculean proportions — back in March, one ObamaCare official noted that they were well past that wishful point of trying to engineer a world-class consumer-friendly experience and were instead just trying to “make sure it’s not a third-world experience” — but the administration is so far behind on getting these things fully operational that getting millions of people signed up on what will probably still be glitchy, untested, and work-in-progress systems is definitely going to turn into a very messy and manual endeavor. They really didn’t plan this well, did they?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Trainwreckocity.

hillsoftx on July 26, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Why isn’t the smartest man in the room rolling up his sleeves and getting the job done? Or is it above his pay grade?

NotCoach on July 26, 2013 at 8:46 AM

It will be simple: one choice, one price, based on what the IRS, after looking through your income tax returns, decides you should pay.

albill on July 26, 2013 at 8:46 AM

They really didn’t plan this well, did they?

Depends on the plan, really. If the multi-plan exchanges were the end game, then no, they didn’t plan well at all. If, however, the end game is one-size-fits-all government-run health “care”, then it is going according to plan.

Steve Eggleston on July 26, 2013 at 8:47 AM

If it’s not on Amazon…
It doesn’t exist.

Electrongod on July 26, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Maybe the garden gnome can help them.

tdarrington on July 26, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Obamacare would work just fine if not for Republican obstructionism and propaganda that makes racist people think this is a bad idea that’s going to cost them more money. /

I’m surprised this boondoggle isn’t being pushed with a ‘for Trayvon’ meme.

Liam on July 26, 2013 at 8:49 AM

obozo honestly thinks that the world works by command. If he says do it, it should be done. It doesn’t matter if it can or should be done. And then when it doesn’t work out, the affirmative action kid no longer can run to the Dean and cry racism. It’s all very confusing for him.

Flange on July 26, 2013 at 8:50 AM

back in March, one ObamaCare official noted that they were well past that wishful point of trying to engineer a world-class consumer-friendly experience and were instead just trying to “make sure it’s not a third-world experience” —

A third world experience to obtain third world healthcare goes hand in hand.

meci on July 26, 2013 at 8:51 AM

I don’t think anyone ever believed that the “exchanges” would work. I’m pretty stoked that the unions are all badmouthing Barrycare. If the unions don’t want it, it frees up more electeds to repeal it.

BettyRuth on July 26, 2013 at 8:51 AM

I’m surprised this boondoggle isn’t being pushed with a ‘for Trayvon’ meme.

Liam on July 26, 2013 at 8:49 AM

WHY on earth did you say that out loud??

BettyRuth on July 26, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Eventually, the government app will be quite simple – a single page which will compute your “TAX” owed. It will be filled out on the day an employed, non-minority American citizen gets sick so that he/she can see a doctor.

ROCnPhilly on July 26, 2013 at 8:52 AM

The gang in the comments here might want to check the Headlines. It seems the IRS employees’ union doesn’t want to be kicked off the exceptionally-generous federal employees’ health plan onto PlaceboCare.

Steve Eggleston on July 26, 2013 at 8:54 AM

I’m going to try my hand at this civil disobedience thing by not signing up. I will further send the IRS a note saying ‘suck it’ instead of a penalty check.

Those of you with incomes to garnish won’t be able to do this nearly as well.

James on July 26, 2013 at 8:54 AM

…JugEars the JOKER!

KOOLAID2 on July 26, 2013 at 8:54 AM

…but…but…they want all our passwords!

KOOLAID2 on July 26, 2013 at 8:55 AM

I’m surprised this boondoggle isn’t being pushed with a ‘for Trayvon’ meme.

Liam on July 26, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Yeah, I’m sure drug rehab for worthless street thugs is a part of Obamacare. Why not push that fact for the poster punk for this group?

Happy Nomad on July 26, 2013 at 9:05 AM

I’m going to try my hand at this civil disobedience thing by not signing up. I will further send the IRS a note saying ‘suck it’ instead of a penalty check.

Those of you with incomes to garnish won’t be able to do this nearly as well.

James on July 26, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Incomes cannot be garnished under ObamaCare. The law explicitly prohibits prosecutions, liens or levies. I wish more people around here were aware of this because those not currently insured are going to figure this out right quick. Just another reason this monstrous legislation is imploding.

NotCoach on July 26, 2013 at 9:06 AM

ObamaCare insurance exchanges?

Exchange your liberty, your money…for what?

That ain’t wealth Obama is trying to spread around.

coldwarrior on July 26, 2013 at 9:06 AM

The gang in the comments here might want to check the Headlines. It seems the IRS employees’ union doesn’t want to be kicked off the exceptionally-generous federal employees’ health plan onto PlaceboCare.

Steve Eggleston on July 26, 2013 at 8:54 AM

and to add, Obama’s plummeting ratings, the unmanageable boondoggle, 60% don’t like it, Dem’s peeling back for midterms–an opportune time to support Cruz/Lee and defund this piece of carp or shut down the Govt. movement!

hillsoftx on July 26, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Plug the hole, Daddy.

LtGenRob on July 26, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Yeah, I’m sure drug rehab for worthless street thugs is a part of Obamacare. Why not push that fact for the poster punk for this group?

Happy Nomad on July 26, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Rehab? The Salvation Army can that. I was thinking more about those who back government-funded needle exchange programs and methadone ‘clinics’.

Liam on July 26, 2013 at 9:09 AM

They’re also not like Priceline, and not even Shatner could save this train-wreck of a health care boondoggle.

jon1979 on July 26, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Not going to turn out well when the great uneducated masses learn that it will not be as easy as booking the lowest price flight

blammm on July 26, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Not going to turn out well when the great uneducated masses learn that it will not be as easy as booking the lowest price flight

blammm on July 26, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Or that the mandate is legally unenforceable.

