CNN is reporting that getting HealthCare.gov isn’t the Obama administration’s only worry. Chris Frates’ report should frighten both consumers and the administration. Here’s what Frates reported:
Insurance industry insiders tell CNN that when some people sign up for coverage through the website, their personal data is not being properly transmitted to the insurance companies of their choosing. Insurers are still getting inaccurate and duplicative data. And that’s even if it makes it to them at all.
Signing up for health insurance through the fed-run health insurance exchange, aka HIX, is difficult enough. People shouldn’t be tortured by their government like that. The Obama administration can’t even meet that requirement. Unfortunately, there’s more:
Customers who signed up for coverage are calling the companies with questions and finding they aren’t in their systems. And insurers have been testing the site, submitting John Doe records and not seeing them come out the other end, an industry official said.
“There’s no part of us that thinks all of this will be fixed three days from now,” the industry official said, referring to the administration’s self-imposed Saturday deadline to make the site work for a “vast majority” of users.
According to IT experts, accessing HealthCare.gov is “a front end problem.” The administration has told the American people that their IT teams have been working feverishly on getting that part working. That might or might not be happening. What’s clear, however, is that back-end applications, like accurately transmitting application information to the insurance companies clearly isn’t getting fixed.
If the insurance companies aren’t getting the application information, people won’t be insured. People getting cancer treatments or dialysis can’t afford an interruption in their coverage. Let’s remember that these transactions were handled smoothly before the federal government got involved. They were routine. Now they’re a life-or-death proposition. That should tell us everything we need to know about the federal government’s ability to manage the nation’s health care.
They still aren’t telling people the truth:
Consumers who pick a plan by December 23 and pay their premium by December 31 will have coverage effective January 1, said Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a key player working to repair the site.
In an ideal world, that statement would be true. Dealing with HealthCare.gov, that statement simply isn’t credible. It might be true but it might not, too. One industry insider doesn’t think it’s true:
“If they come out and claim victory over the weekend, it’s just not true,” the industry insider said. “The question is, can you guarantee that someone who’s gone through this process and signed up will have coverage January 1? As of today, the honest answer would be no.”
These are difficult times for the Obama administration and Democrats in general. The bad news for them is that there are tons of problems to fix after they fix the access problems that HealthCare.gov is experiencing.