Healthcare.gov defects leave more than 100,000 poor without coverage

posted at 2:01 pm on January 5, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

It’s bad enough that the central web portal of the ObamaCare system couldn’t handle the private-sector insurer protocol for transmitting enrollment information. The 834 system has been in use for decades, but somehow the geniuses at HHS failed to program the output from Healthcare.gov to match it. It’s quite another when the federal government’s website can’t talk to systems in state governments — for public-assistance programs that have been around a lot longer than the 834s.

More than 100,000 poor people have no coverage now thanks to that “glitch,” reports the Washington Post:

More than 100,000 Americans who applied for insurance through HealthCare.gov and were told they are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) remain unenrolled because of lingering software defects in the federal online marketplace, according to federal and state health officials.

To try to provide coverage to these people before they seek medical care, the Obama administration has launched a barrage of phone calls in recent days in 21 states, advising those who applied that the quickest route into the programs is to start over at their state’s Medicaid agency.

State officials, meanwhile, are racing to cope in various ways — some enrolling people based on imperfect data files they received from Washington, others mailing letters urging eligible people to contact the state to sign up.

The chaos is likely to prove temporary because of the state and federal efforts that have just begun to help people enroll and because the coverage can be made retroactive to the first of the year.

Still, the fact that some consumers learned on HealthCare.gov that they could join the two programs but are not yet in them is creating a problem for states and confusion for the consumers. The situation also offers a glimpse of the technical problems that persist with the computer system underpinning the new federal online insurance marketplace more than a month after the Obama administration announced it had largely been fixed.

Yes, it does provide a glimpse of the technical problems. On a larger level, though, it provides a glaring example of the incompetence of HHS. One might be able to understand how HHS could get confused on 834s with private-sector insurers, although HHS has spent years coordinating with the same exact insurers as part of the Medicare Advantage program. Medicaid, on the other hand, is a federally-coordinated program that has integrated with state systems for decades.

Now we have a system that promised to cover more of the poor at the expense of millions who lost their insurance — and even the poor are now kicked out into the cold until HHS can figure out what went wrong. HHS says they can make the insurance retroactive, but that won’t help people trying to get health care now. And I’d bet the problem is larger than just the “over 100,000″ the Post cites.  In Pennsylvania alone, the state Medicaid agency announced on New Year’s Eve that “Thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians who applied through the federal government’s website and were determined eligible or potentially eligible for Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage may find out they were not enrolled as anticipated as of Jan. 1.”

This problem has been known since the rollout began, and even the fixes they have put in place have high failure rates. A transfer of files to New Mexico on Friday had a 19% failure rate. If HHS can’t effectively coordinate Medicaid enrollments in a system they had 42 months to build, even with their own level of expertise in dealing with Medicaid and CHIP integration with state systems, how likely will they be to demonstrate any competence at all in running the health-insurance sector, which will require both state- and federal-level coordination?

Not likely. Not likely at all.

 


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Not likely. Not likely at all.

Epic fail…

OmahaConservative on January 5, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Over 100K (my guess is way over) poor people unable to fly on their own wings? Nobody is madder than Obama.

Millions of people are without health insurance, many for the first time in their lives. I wonder how that effected the lazy shiftless bastard’s record 160th game of golf. Given that he even knows about these problems. Well, he left the brats and Mooch in Hawaii (more expense to the taxpayers) and is back to shuck and jive for Obamacare starting tomorrow.

Happy Nomad on January 5, 2014 at 2:10 PM

This is what happens when the people in charge have no experience outside of a classroom.

NotCoach on January 5, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Who did the majority of the poor vote for?

The guy who promised free stuff?

portlandon on January 5, 2014 at 2:11 PM

This is what happens when the people in charge have no experience outside of a classroom.

NotCoach on January 5, 2014 at 2:11 PM

There is no evidence that Obama has ever been in a classroom outside that madrassa in Indonesia.

Happy Nomad on January 5, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Oh dear, just wait until obama hears about this. He is going to be so very angry.

HumpBot Salvation on January 5, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Joe Biden’s vulgar words and the Obamacare signing ceremony have proven to be prophetic.