NotCoach on July 26, 2013 at 9:11 AM

How many languages will these healthcare exchange sites be available in?

portlandon on July 26, 2013 at 9:12 AM

I was thinking more about those who back government-funded needle exchange programs and methadone ‘clinics’.

Liam on July 26, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Well that too.

True story- I once worked in a building that had been a Baltimore City methadone clinic. The thing about addicts is that they don’t always get change-of-address cards. Needless to say we kept our doors locked. But the “clients” who showed up looking to get a fix were definitely just like Trayvon Martin.

Happy Nomad on July 26, 2013 at 9:13 AM

All computer and Internet based.

One big terrorist EMP pulse, and guess what.

Bat Chain Puller on July 26, 2013 at 9:15 AM

blammm on July 26, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Or when all band-aids and all the over-the-counter meds and medical supplies now available at the local drug store will have to be prescribed by an approved Obamacare physician and paid for via Obamacare.

Total takeover…all of it…in the name of “fairness.”

Watch for it.

coldwarrior on July 26, 2013 at 9:16 AM

How many languages will these healthcare exchange sites be available in?

portlandon on July 26, 2013 at 9:12 AM

One- Medieval English as used on the Channel Islands. If you can’t understand the instructions the government will automatically assess your needs (in other words see how much you make) and bill you accordingly for whatever the hell plan they decide is right for you.

Happy Nomad on July 26, 2013 at 9:16 AM

We’ll see how public opinion progresses when 10 million young people, (over 26) find out their health care isn’t free, and they get their notices that they either fork out $4-6 thousand a year, or pay a penalty of around two grand. Meanwhile, this train-wreck is so bad that Big Business gets a pass for a year, (or more), while the individual mandate is in effect. Of course, this is “only” a Republican problem according to Politco.

Rovin on July 26, 2013 at 9:17 AM

portlandon on July 26, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Eventually just one.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
It will not be English.

Dat be old school.

coldwarrior on July 26, 2013 at 9:18 AM

“Huh. So that’s what’s in it.”
- Nancy Pelosi -

DamnCat on July 26, 2013 at 9:19 AM

I’m just going to become a junkie so someone else can do everything for me.

Akzed on July 26, 2013 at 9:19 AM

From the Irony Department:

IRS employee union: We don’t want Obamacare

What’s good for thee is not for me…..

Rovin on July 26, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Instead of passing Obamacare, if we had put Walmart in charge of selling health insurance plans using the kind of system Obama described, it would have been up and running years ago, and American families would be saving thousands on their health care costs today.

Bruce MacMahon on July 26, 2013 at 9:27 AM

You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads!

Deafdog on July 26, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Man, the more pieces of Obamacare take effect, the more the health industry descends into chaos and confusion. In the end, we might have to scrap the whole system and come up with a newer, simpler way to provide health care…

hawksruleva on July 26, 2013 at 9:34 AM

I’m glad I like my healthcare, so I can keep it.

Akzed on July 26, 2013 at 9:37 AM

They really didn’t plan this well, did they?

The Air Force called it the 7 P’s. Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pungently Putrid Performance (sanitized for prime time). This administration hasn’t done anything well. They manifest the truly Progressive that because they wish to be it will be.

chemman on July 26, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Man, the more pieces of Obamacare take effect, the more the health industry descends into chaos and confusion. In the end, we might have to scrap the whole system and come up with a newer, simpler way to provide health care…

hawksruleva on July 26, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Unfortunately, it’s what the Democrats wanted all along whether the current plan worked or not—-government run single payer.

Rovin on July 26, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Designed to fail since Day One. And just what have Barry and Company been doing for the last THREE years?

GarandFan on July 26, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Related economic topic: Ross Kamisky has a great takedown of Preezy Obysmal’s latest (and redundant) speech on juicing up the economy,,,for the middle class, doncha know.
http://spectator.org/archives/2013/07/25/economic-malpractice-and-polit

onlineanalyst on July 26, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Plan? They had no plan beyond blaming Republicans for obstructionism and any issues that come up. The game was to get the law passed, and John Roberts nailed the coffin shut.

HopeHeFails on July 26, 2013 at 10:41 AM

You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads!

Deafdog on July 26, 2013 at 9:27 AM

But we already have lawyers. Unless you are looking for fail-safe redundancy.

oldroy on July 26, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Plan? It was never a plan. It was a dream, and they though if they wished hard enough, it would happen, kind of like a nuclear-free world, unicorns, a rainbow of Skittles, and lucky charms in a pot of gold.
Suddenly, reality ensued. Thinking good thoughts, and wishing, weren’t enough to make it happen, and so we have “bumps in the road”, third-world healthcare delivery, and train wrecks.

tpitman on July 26, 2013 at 8:45 PM

They’ll be reduced to putting ads on Craigslist and then claiming victory.

virgo on July 26, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Cars for Clunkers worked this way, spend 24K on government workers to give someone a 4K discount on a car. They could not do the computers and office work they needed, they ended up hiring more people who knew how to do it. Federalizing the Student Loan business…They took the business away from sallie and others, they fired people…then the Dept. of ed failed miserably in the trial year, they could not keep track of the loans, no government worker knew how to do it…they have contracted the work back out to Sallie Mae. Fools.

Fleuries on July 27, 2013 at 12:27 AM