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October 23, 2013

Healthcare.gov Appears to be De Facto Shut Down [Errol F]

Ezra Klein has a new interview with Robert Laszewski, president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates. Laszewski really drops a bomb on the federal exchange based on his behind the scenes contacts with insurers:

BL: I almost have the sense that HealthCare.gov is in de facto shutdown. Here’s why: Government has to fix the back end before the front end. The demand here is real. I don’t think anyone can dispute that millions of people want to sign up. So if they fix the front end for consumers and thousands of people or hundreds of thousands of people being enrolled before they fix the back end, we’ll have a catastrophic mess.

When insurers are getting 10 or 20 or 50 enrollments a day they can clean the errors up manually. But they can’t do that for thousands of enrollments a day. They have to automate at some point. So I think the Obama administration doesn’t want to cross the red line to shut the system down, but I think this is effectively a shutdown in which they don’t say they’ve shut it down but it basically is shut down.

Laszewski goes on to say that the phone line "isn’t any good either." Why not? Because ultimately the information gathered has to be transferred over the same computer system, i.e. the one that he says is in super secret shut down.

The President and his spokespeople continue to urge people to go to the website and call the help line. But if, in fact, the site is unofficially/partly/quietly being held back to allow needed repairs then they are intentionally wasting people's time. That's a question the administration has yet to be asked: Are you wasting people's time so as not to have to admit this should be shut down?

The rest of Laszewski's assessment is equally grim. You can read it all here.


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posted by Guest Blogger at 05:21 PM

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