Windsweeping on January 5, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Democrats have managed to screw up their wet dream. Too bad so many people get to lie in the result.

SteveInRTP on January 5, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Oh dear, just wait until obama hears about this. He is going to be so very angry.

HumpBot Salvation on January 5, 2014 at 2:14 PM

We need to use dear leader’s words about this. He isn’t angry, nobody is madder.

Happy Nomad on January 5, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Time for another Obamacare propaganda tour.

Decoski on January 5, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Details details… it’s the awesome rhetoric that really matters.

MT on January 5, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Way more…there will be many millions more without care than before obama’care’. The ‘millions’ they lie about are all bogus.

Plus, every time a leftist opens mouth that number of millions rises…now they claim the 50 million had no care.

The had no ins. but all had care.

Schadenfreude on January 5, 2014 at 2:25 PM

This will be all over the morning shows and news networks, tomorrow.
.
. . . . . . . What ?

listens2glenn on January 5, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Time for another Obamacare propaganda tour.

Decoski on January 5, 2014 at 2:24 PM

To where exactly? Oregon was one of the bright shining examples of Obamacare done right.

Happy Nomad on January 5, 2014 at 2:27 PM

…I’m sure Mooch is staying behind in Hawaii…just to work on that very problem!…after she figures out why all the children are throwing away their school food…she’s worried “about the chill…dreeeeen!”

KOOLAID2 on January 5, 2014 at 2:30 PM

There is no evidence that Obama has ever been in a classroom outside that madrassa in Indonesia.

Happy Nomad on January 5, 2014 at 2:13 PM

He was so special he didn’t need to attend class.You do know he is sort of like God.

celtic warrior on January 5, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Oh dear, just wait until obama hears about this. He is going to be so very angry.

HumpBot Salvation on January 5, 2014 at 2:14 PM

…quit being funny!…he has to “read about it”…like the rest of us!…think the NYSlimes will run the story?

KOOLAID2 on January 5, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Obama lied, people died.

29Victor on January 5, 2014 at 2:35 PM

…I’m sure Mooch is staying behind in Hawaii…just to work on that very problem!…after she figures out why all the children are throwing away their school food…she’s worried “about the chill…dreeeeen!”

KOOLAID2 on January 5, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Oh Please! The worthless hulking Yeti saw the temps back East and put her foot down. She wasn’t going anywhere. Nevermind that means added expense for the taxpayer in security, transportation, etc. The whore and her brats will not be denied! No matter how outrageous the demand. The cost of that “girls trip” to Spain is still classified.

I suspect we’ll see more of these “separate vacations” in the upcoming months and years. Mooch doesn’t like being around losers.

Happy Nomad on January 5, 2014 at 2:35 PM

He was so special he didn’t need to attend class.You do know he is sort of like God.

celtic warrior on January 5, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Yeah, I wonder how many of those parasites who voted for him understood that he is a god that demands human sacrifices and they are among those that were to be sacrified.

Happy Nomad on January 5, 2014 at 2:38 PM

It’s not fixable. But, will the Dems use it to somehow drive single payor? I’ve talked w/ some rather talented programmers and they are NOT convinced this is just “poor programming.” Ed, you comments on 834 seem to indicate “my” programmers may be on to something. IF 834 worked in the past and doesn’t now, why?

As for Sebelius, she messed up Kansas systems big time. Brownback put them in order. How few people in this administration have had any positions where they’ve been held accountable? Zero????

You can’t “fix” something of this size. You drop it. People revert back to where they were a year ago, insurance companies start offering cross-state line catastrophic coverage and we go from there.

Rs better get their act together soon. No all-encompassing solution, just one that works.

(And do that for the border, too. NOTHING else until the border is secure, period.)

MN J on January 5, 2014 at 2:38 PM

He was so special he didn’t need to attend class.You do know he is sort of like God.

celtic warrior on January 5, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Hulk says, “Puny god.”

