Video: MN ObamaCare exchange failing, panel recommends scrapping system

posted at 10:01 am on January 23, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Oregon and Maryland have attracted most of the attention for failures within state-based ObamaCare web portals, but Minnesota may challenge for the bronze medal at the very least. Despite repeated assurances from Governor Mark Dayton on down, the MNSure system is failing, its management structure is “non-existent” according to an independent panel, and the best option might be trashing the whole mess:

An independent consultant has issued a damning report of the state’s troubled online insurance marketplace.

MNsure’s management structure is “non-existent” according to Optum, a subsidiary of Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group, which recently performed a week-long analysis of the more than $100 million website.

MNsure executives have been making decisions in a “crisis mode,” the report states.

MNsure’s board members called for the end-to-end review after the website continued to experience major technological issues three months after it launched.

The report found the agency’s ambitious enrollment goals will suffer as a result.

“While MNsure will fall short of achieving its original enrollment goals and consumer satisfaction levels, continuous improvements can be made in both the short-term and long-term,” the report states.

Those problems, however, won’t be fixed quickly and the state should consider scrapping the system altogether and starting over, the report said.

The MNSure target was 70,000 enrolled in private plans by April 1, according to the metrics laid out by the state. Only 28,000 have done so at this time, even though nearly 50,000 have enrolled in public assistance programs through the MNSure portal, and they have less than two months left to make up the remaining 60% of the goal (April 1 enrollments have to be registered by mid-March). And the website won’t be fixed in time to allow for that kind of boost, KARE 11 reports:

A “large gap exists between required functionality and what has been delivered,” the report states. Technological testing was inadequate, and schedules took precedent over quality.

In particular, Optum faulted IBM Curam for more than 100 defects in its software – more than twice as many as any other vendor on the MNsure project.

In December, Gov. Mark Dayton blasted IBM, which responded that improvements were underway.

But it’s not just the Curam software that has contributed to the site’s technical problems.

There’s a “significant gap” in program management at MNsure, which has made software development, testing and readiness difficult.

People can call into MNSure to get assistance in sign-ups, but that’s also a problem. Wait times are averaging 50 minutes in the call center, which is another area in which management is non-existent.  The independent panel recommends hiring another 100 operators, but that will take time, plenty of training, and one hopes no small amount of background investigation before allowing access to that kind of private identity data. Speaking as someone who ran specialized call centers for 15 years in the context of highly-sensitive data, I can attest that there is no way to get that many operators up to speed in that short of a time frame, even if you could hire them all today.

As predicted, MNSure is crashing and burning as we speak. Insurers here expecting a windfall of healthy, young enrollees are going to rethink next year’s premium schedules — and Minnesotans will get the bill just as we go to the voting booth in the midterms.

Addendum: Even when I briefly ran a health-sector call center in the mid-90s, where wait times weren’t a big focus of customer service, a 50-minute average would probably have gotten me fired.


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If Plan “B” is the federal portal, then Dayton is delusional again. That doesn’t work either, as we know.

MTF on January 23, 2014 at 10:04 AM

ObamaCare = Titanic

The question is if the captain will go down with his ship…

Electrongod on January 23, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Great, now they can scrap those dumb a$$ed Paul Bunion commercials too.

Your tax dollars at work!!!!

FORWARD!!!

BigWyo on January 23, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Insurers here expecting a windfall of healthy, young enrollees are going to rethink next year’s premium schedules

Now they can expect a windfall of sweet government bailout money instead.

BigWyo on January 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM

$100 million. I’ll remember that joy when I get my taxes done this year. Maybe I can ride the deserted billion dollar electric choo-choo down to MOA to see my tax preparer, get attacked by diminutive Hmong gangers the moment I enter, and then have my cell phone stolen off the table while I enjoy a Caribou.

AND it’s currently -28F with a wind chill that can crack windows.

MINNESOTA! MINNESOTA!

Bishop on January 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Ed –
You mean the websites aren’t working perfectly on day one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen seventeen eighteen nineteen twenty twenty-one twenty-two twenty-three twenty-four twenty-five twenty-six twenty-seven twenty-eight twenty-nine thirty thirty-one thirty-two thirty-three thirty-four thirty-five thirty-six thirty-seven thirty-eight thirty-nine forty forty-one forty-two forty-three forty-four forty-five forty-six forty-seven forty-eight forty-nine fifty fifty-one fifty-two fifty-three fifty-four fifty-five fifty-six fifty-seven fifty-eight fifty-nine sixty sixty-one sixty-two sixty-three sixty-four sixty-five sixty-six sixty-seven sixty-eight sixty-nine seventy seventy-one seventy-two seventy-three seventy-four seventy-five seventy-six seventy-seven seventy-eight seventy-nine eighty eighty-one eighty-two eighty-three eighty-four eighty-five eighty-six eighty-seven eighty-eight eighty-nine ninety ninety-one ninety-two ninety-three ninety-four ninety-five ninety-six ninety-seven ninety-eight ninety-nine one hundred one hundred one one hundred two one hundred three one hundred four one hundred five one hundred six one hundred seven one hundred eight one hundred nine one hundred ten one hundred eleven one hundred twelve one hundred thirteen one hundred fourteen one hundred fifteen
verbaluce on October 1, 2013 at 10:18 AM

