CBS reveals: Contrary to chief’s testimony, CMS knew ObamaCare website had major problems before launch

posted at 11:21 am on October 31, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via John Hayward, a scoop from Sharyl Attkisson. Alternate headline: “Blogger can’t believe we’re actually debating whether the government knew that it had a nonfunctioning website on its hands.”

How did CMS know? Simple: The employees there tested the site themselves and ended up in the same circle of 404 hell that the rest of the country landed in on October 1. And so, yet again, we return to the great unanswered question of the past month. How much of this was epic incompetence by HHS and how much of it was bad faith? When Marilyn Tavenner claimed she didn’t expect a meltdown on day one, was that a shameless lie or proof that HHS is so dysfunctional that her deputies withheld the results of the testing from her? If the latter, how many people are getting fired for this?

I can think of one person.

An agitated President Obama has expressed frustration to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the faulty ObamaCare enrollment website.

A visibly annoyed Obama behind closed doors has made clear to Sebelius that it’s her responsibility to fix what has become an unwanted second-term blunder, according to senior administration officials.

White House officials say the strong words from Obama don’t mean Sebelius is necessarily in the doghouse but that she’s responsible for fixing the problem.

In the words of one senior administration official, “She’s in a tough spot. She’s on the hook.”

She’s got three weeks, realistically. If the “tech surge” team pulls a rabbit out of its hat and has the site functioning reasonably well in time for the expected post-Thanksgiving crush of enrollments, Obama will declare victory and that’ll be that. If it doesn’t — and I haven’t seen one credible outsider assessment this month suggesting that it will — then insurers will be screaming at him over adverse selection and Democrats will be screaming at him over a midterm apocalypse. The millions of people who’ve had their plans canceled will be screaming at him even louder than they are now because if they’re unable to sign up on the exchanges by December 15, they risk being without coverage of any kind on January 1. Someone will have to pay. There’s only one obvious candidate.

The latest “glitch,” by the way, isn’t so much a flaw in the website as it is a flaw in record-keeping by insurance companies that’s being made worse by the federal and state ObamaCare sites. Which doctors are included in the network for your new exchange-bought health coverage? It’s … not always clear:

Many new health exchanges don’t yet let shoppers see which doctors accept which insurance plans. Where exchanges do post the so-called provider lists, they often contain inaccurate or misleading information, some doctors say, including wrong specialties, addresses and language skills, and no indication whether providers are accepting new patients…

The new health exchanges are supposed to offer a transparent shopping experience, including clear information on participating doctors. But in addition to providing wrong information, the lists may give consumers a false impression of how big the networks are, some physicians say. Several exchanges warn shoppers to ask doctors directly if they accept the new plans.

So, on top of rate shock and the giant question mark of whether a seemingly successful online application has been received by the insurance company due to the website’s back-end problems, consumers may be misled into buying coverage whose network of providers is much less conveniently accessible than they thought. And that’s on top of the fact that many of the new, supposedly superior post-ObamaCare plans being offered by insurers aren’t being accepted by some well-known providers, including certain hospitals in New York, Atlanta, and L.A. Second look at single-payer?


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Schadenfreude on October 31, 2013 at 12:39 PM

From the image shown for this post on the main page:

It froze.
It couldn’t go forward.
It crashed.

“It couldn’t go FORWARD.”

Heh.

ITguy on October 31, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Before we get all giddy, the website is workng today, and it’s very fast.

faraway on October 31, 2013 at 11:46 AM

The site is just a portal to the absolute travesty the program is, and the slavery it brings upon the people of a once free land.

Schadenfreude on October 31, 2013 at 12:41 PM

A visibly annoyed Obama behind closed doors has made clear to Sebelius that it’s her responsibility to fix what has become an unwanted second-term blunder, according to senior administration officials.

White House officials say the strong words from Obama don’t mean Sebelius is necessarily in the doghouse but that she’s responsible for fixing the problem.

This from the man who always says “unacceptable” while accepting it anyway.

So he’s “visibly annoyed,” and tells her “behind closed doors” that “it’s her responsibility to fix” an “unwanted second-term blunder,” but those “strong words” don’t mean that she’s “in the doghouse.”

What do all those direct quotes have in common? A complete lack of anything resembling the truth.

Kabuki theater, all of it. The important thing to Obama is not to fix it, but to let it be known that he wants it fixed, so we believe it’s not his fault.

Obama will put up with absolutely any level of incompetence from his underlings as long as they make it clear the failures are their own fault, not the fault of the president.

And that’s why Sebelius claimed the president knew nothing about any problems.