NotCoach on January 5, 2014 at 2:40 PM

If 6 million losing their insurance is a small percentage according to King Barky the Incompetent, then 100,000 is nothin. Some folks still are not going to be insured but those few thousand that are will be touted and shouted by the Obama regime and their propagandists in the media.

jukin3 on January 5, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Healthcare.gov defects leave more than 100,000 poor without coverage

“President Obama today said that number ‘is unacceptable’, and no one is madder than him about it. ‘If as few as 6 republicans in the House had voted in favor of the ACA, this disaster would not have occurred”

BobMbx on January 5, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Who did the majority of the poor vote for?

The guy who promised free stuff?

portlandon on January 5, 2014 at 2:11 PM

But also: the person the mass media told them was good. This is why the left dominates at the federal level: the more mass media input, the better for them.

Race is another factor, and increasingly important even if people don’t want to hear about it. A killer issue for Obama was: “cares about people like me”. In an increasingly racialized America, race has a lot to do with who is “people like me”.

Romney won whites by 59%. He won both sexes and all age groups. Any time you have an image of a white face as one of the dummies that voted for Obama and got burned, statistically that’s wrong.

David Blue on January 5, 2014 at 2:47 PM

“some people live, and some die…” – Sabelius

Electrongod on January 5, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Being as they brought in an outsider company (on a no-bid contract no less), there is no history of prior coordination for them to draw from.

Another case or rewarding their friends to the detriment of the general public!

Old Dog on January 5, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Another case or rewarding their friends to the detriment of the general public!

Old Dog on January 5, 2014 at 2:58 PM

They don’t believe in a “general public”. They are about looting the enemy for the benefit of their gang.

“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying we’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us, if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s gonna be harder…”

David Blue on January 5, 2014 at 3:17 PM

And I’d bet the problem is larger than just the “over 100,000″ the Post cites.

Ed: A pretty safe bet. There are a lot of numbers greater than 100,000.

This could mean anything from 100,001 to several to tens of millions. It’s a meaningless non-specific phrase used purposefully in my opinion.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 5, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Look, Rome was not dismantled in a day, and neither will the American healthcare system.

The people behind Obamacare deserve our understanding and, above all, our patience as they go about the very difficult and time-intensive tasks of turning the finest medical services in the world to ash.

This is important work. It must be done right. The Obamacare people know this and take seriously their responsibility to destroy.

So let’s show a little consideration here, folks.

FlameWarrior on January 5, 2014 at 3:33 PM

More than 100,000 poor people have no coverage now thanks to that “glitch,” reports the Washington Post:
=======================================

Wait a tic, I’m confused, I thought it was Team GOP who
were waging a War against the Poor,

and the Lib/Dem/ProgressiveTards were the Poor’s only Hope!
(sarc)

canopfor on January 5, 2014 at 3:40 PM

One might be able to understand how HHS could get confused on 834s with private-sector insurers

C’mon, Ed.

How might one understand that HHS could get confused with 834′s ? I guess if they were TOTALLY INCOMPETENT. But cut the “benefit of the doubt” crap / wussiness.

williampeck1958 on January 5, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Heads UP:

Plane crash in Aspen, Colo., January 2014
*****************************************

Aspen, CO, US
50s
====

Sheriff: At least 1 dead in Aspen, Colo., airport crash; another has serious injuries – @TheAspenTimes
read more on aspentimes.com
============================

55m
====
Plane crashes at Aspen Airport in Colorado – @NicoSEnea
see original on twitter.com
============================

https://twitter.com/NicoSEnea/status/419913031917658112/photo/1/large

canopfor on January 5, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Health Insurance Exchanges
Compare ACA Exchange Health Plans

Compare premiums, subsidies and benefits

Select Your State
*****************

Exchange Enrollment Progress

State Exchange Type Uninsured Selected A Plan
========================================================

http://www.valuepenguin.com/ppaca/exchanges

canopfor on January 5, 2014 at 3:49 PM

What better proof that the government is unable to handle anything like this, and also illustrates why SS and the IRS are total failures.

ultracon on January 5, 2014 at 4:54 PM

This is still the biggest unbelievable screwup that the democratic world has ever seen. We just now have started looking at the real individual cost in this program. Now we need to look at the real screwup and damage it is doing to real people.

Here we go with my case.