(H/T NotCoach)

My, how the time does fly. Without any progress.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 23, 2014 at 10:11 AM

That being said, at least I’m not in Wisconsin, a cesspool black pit and a place scientifically proven to be the source of the bird flu and gonorrhea.

Bishop on January 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Now they can expect a windfall of sweet government bailout money instead.

BigWyo on January 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM

I heard a well-off inlaw say half-jokingly in a certain situation “We can buy our way out of this.”

That’s Obama’s strategy, with our money of course.

Drained Brain on January 23, 2014 at 10:13 AM

MINNESOTA!

Bishop on January 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

That’s you and Ed’s buddy! Yep. Min-ne-sota!

Lanceman on January 23, 2014 at 10:18 AM

As predicted, MNSure is crashing and burning as we speak.

Save the big blue ox!

I can’t help but noting that, like MD and OR, the problems are clear but the fixes are not.

Happy Nomad on January 23, 2014 at 10:20 AM

“large gap exists between required functionality and what has been delivered,”

Or…
It’s broke and we can’t fix it…

Crack’s me up how much time is spent thinking of another way to say they have failed.

Someday, a person will come along and actually talk like normal person…kind of like Reagan.

Funny how the greatest communicator of our time isn’t copied.

BTW, that is Christie big appeal, that he talked directly.

right2bright on January 23, 2014 at 10:21 AM

That being said, at least I’m not in Wisconsin, a cesspool black pit and a place scientifically proven to be the source of the bird flu and gonorrhea.

Bishop on January 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Bishop, Wisconsin just posted about a billion dollars in excess revenue that half will be sent back to the state tax payers. Also, we told Obama to shove it when it came to setting up the exchanges. You can keep MinnesoDUH!! :-) (I live southeastern WI, so I took your comments personally!) Plus the Golphers beat Bucky yesterday and that doesn’t sit too well, either! :-)

Deano1952 on January 23, 2014 at 10:21 AM

April 1 enrollments have to be registered by mid-March

New Trailer

“No… you really have until July 1st” said Obama “Fooled you again.”

End New Trailer

Walter L. Newton on January 23, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Ah yes, bailouts right at election time…

right2bright on January 23, 2014 at 10:22 AM

It’s the fault of the cold weather, right?

BuckeyeSam on January 23, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Well they can always copy Oregon’s program…

right2bright on January 23, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Wonder How Senator Smalley is doing? He better have an opponent.

DanMan on January 23, 2014 at 10:23 AM

(I live southeastern WI, so I took your comments personally!)

Deano1952 on January 23, 2014 at 10:21 AM

You have indoor toilets there yet? Paved roads?

Bishop on January 23, 2014 at 10:25 AM

How in the world, with today’s technology, do we get this many failures? I’m starting to get a little paranoid skepticism going here.

Cindy Munford on January 23, 2014 at 10:26 AM

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

HumpBot Salvation on January 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Deano1952 on January 23, 2014 at 10:21 AM

It’s been a long time since we have had a good Minnesota/Wisconsin duke out on Hot Air. Don’t take it personally, get in there and stand up for your state.

Cindy Munford on January 23, 2014 at 10:28 AM

I miss Madison Conservative and wccawa.

Cindy Munford on January 23, 2014 at 10:30 AM

And our Senator was vilified for trying to warn us. Sen Cruz had a heroes’ welcome, but not Sen Mike Lee. They were some of the only ones who were willing to stand up and tell the truth.

They did not shut the gov down, 0bama shut it down and his request was to make it hurt to the citizens, thus the closure of the vet’s memorials, parks etc. Why didn’t 0 tell the IRS that they couldn’t have any more meetings away from work, could not make any videos etc., and I’m sure it goes on in many of the gov agencies where they don’t give a darn about tax money.

How about cancelling your vacations or some of the parties that must cost the tax payers a fortune.

Bambi on January 23, 2014 at 10:31 AM

There Goes The Neighborhood

Absolutely perfect.

Bishop

Maybe you could club a few of Hmongculus gangsterettes to death with a Somali. I understand you have plenty of those, as well.

M240H on January 23, 2014 at 10:32 AM

That being said, at least I’m not in Wisconsin, a cesspool black pit and a place scientifically proven to be the source of the bird flu and gonorrhea.

