Reminder: Healthcare.Gov is still a hot mess, and the “8 million enrollees” figure probably needs some revision
posted at 5:31 pm on April 26, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
As I mentioned the other day, the Obama administration is falling all over itself trying to comply with all of its own deadlines and regulations for writing, completing, and rolling out the zillions of miniscule details of which the president’s crowning legislative achievement are composed — and that includes building some of the most crucial back-end parts of the federal exchange website. Via Politico:
The Obamacare website may work for people buying insurance, but beneath the surface, HealthCare.gov is still missing massive, critical pieces — and the deadline for finishing them keeps slipping.
As a result, the system’s “back end” is a tangle of technical workarounds moving billions of taxpayer dollars and consumer-paid premiums between the government and insurers. The parts under construction are essential for key functions such as accurately paying insurers. The longer they lag, experts say, the likelier they’ll trigger accounting problems that could leave the public on the hook for higher premium subsidies or health care costs. …
Without a fully built and operational system, federal officials can’t determine how many of the 8 million Obamacare sign-ups announced last week will have actually paid their premiums. They won’t even know how many enrollment attempts were never completed. That, in turn, could affect the amount of money the government spends on premium subsidies. And once the system finally does all come on-line, the data delays could force a sharp revision in that celebrated 8 million figure. …
Officials at CMS — the federal agency overseeing HealthCare.gov and new insurance exchanges — refused to provide an update on just how much of the back end remains incomplete, the current issues they face and their latest timetable….
Most Transparent Administration, Evah.
Of course, the Obama administration originally intended to have the entire thing up and running by the October-1st initial rollout, but we know how that ordeal went: They were so behind on putting together even just a functioning consumer-oriented front-end of the site that all hands on deck went to fixing that debacle, leaving all of this back-end stuff for later. I don’t think anybody will be the tiniest bit surprised to learn that the administration is still scrambling behind-the-scenes to put together some of the most necessary operative pieces of the program (because, “ObamaCare is working,” don’t’cha’ know), but here’s my question: How far over the prescribed budget is this poorly planned fail-fest taking us, exactly? The world may never know.