There Goes the Neighborhood on October 31, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Before we get all giddy, the website is working today, and it’s very fast.

faraway on October 31, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Of course we don’t know if the data being presented on the front end or being relayed to the insurers is accurate, or even present for that matter.

JusDreamin on October 31, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Before we get all giddy, the website is working today, and it’s very fast.

faraway on October 31, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Can I get two large Pizzas with Wings??

I can’t? Then F*ck em

ToddPA on October 31, 2013 at 1:01 PM

“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”

Schadenfreude on October 31, 2013 at 1:03 PM

You don’t seem to understand that when someone can’t get health insurance and is one severe health problem away from losing everything- home, savings, retirement- that’s called living in fear, not living in freedom.

bayam on March 24, 2010 at 6:26 PM

This nonsense about people that “can’t get health insurance” is mostly a lie. What the liars mean is that they can’t get health insurance at the price that they like, so they want the government to help them pay for it.

slickwillie2001 on October 31, 2013 at 1:07 PM

So? The website debacle is only a fun distraction. The sticker shock and the back end issues like privacy are going to become more important over time.

Happy Nomad on October 31, 2013 at 12:33 PM

I have this (funny?) suspicion that fixing the website will only serve to accelerate the number of consumer complaints about ChoomCare…

Anti-Control on October 31, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Of course we don’t know if the data being presented on the front end or being relayed to the insurers is accurate, or even present for that matter.

JusDreamin on October 31, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Schadenfreude on October 31, 2013 at 1:21 PM

What the liars mean is that they can’t get health insurance at the price that they like, so they want the government to help them pay for it.

slickwillie2001 on October 31, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Unlimited, with no more life-time or any caps…

Work harder. The moochers love it.

Schadenfreude on October 31, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Top Tweet of the Morning from @laurenashburn – @NewsNinja2012 Gotcha! Kathleen Sebelius captured on hot mic telling her assistant “Don’t do this to me” http://bit.ly/1bEwl3h

Why did she say that?

Schadenfreude on October 31, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Before we get all giddy, the website is working today, and it’s very fast.

faraway on October 31, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Big whoop. O’Butthead would love to have the website “glitches” carry on indefinitely, because once the curtain rises on that, then the real
fun (sticker shock, loss of coverage) begins…..

This has been a distraction that even the WH can’t paper over anymore.

The only long term hope is that it sends Liberals & Progressives into the wilderness for the next 100 years or so.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on October 31, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Rand smiles.

Schadenfreude on October 31, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Plus, 44% of doctors say they won’t join obama’care’, plus 33% don’t know, yet, and the others are monkeys/sheeple.

Schadenfreude on October 31, 2013 at 1:46 PM

About this Healthcare.gov site. Just one question.

Why has the NSA NOT shut down the website as a matter of national security?
I’m no expert in this but it seems to me that if nothing else is working, why do we turn a political blind eye to the security problems and assume that there are none.

Here are a few things that I have seen.
1. If you put any encrypted password into the “USER NAME” slot on sign in, it will display the password in the open. That can’t be good.

2. If you do get to sign in then the web site opens a port to ALL Government computers at the same time. A web site debugging program like the one that comes with “FireFox” will openly display all connections, access and port informations for all these other government computers. This can not be any good.

Why is the Government only concerned with their images here and not once addressed the issues of security.

My suggestion to everyone would be to stay far away from this site for some time to come.

jpcpt03 on October 31, 2013 at 1:52 PM

jpcpt03 on October 31, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Excellent comment.

Schadenfreude on October 31, 2013 at 1:56 PM

It’s not just the website that has major problems…

Why Are Health Insurance Premiums Still Increasing After The PPACA?

…The sad truth is, even though the President promised ‘affordable health insurance for all Americans‘, many Americans will not receive health insurance at all. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s latest assessment, 30 million Americans will remain uninsured even after full implementation of the PPACA. Worse yet, 17 million more will simply be enrolled in a Government Welfare program called Medicaid. Many who do receive health insurance will receive a very large tax payer funded subsidy, which will continue to detach the consumer with the true cost of health insurance.

Fallon on October 31, 2013 at 2:26 PM

“Second look at single-payer?”

Wasn’t that always the plan? Hasn’t Obama said so more than once? People didn’t really believe he meant it then and now? Whose fault is that?

Yes, to get there he had to lie to the American people because….well, because the American people are too stupid to know what’s best for them and he and his ilk (our betters, doncha know?) do.

So the lie was in service to the greater good.