Bishop on January 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM

So, WI is the mother house of the “Occupy” movement?

Happy Nomad on January 23, 2014 at 10:32 AM

A “large gap exists between required functionality and what has been delivered,” the report states. Technological testing was inadequate, and schedules took precedent over quality.

TRANSLATION: This piece of junk isn’t close to working, the idiots who designed it just collected paychecks and left.

Adjoran on January 23, 2014 at 10:34 AM

And

Bishop

we only have the gonorrhea because of the regular visits from your sister. But she only charges 5 bucks, so, there’s that.

M240H on January 23, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Ed, with the Dems (unsuccessfully) opening up Pandora’s box all over the country and in MN too, what is the likelihood that the idiot Franken will be reelected? Does he have any opposition? I never hear MN being brought up as a potential pickup, but given that the Dems stole that election, GOP ought to be working hard to get the seat back.

COgirl on January 23, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Only Obama can save us now!… okay I just threw up in my mouth.
Alot.

onomo on January 23, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Addendum: Even when I briefly ran a health-sector call center in the mid-90s, where wait times weren’t a big focus of customer service, a 50-minute average would probably have gotten me fired.

I work in tech support for a school district. A 5-minute waittime gets the teachers and administrators freaking out. And our calls don’t take long to resolve or escalate. Can you imagine waiting 50 minutes and then having to sit on the phone even longer as someone enrolls you in a health care plan?

Doughboy on January 23, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Never has so much be spent by so many, for the benefit of so few.

GarandFan on January 23, 2014 at 10:51 AM

My, how the time does fly. Without any progress.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 23, 2014 at 10:11 AM

I love this. Laugh every time.

cptacek on January 23, 2014 at 10:56 AM

If Plan “B” is the federal portal, then Dayton is STILL delusional again. That doesn’t work either, as we know.

MTF on January 23, 2014 at 10:04 AM

FIFY.

climbnjump on January 23, 2014 at 10:56 AM

It’s the fault of the cold weather, right?

Yeah, those electrons don’t work right when it is below zero outside.

txdoc on January 23, 2014 at 10:59 AM

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 23, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Indeed.

Why aren’t any of the idiot trolls around here defending their failed commie healthcare takeover? crickets

MisterElephant on January 23, 2014 at 10:59 AM


Can you imagine waiting 50 minutes and then having to sit on the phone even longer as someone enrolls you in a health care plan?

Doughboy on January 23, 2014 at 10:43 AM

The only other one I can think of is Allegiant Air. Just spent hours on the phone with no resolution for a delayed – delayed – delayed – cancelled flight. No offer for meals or hotel (last flight out for 3 days).

HomeoftheBrave on January 23, 2014 at 11:01 AM

MN ObamaCare exchange failing, panel recommends scrapping system

It failed because of the outbreak of Polar Vortex systems which are caused by Global Warming.

and

Bishop

Once the export embargo on Spotted Cow beer is lifted and we can get it west of the St. Croix there will be no reason to ever go to Wisconsin anymore.

Bruno Strozek on January 23, 2014 at 11:09 AM


schedules took precedent over quality

The state got what they asked for. IBM delivered what was requested, considering the priorities given by the state.

This is the fault of state government minions and, as captain of those minions, Dayton.

Marcola on January 23, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Why should the state who elected a failed U.S. senator expect anything different? But, hey, we got a new stadium — yay! That’ll boost the economy (his).

RobertMN on January 23, 2014 at 11:35 AM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Chris of Rights on January 23, 2014 at 12:28 PM

I won’t know what to think about this until I read
a post from Dave Rywall.

ToddPA on January 23, 2014 at 12:47 PM

I won’t know what to think about this until I read
a post from Dave Rywall.

ToddPA on January 23, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Now that was a troll who was actually interesting. Maybe I should have been a psychologist (or criminologist) since unadulterated lunacy fascinates me.

MisterElephant on January 23, 2014 at 1:03 PM

The only blight on Wisconsin is Black River Falls and their speed traps.

MTF on January 23, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Once the export embargo on Spotted Cow beer is lifted and we can get it west of the St. Croix there will be no reason to ever go to Wisconsin anymore.

Bruno Strozek on January 23, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Deb Carey and her husband, owners of New Glarus Brewery, are HUGE Obamabots. They even attended the inauguration and inaugural ball.

Don’t drink that sh**.

M240H on January 23, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Funny,

The Red Star (Mpls Star Tribune) hasn’t picked up on this story yet. (Or if they did it’s buried deeper than Jimmy Hoffa)

What a shock. Way to go Gov. Prescription Meds Dayton and DFL! 100 Million for a pile of dung.

Minnfidel on January 23, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Deb Carey and her husband, owners of New Glarus Brewery, are HUGE Obamabots. They even attended the inauguration and inaugural ball.