I am 69 years old, on medicare, and retired from the Army after 27 years and on Tricare. I do not qualify nor are eligible for any HEALTHCARE.Gov programs. I am self employed owner of a small company with one full time employee. My 30 year old son who lives at home.

To get a small business policy in order to comply with the law, I must give up my Tricare policy which I earned with 27 years of service, shot 3 times. Destroyed both shoulders, developed type 2 diabetics from agent orange and lost nearly 40% of my hearing from excessive gun fire. Not a good trade off. Alternative is to give up Medicare. To do this I and my wife must give up our SSA benefits for life. That is about $1900/ month for every single month of the remaining of our lives. That’s about $364,000 total. Not a good trade off.

How do I comply with the law? You can’t.

In October my son applied for his own policy. On 28 October we revived notice that all is completed and he would be on Medicaid. He was to do nothing and would be contacted by the State agency. To day I read this posting on Hotair and find out that none of this is true. Go back to the healthcare web site and just one big circle run around. One thing holds true is that it is now 5 January 2014 and he has no insurance.

Now for a GENERAL point in all of this. With all the numbers floating around about the number of applications. What is the only true numbers here. It is how many have signed up, paid premiums and have actual insurance cards to prove their status to a Doctor. I guess it may me in the low Thousands Nation wide.

jpcpt03 on January 5, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Ed, you’re overstating the stability of the 834 system. The current standard came into effect at the beginning of 2012, during which time the majority of existing systems went through either a major upgrade or replacement. The companion guides that accompany transactions between any two entities of any size are complicated and ambiguous at best, requiring many rounds of questions and testing to get them working seamlessly.

The real issue, at least from my experience working on this, was the Federal government waited until after the 2012 presidential election to start actually releasing any information on how the legislation was going to really work. All questions, decisions and choices occurred AFTER that (i.e. in the early part of 2013), and those decisions and answers were delayed due to the pending Supreme Court ruling. Insurance companies and governments (Federal and those States building their own exchanges) alike couldn’t start designing those systems until this past spring.

peregrin on January 5, 2014 at 5:19 PM

how likely will they be to demonstrate any competence at all in runining the health-insurance sector

Quite competent, like it was the plan all along.

NOMOBO on January 5, 2014 at 5:33 PM

…I’m sure Mooch is staying behind in Hawaii…just to work on that very problem!…after she figures out why all the children are throwing away their school food…she’s worried “about the chill…dreeeeen!”

KOOLAID2 on January 5, 2014 at 2:30 PM

I grew up in Kailua in the mid 1960s. The public school food was for the most part horrible. I just checked my old school’s website and the 2014 lunch menu is almost identical to the one from 50 years ago.

One day a month they gave us a true “Hawaiian” lunch-Kalua Pork with Cabbage, steamed rice, local tomatoes and pineapples, and Portuguese Sweet Rolls. That lunch is still on the menu, but the rest of the entrees are crap.

Del Dolemonte on January 5, 2014 at 5:40 PM

It is no surprise. The company, of which a good friend of Michelle Obama works for and has an interest in, that wrote the code, wrote it first for Canada. They had the same type of continued problems until after ten years Canada had enough and fired them. It would appear they dusted the program off, changed some code and sent it to us. Perhaps that is why the fixers complained of code that was ten years out of date. As a Canadian company they had no experience with out decades old systems. No surprise then that they were unaware of how things worked down here. Progressives as we know, never do the home work or check the facts.

Can it be fixed? The sad answer is no for many reasons, but one big one is the issue of security. Security must be written in as the code is written, and checked line by line. That was never done, not in today’s net environment, and it is not possible to fix it with some more code added to it. Those weak points will still be there and will be exploited by hackers. It has to be re written from scratch and we all know that, unlike a corporation that would do that, our government, as it is, will just keep trying to fix it.

It is sort of like tying balloons on a crashing plane and hoping it will stay in the air.

Franklyn on January 5, 2014 at 5:57 PM

One of the first Obamacare patients.Coming to a clinic near you.Oh,read the comments.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWRRG7gsuAc

docflash on January 5, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Healthcare.gov defects leave more than 100,000 poor without coverage

So?

