New ObamaCare glitch: If you like your baby …
posted at 10:01 am on January 3, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
Add this to the list of items about which Nancy Pelosi warned we wouldn’t know until we passed ObamaCare. Opponents of ObamaCare warned that the federal government couldn’t possibly design a system that would account for the millions and billions of choices made and changes handled in the health-care sector, but most of us figured that they could at least design a system that handled the most basic change of all to families (via Instapundit):
There’s another quirk in the Obama administration’s new health insurance system: It lacks a way for consumers to quickly and easily update their coverage for the birth of a baby and other common life changes.
With regular private insurance, parents just notify the health plan. Insurers will still cover new babies, the administration says, but parents will also have to contact the government at some point later on.
Right now the HealthCare.gov website can’t handle such updates.
It’s a reminder that the new coverage for many uninsured Americans comes with a third party in the mix: the feds. And the system’s wiring for some vital federal functions isn’t yet fully connected.
That’s not the only family change that Healthcare.gov can’t handle properly. It can’t deal with marriages, or divorces, or deaths in the family, or income changes, or moving to new houses, according to Yahoo’s Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. In fact, it looks like the new system just assumes that everything will remain static from the enrollment period until … eternity.
Insurers warned HHS that they needed to have this functionality from the start. Bob Laszewski, who anticipated most of the problems in the Healthcare.gov rollout, calls this what it is:
“It’s just another example of ‘We’ll fix that later,'” said Bob Laszewski, an industry consultant who said he’s gotten complaints from several insurer clients. “This needed to be done well before January. It’s sort of a fly-by-night approach.”
It’s more like a freeze-by-night approach in effect. It raises significant questions about potentially significant gaps in the system for choices that are more nuanced than basic. After all, if they couldn’t get a system to handle new babies, what else can’t it handle? This is right out of F. A. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, which explains in great detail why central control over economies are doomed to failure.
By the way, Oregon has dumped its second high-ranking official over the ObamaCare failure in the state:
The man who led Oregon’s problem-plagued health insurance exchange has submitted his resignation. …
King came under fire when the online enrollment system failed to go live in October. The state’s online exchange still hasn’t launched and Oregon has had to rely exclusively on paper applications.
King is the second official connected to the exchange to resign. Carolyn Lawson, chief information officer for the Oregon Health Authority who oversaw most of the exchange’s development, resigned in mid-December.
Why hasn’t anyone been fired at HHS over this debacle?