Don’t drink that sh**.

M240H on January 23, 2014

Damn! I love that stuff and get some anytime I ross the border. Well there’s other brews I guess.

Minnfidel on January 23, 2014 at 1:59 PM

You have indoor toilets there yet? Paved roads?

Bishop on January 23, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Nah. We just go in buckets, then a truck comes to picks it up and dump it in Brainerd!!

Deano1952 on January 23, 2014 at 2:45 PM

It’s nice that you Sconnies are going in the right direction, but when you’re starting as low on the human civ scale as you were, even if Minnesota is sinking, it’s still a long way ’til the trendlines cross.

When you get around to naming the roads, put a dot on the timeline for us.

winoceros on January 23, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Any of these 50,000 could have signed up for Medical Assistance any time without this extra bounce-house layer between them and a six-application and two stamps.

Anyone else could have gone to a competent insurance agent or his employer to do the same in the slickest, most competent way possible.

Why this data snare exists other than to control people and tell the feds you have insurance or not, I cannot fathom.

The vile method of adding such a thing, by pretending there was going to be a “study group” to look into an exchange, which as we all knew was the actual set-up effort, with its funding unable to be stopped by Minnesota Republicans who knew it wasn’t just a study group since they were then in the minority, is typical of the fascists running the state.

My favorite interaction so far was an employee of the Metropolitan Council picking up a prescription in January, jaw on her dashboard over the size of her new deductible this year. I said, yes, but at least you and your husband both have maternity coverage now. (tongue in cheek, of course). Chew on that, Utopian cow.

winoceros on January 23, 2014 at 3:26 PM

*six-page application*

winoceros on January 23, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Part of the Job Description of our elected Oficials is to READ all legislation that is submitted before a vote. They NEED to know what is in a bill before they take a vote on it. This never happens anymore, though. Politicians defend NOT doing their job by claiming they just don’t have the time to DO THEIR JOB. So they have brea up legislation into sections, have their Interns review them, and have them give them a sort of ‘Cliff Notes’ version. Sometimes politicians rush deceitfull bills too quickly to the floor for a vote to prevent anyone from finding out what is really in the bill they are abbout to vote on.

Obamacare was such a bill. The President promised he would not sign any bill into law untim Americans had 72 hours to review it. LOL…yeah, right. Nancy Pelosi’s comments regarding Obamacare marked a defining date for America, the beginning of the ‘Dark Agaes: The Progressive Lawlessness’. She declared to the nation, “You will have to wait until the bill is passed before you can find out what is in it.” By doing so, she declared 2 things: 1) Americans do not have the RIGHT to know what is in laws they will be subjected to once we pass and force these laws upon them, and 2) ‘WE’ are no longer ‘Servants of the People’ but rather ‘YOUR MASTERS’. It had been this way for a while, but Americans were still under the illusion that it was not, and no one had come right out and declared it to be so the way Pelosi did that day.

The Bill was actually delivered to the Senate in 2 separate pieces, as it was in pieces scattered all over the House as House members scrambled to read what they had just passed before it went to the Senate. The 2 pieces were never combined before the vote in the wee hours of the morning, before America found out about the deceitful forcing of this vile, failure of a law down the throats of the majority of Americans who opposed it. Pelosi was not only speaking to Americans when she said people would have to wait to find out what was in it – she was talking to Republicand (and even their own Democrats).

Tell me…if you owned a machine shop and hired me to run a machine and I FAILED to read the operating manual before I began working on it, like you told me to do…if I destroyed the million dollar machinery…wouldn’t you FIRE ME?

Then WHY in God’s name would we cast 1 vote for any of the politicians who voted to pass Obamacare without reading it, especially after it has caused so much damage and was based on nothing but a Socialist agenda and lies?

easyt65 on January 23, 2014 at 3:41 PM

I think the administrators and politicians and proponents kind of assumed that the computer geniuses would work out all the details and it would work smoothly and effectively. After all, you didn’t really see Amazon crashing and glitching on launch, nor Ebay, nor ATT, nor many other major launches, so this should have been child’s play. Even some government sites work fine.

What was missed was that the process of designing and producing a functioning site requires extensive testing, feedback, and a certain degree of honesty about how the work is progressing. There comes a point where the manager in charge has to be able to say, “this won’t work and launch date must be pushed back”. If the powers that be ignore the manager and the launch is a disaster, the powers may find themselves called to account. Not so with politics and bureaucracy.

Or so I would think.

Russ808 on January 23, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Minnfidel

Luv yer knick!

New around here?

Bruno Strozek on January 23, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Luv yer knick!

New around here?

Bruno Strozek on January 23, 2014 at 4:13

Not new, just an infrequent poster.

Minnfidel on January 23, 2014 at 4:36 PM