The Dems aren’t really interested in “covering” anyone to begin with.

Conservatives think they should get off of their lazy arses and get jobs if they want health insurance, rather than putting hard-working taxpayers on the hook.

The real issue is how our country is being raped by powerful interests using phony Liberalism, well-meaning but easily manipulated Christians, and constant allegations of racism, homophobia, mysoginism and ignorance in order to guilt everyone into shutting up and going along with whatever they want to do.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 5, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Good Lawd Almighty… Here come the speechifyin’ sessions and carnival-like-side-shows!

/I’m SUPER excited. Squee.

Key West Reader on January 5, 2014 at 6:21 PM

/I’m SUPER excited. Squee.

Key West Reader on January 5, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Key West Reader :Me Too,…haha:0

canopfor on January 5, 2014 at 6:25 PM

jpcpt03 on January 5, 2014 at 5:12 PM

I have a group policy with the Retired Teacher Education association of Texas. For those who don’t know, we set up our own retirement system based on the original Social Security. The politicians could not get into the cookie jar so we have no problems with being bankrupted or baby boomers. I pay the Medicare tax, but we do not pay into social security.

We must therefore be punished. We are not allowed to use any of the social security programs. For example I am disable, but I am not eligible for collect any social security benefits. I pay ss on non teaching income, but that is simply confiscated since I cannot receive any benefit paying into it. The only way to get it, like jpcpt, is to give up my teacher pension, and my wife too since there can be no TRS retirement in the house hold to mix with it.

So the question beg if next year when the groups are gutted, will I even be eligible to buy one of their policies or even medical? History says probably not.

Franklyn on January 5, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Think there might be some type of collateral damage to the current system as well. I have bcbs insurance of of Maryland thru my employer and yesterday the pharmacist couldn’t fill my prescription for heart meds because the system couldn’t tell her anything about my plan. A plan I had for several years and the same pharmacist i had for over a year and half. If push came to shove I could have just paid cash but I told her I’ll check with HR on Monday to find out what’s going on. Her demeanor seemed resigned as if she was running into that glitch all day .

AH_C on January 5, 2014 at 8:48 PM

One day a month they gave us a true “Hawaiian” lunch-Kalua Pork with Cabbage, steamed rice, local tomatoes and pineapples, and Portuguese Sweet Rolls. That lunch is still on the menu, but the rest of the entrees are crap.
Del Dolemonte on January 5, 2014 at 5:40 PM

I lived in Kona in 1977. I was in fifth grade and an outcast haole from the mainland. I still remember the tiny Polynesian cafeteria ladies with their steel ladles and scoops of clingy short-grain rice, screaming “Beef lau-lau? Beef lau-lau? You like?” after they had already plopped it on the rice. Fun memory.

winoceros on January 5, 2014 at 9:27 PM

Our Government, you got love their thinking. Yes I have a VA disability and get a $130 disability check. Which they deduct each month from my $2000 retirement check. You can not have both. That would be double dipping. That’s anti government unless your a congressman. What a bunch of cheap BS.

Let’s go everyone let’s hear your stories. That’s the one last thing they can not take away from us. Maybe it may open up some eyes.

jpcpt03 on January 5, 2014 at 9:40 PM

AH_C — If I had to take a guess, I’d say your insurance company’s system is puking on the new benefits that were loaded for the new law — or it’s just the normal glitches that always happen right after January 1st.

peregrin on January 5, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Millions of responsible (some doing ok, some struggling) parents, trying to care for their families, find that they and their loved ones are exposed to financial ruin, not due to their lack of effort to do everything possible to prevent it. All they find is the Government boot on their neck and a NO political party willing to fight for them.
Own 75% percent of your home, have 100k in a 401k, have a minor heart attack at 50, find you are not covered because of this crap. Then have the Gov confiscate your savings and home to cover cost. Live under the thumb of said Gov. Oh happy day.

Whiterock on January 5, 2014 at 9:54 PM

peregrin on January 5, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Informative posts, peregrin. Any idea if hospitals and doctors can be paid by these systems (assuming coverage is eventually resolved)?

virgo on January 7, 2014 at 1:20 AM