So what if the Democrats might (might) lose the Senate next year? They always get it and the House back eventually. And they will have achieved what they’ve been after since at least the 30’s, complete control over our health care and the power that comes with it.

Nothing the Republicans can do will change the fact that we have become slaves in our own country. Besides, once they do (maybe) win the Senate they can tell themselves and us that while they can’t actually get rid of ObamaCare they can help make it better. And isn’t that the real goal?

And of course it won’t really impact the Republicans, the Democrats and their staffs since they will never be subject to the laws they pass to control us.

As we speak Belize and Costa Rica are building up an already admirable health care foundation to provide “Medical tourism” for when Americans find out that the high cost, high end health care they unconsciously think is their right now is deemed by the government as soon as next year to be too expensive to pay for.

And the perversion then will be they will fight to maintain ObamaCare to protect their new found wealth.

I promise you that high end specialty health care hospitals (Think children cancer treatments) that will gain government approval to remain in business will be a thing of the past.

They will have to become private hospitals outside the ObamaCare umbrella to survive and provide the same level of care they now provide under many current insurance plans. Only then it will be cash from your pockets and no reimbursements from the government.

And for you Canadians who now just drive across the border to get health care your own single payor won’t authorize, sorry, you’ll have to buy a plane ticket to the Caribbean now.

I’m not being a pessimist, I’m being realistic. The only chance we had of stopping this obscenity ended when John Roberts demonstrated that he is neither a Conservative nor Constitutionalist.

We can’t stop it and we can’t change it other than superficialities.

My previous (yes, “previous”) doctor who I really loved quit the practice he belong to last year and has now re-opened a new practice with some other like-minded physicians. They will not accept insurance of any kind. It’s a cash only practice and they are apparently doing quite well. And yes, I mean “cash.”

He told me that he and his partners are considering taking credits cards but so far have decided not to since they are fearful the government will somehow view that as participating in an “insurance plan” and try to dictate how they run their practice. He will take debit cards since he views that as a cash transaction.

A sign, I think, of things to come. Boutique medical practices one or two steps above the current “doc in a box” medical practices that see mainly one-time transitory patients now.

Save your cash, it will be the only way to ensure that you will get the best care when you need it.

E9RET on October 31, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Before we get all giddy, the website is workng today, and it’s very fast.

faraway on October 31, 2013 at 11:46 AM

I just tried to create an account for one “fred Flintstone” – still crashes after putting in the security question info. Picked Montana as a state

LarryinLA on October 31, 2013 at 3:33 PM

If the “tech surge” team pulls a rabbit out of its hat and has the site functioning reasonably well in time for the expected post-Thanksgiving crush of enrollments, Obama will declare victory and that’ll be that.

I don’t think he wants it fixed that soon

Second look at single-payer?

That’s the idea

entagor on October 31, 2013 at 6:03 PM

There is a game we use to play. You channel surf rapidly and some times you could get some real funny stuff with one channel being put together with another. Today we get the same effect with auto spell correct. Another variation would be to look at the headlines and short narratives of news articles.
Here is one just posted on google news. May have more truth to it then humor. What is the real story here, why are these TOP companies are so worried about. Why are doing this for “FREE”. My take is that this Government health site and program is oh so sad and open to such major security breaches that if it is not closed up, secured and work, really fast that we are looking at a spider effect that will, NOT COULD” but will destroy this country.

“It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.”

― Doe Zantamata

Google Inc. (GOOG), Red Hat Inc. (RHT), Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and other technology companies are contributing dozens of computer engineers and programmers to help the Obama administration fix the U.S.

jpcpt03 on October 31, 2013 at 7:51 PM

…problems?….what problems?

KOOLAID2 on October 31, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Does anyone really think there’s going to be a big post-Thanksgiving rush to sign up in the exchanges? There’s other stuff going on that time of year that takes up a lot of people’s time and money.

hawksruleva on November 1, 2013 at 1:57 PM

The site is dead in the water. One thing you learn in marketing is how much of a fickle finger of fate the buying public can be.

You can run a three star restaurant for 20 years, but serve one bad sea bass and you are out of business.

On October 1st the government already served us the bad sea bass. Even if they fix the web site the public is not likely to go back for another dose of dysentery.

All ready you are starting to see increase ads for health insurance out side of Healthcare.gov. Given an opportunity the private sector will take advantage of it.

jpcpt03 on November 1, 2013 at 3:31 PM

And half the country wants the government in charge of health care.

tommer74 on October 31, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Less than half — 53/42.

cheeflo on November 5, 2013 at 4:41 PM

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