Congressional staffers get extension due to DC exchange failures

posted at 1:51 pm on December 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s only for a month, but that’s a month longer than anyone working outside of Capitol Hill will get.  Staffers who enrolled in the Washington DC health exchange — or attempted to enroll — will have their current insurance extended until January 31st as the local exchange attempts to work through all of the bugs and errors generated in what is the smallest independent exchange in the country, Audrey Hudson reports for the Colorado Observer:

Members of Congress and their staff will be allowed to keep their health insurance past the end of the year deadline because of persistent problems plaguing the DC Health Link, The Colorado Observer has learned.

A memo issued to House staffers Thursday night said that the Obama administration has been made aware of the “significant problems preventing members and staff in Washington, D.C. and in district offices from enrolling in a healthcare plan.”

The memo from Chief Administrative Officer of the House Dan Strodel said that while they are awaiting a decision to keep the enrollment time open past Dec. 9, health insurance coverage would be extended through Jan. 31.

There are a couple of important points to note about the DC exchange.  First, this is not Healthcare.gov, but a separate exchange called DC Health Link.  It’s one of a handful of separate entities that supposedly work better than the federal website.  In fact, that’s a particular sore spot for ObamaCare supporters, who claim that Republican governors “sabotaged” ObamaCare in part by refusing to create their own state-based exchanges. Oregon, though, still hasn’t enrolled a single person in its own state exchange, and Hawaii has only enrolled a few hundred. Ted Cruz speechwriter (and my friend) Amanda Carpenter spent the last week documenting on Twitter the absurd failures she experienced in attempting to enroll in DC Health Link.

Why absurd? First, like the federal government and the states that opened exchanged, DC had 42 months to ready a web portal. But DC belongs in a class by itself.  In late September, the Washington Post reported that DC Health Link was going to work great, but that was hardly a major accomplishment, as I noted at the time:

Amusingly, however, the Post then spends the next nine paragraphs talking about what a success the District of Columbia exchange will be.  It’s true that the Post serves that community with local news, but ObamaCare isn’t a local news story, nor was its lead local.  Besides, if DC couldn’t launch the nation’s smallest ObamaCare exchange successfully (with an overall population of 632,000 in a city where over 90% of residents already have health insurance), that would be the story.

And now, that is the story. The federal exchange struggles to allow 50,000 concurrent connections for enrollees, but the DC Health Link should only need to allow 70,000 or so (including Congressional staffers who don’t live in DC) total to successfully enroll.  It can’t even do that much, as Amanda reported as late as yesterday:

Capitol Hill staffers will get an exemption for a month — and based on reporting from Amanda, they really could use it to get past the incompetent rollout of DC Health Link.  The rest of the people in that exchange and in ObamaCare around the country won’t get that option, thanks to the sledgehammer mandates ObamaCare enforced on insurers.

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

I thought they said it was fixed and now we’re pivoting to the booming economy again.

DanMan on December 6, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Shaking the head
What an epic fail

cmsinaz on December 6, 2013 at 1:59 PM

National clusterfark.

You ain’t seen nothin’, yet.

2014 will be epic, when people being to die, all due to obama and those who voted for obama’care’. The videos will abound, on TV and elsewhere.

There will be more uninsured than ever in the history of the USA.

It might be all on purpose.

The thugs are all in front of you: obama, Pelosi, Reid, Landrieu, Pryor and the entire gang. Pitchfork them all, politically.

Schadenfreude on December 6, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Goebbels and Hitler wet their graves…with semen, again.

Schadenfreude on December 6, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Pitchfork them all, politically.

Schadenfreude on December 6, 2013 at 1:59 PM

I’m more inclined toward the practices of Vlad Tepes for that bunch.

(Politically, of course.)

ElectricPhase on December 6, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Congressional staffers get extension due to DC exchange failures

Liberals have always loved crowing about the “haves” and “have-nots”.

Guess we see those terms have been redefined in the Age of Obama.

Bitter Clinger on December 6, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Guess who the WaPo declared had the “Worst Week in Washington” this week?

Obama?
Sebelius?
Congress?
The guy responsible for fixing the Healthcare.gov website?

Nope.

It turns out that Sunny Obama had the worst week this week for doing what a puppy does. Just sayin’ that the MSM has clearly decided to steer away from Obamacare stories. I’m guessing they were high-fiving one another when Mandela died.

Happy Nomad on December 6, 2013 at 2:04 PM

No surprise here.

Ruling Class – Them

Peasants – Us

kcewa on December 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

All animals are equal. but some animals are more equal than others

Flange on December 6, 2013 at 2:08 PM

I hate these scumbags. All of them.

VegasRick on December 6, 2013 at 2:11 PM

“It’s the right thing to do.”

– King zer0

MisterElephant on December 6, 2013 at 2:15 PM

31 more days before they get to wash their faces in turd juice, bet they can’t wait.

hillsoftx on December 6, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Extensions are not for little people, Silly.

Drained Brain on December 6, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Some animals are MORE EQUAL than others.

Has King Barack registered on the exchange yet?

GarandFan on December 6, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Why isn’t obama and his clan, the entire congress/senate, Harry, you too, and all the staffers, on obama’care’?

If it’s that good, you need to lead by example, you swine, one and all.

Schadenfreude on December 6, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Members of Congress and their staff will be allowed to keep their health insurance past the end of the year deadline

Show of hands..who thinks that any member of congress is going to be denied healthcare by their doctor…for any reason or at any time?

“I’m sorry, Mr. Schumer, but your insurance card has expired. Do you have a current one?”

BobMbx on December 6, 2013 at 2:33 PM

You guys didn’t get the memo? Obamacare is so October-November. We’re on to different stuff now: minimum wage, income inequality, and the death of Barack Mandela.

TarheelBen on December 6, 2013 at 2:33 PM

WWMD?
 
(What would Mandela do?)

rogerb on December 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

I don’t understand why opponents of this monstrosity don’t make the following point on TV:

This gigantic piece of slop is hurting people’s health NOW — the stress and anxiety of obtaining coverage, not know if you have coverage, waiting for hours and days on end; HOW IS THIS GOOD FOR ANYONE’S ELSE, SPECIFICALLY INCLUDING BLOOD PRESSURE.

matthew8787 on December 6, 2013 at 2:37 PM

HEALTH, NOT ELSE

matthew8787 on December 6, 2013 at 2:37 PM

@amandacarpenter Called 2 weeks ago to confirm enrollment & they said I was. Yesterday I called b/c wasn’t showing up & they said I wasn’t.

If anyone on this email distribution list isn’t receiving these messages, please email me….

smart powah!/

ted c on December 6, 2013 at 2:37 PM

The first time this post went up, and I clicked on it, I got an “Error 404″ message.

Ironic….

notropis on December 6, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Results of attempts to design complex systems utilizing the Hopenchange method

BobMbx on December 6, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Some animals are MORE equal than others.

jukin3 on December 6, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Heh. Somebody reads WaPo and thinks they will get the facts.

Good one!

Adjoran on December 6, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Lawless.

ctmom on December 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Well, of course congressional staffers need an extension – if they get all wrapped around the axle trying to get their insurance lined up, they won’t be able to support their bosses, and their bosses will be much less efficient effective at inflicting new cr@p on us.

Marcola on December 6, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Failure after Failure, er, …Failure to Launch!!

canopfor on December 6, 2013 at 4:17 PM