« Former Democratic Congressman and SD Mayor, and Co-Founder, with Nancy Pelosi, of Progressive House Caucus, Bob Filner Charged With False Imprisonment, Battery | Main | Hillary Clinton Busily Putting Out the Word that Joe Biden, Likely Rival for 2016 Nomination, Opposed the Raid that Got Bin Ladin »
October 15, 2013

Reason For ObamaCare Website's Crashes? Because the System Is Built to Hide the Truth from the Customer

Remember 2001: A Space Odyssey? Or the sequel, actually, 2010? In that it was revealed that the supercomputer HAL had gone psychotic because he had been required to lie to his crew members, which directly violated his core mission to tell the truth.

Avik Roy writes that that is a major problem with 404Care.

They don't want people to see the prices of the policies -- because that would cause a politically-unpopular sticker shock, as people saw how much rates are skyrocketing.

Instead of showing the plans' prices, they first collect all of your financial information so they can determine your subsidy level, which allows them (in theory; the system doesn't work) to show not the price of the plan, but rather the price of the plan as reduced by the subsidy.

That step about collecting all your financial information, then swarming it all back to the central hub, then calculating a subsidy, is the part that's causing the main bottlenecks on the user side now. (But note: There are lots of problems on the insurer's side, too, as the post will discuss later.) Showing the costs of policies would be no problem, as various e-insurance referral sites demonstrate a thousand times per hour.

But they were determined to hide the cost of ObamaCare from the people, and the system, like HAL, has had a breakdown.

This political objective—masking the true underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans—far outweighed the operational objective of making the federal website work properly. Think about it the other way around. If the “Affordable Care Act” truly did make health insurance more affordable, there would be no need to hide these prices from the public.

Avik Roy says there's a growing "consensus" over this diagnosis, and indeed SuperHack Ezra Klein interviews an insurance industry expert who similarly suggests a deceptive motive is at the heart of the failure.

None of us had any idea that the government Web site would require security sign-ins before browsing. Why did that have to be a secret? No one will read a newspaper article about that. If it had been transparent I think most of this would’ve been caught upfront. That really hurt them.

One thing the Obama administration has been really paranoid about is rate shock. When someone like me says there’ll be rate shock they say you have to net out the subsidies. That is a fair point. But I think what happened was when they designed their system they were so paranoid about that that they wanted to make sure people browsing got the lowest price. That required signing in so you could see subsidies. And my theory is that’s why they went to the architecture they did even though the IT systems people wanted to go another way.

He also says the system is a colossal failure on the insurers' side-- and remember, end of the day, no one has insurance unless an insurer says that person has insurance.

The insurance industry is literally receiving a handful of new enrollments from the 36 Obama administration-run exchanges. It’s really 20 or 30 or 40 each day through last week. And a good share of those enrollments are problematic. One insurance company told me, “we got an enrollment from John Doe. Then five minutes later we got a message from CMS disenrolling him. Then we got another message re-enrolling him.” On and on, up to 10 times. So insurers aren’t really sure if the enrollments they’ve got are enrollments they should have.

And remember, the insurers have automated all this. They don’t have a clerk sending out a welcome letter and an enrollment card. So if you just let the computer run, it could theoretically issue a welcome letter, a cancellation letter, a welcome letter, a cancellation letter, etc. Now, they’re not doing this right now because it’s all screwed up. They can manage a few dozen per day by hand. But when you’re talking about thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, it becomes completely unmanageable.


digg this
posted by Ace at 01:14 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Yudhishthira's Dice: " I *am* limited by having observed Mitch for many ..."

Infidel: " interview of Randy Bachman by Mark Steyn last wee ..."

Nightwatch Time to launch..: "Back in the day... The hospital I worked at in th ..."

Commissar Hrothgar knows EDKH [i] [/s] [/u] [/b]: "Posted by: JackStraw at November 13, 2019 09:57 PM ..."

Don Q: "Posted by: SFGoth at November 13, 2019 09:55 PM (K ..."

anchorbabe fashion cop: "Ok, that freaky chick Kennedy reported on a story ..."

Rodrigo Borgia: "> Mary Poppins was a tease. Remember when Julie ..."

Tami [/b][/i] [/s] [/u]: "643 Who could have seen this coming? Posted by: J ..."

mikeyG: "[i]I lack both the skill set and the 'can do!' att ..."

BackwardsBoy does whatever his television tells him[/i][/s][/b][/u]: "[i]So money laundering then. Who could have see ..."

IrishEi: "But where is garrett's original post that was bein ..."

Guy Mohawk: "Watching Silverado, damn Kevin Costner is young, a ..."

Recent Entries
Search


Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64