reported on Sunday the Obama Administration has declared success in revamping the absurdly flawed ObamaCare web site. Instead of crashing with a few hundred users logged on, which was routine with the original site developed at a cost of $600 million, the revamp can handle 50,000 simultaneous visitors and 800,000 a day. Jeffrey D. Zients, the White House point man on the repair effort, said the team developing the site was “working with the velocity and discipline of a high-performing private sector company.” Really?
Speaking of the private sector Wal-Mart's web site handled nearly 400 million page views on Thanksgiving Day and didn't crash. Their stores logged 10 million transactions from 6-10 PM that same evening. Amazon.com routinely handles one million hits per hour. That's what private sector "velocity" is and ObamaCare is not anywhere close.
And what about the folks who do get through. Some have been shoved into what amounts to waiting for the site to let them in. This wait can last for hours. Would you wait online for hours to buy a book at Amazon or a plane ticket on Travelocity? Before the web site launched Obama promised "if you’ve ever tried to buy insurance on your own, I promise you this is a lot easier. It's like booking a hotel or a plane ticket." Oh well, he also said "if you like your plan you can keep it. Period!"
Republicans used to warn that managing your health care with ObamaCare would be like a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Turns out that is not true. Most DMVs operate more efficiently than ObamaCare.
For the patient few who do finally get through the nightmare is just beginning. A number of reports indicate screens with gibberish:
Would you trust your most sensitive personal and financial information to a site so riddled with errors? And you are right to be concerned. According to computer security specialists there is no security built into the web site. You turn over your Social Security number, birthday and address, all the information an identity thief needs to drain your bank account, and you have no protection. The security problem is so bad the Obama Administration refused to brief members of Congress even in closed, secret session.
But suppose your current health plan has been canceled due to the ObamaCare mandate and you are desperate to find new coverage before January 1. You go through all the steps and think you have signed up. What then?
The Washington Post reports
The enrollment records for a significant portion of the Americans who have chosen health plans through the online federal insurance marketplace contain errors — generated by the computer system — that mean they might not get the coverage they’re expecting next month.In it's own report the New York Times put it this way:
The errors cumulatively have affected roughly one-third of the people who have signed up for health plans since Oct. 1, according to two government and health-care industry officials. The White House disputed the figure but declined to provide its own.
The mistakes include failure to notify insurers about new customers, duplicate enrollments or cancellation notices for the same person, incorrect information about family members, and mistakes involving federal subsidies. The errors have been accumulating since HealthCare.gov opened two months ago, even as the Obama administration has been working to make it easier for consumers to sign up for coverage, the government and industry officials said.
The problem is that the systems that are supposed to deliver consumer information to insurers still have not been fixed. And with coverage for many people scheduled to begin in just 30 days, insurers are worried the repairs may not be completed in time.Imagine logging on to Amazon.com or a travel site and ordering something only to be told they will bill you later when they find out how much it will cost? Is this the "private sector" experience Obama's team is bragging about? The problem is that there is no payment component attached to the web site and few ways for the insurance company who eventually issues the policy to figure out the cost.
“Until the enrollment process is working from end to end, many consumers will not be able to enroll in coverage,” said Karen M. Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group.
The issues are vexing and complex. Some insurers say they have been deluged with phone calls from people who believe they have signed up for a particular health plan, only to find that the company has no record of the enrollment. Others say information they received about new enrollees was inaccurate or incomplete, so they had to track down additional data — a laborious task that will not be feasible if data is missing for tens of thousands of consumers.
In still other cases, insurers said, they have not been told how much of a customer’s premium will be subsidized by the government, so they do not know how much to charge the policyholder.
At a recent event in Tennessee someone handed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius the book "Web Sites for Dummies." Notice that no one is laughing:
Obama was hailed as the smartest president ever to sit in the Oval Office. We were told he would surround himself with the best and the brightest and oh what a change it would be from the dim wits in the Bush Administration. Yet every day we see more and more evidence of the corruption and incompetence of this bunch. Indeed it is quite a contrast with the Bush Administration and not a positive one for Obama.
What's Obama's next move? Will he hunker down with his team until they get this thing right?Nope. He's going on the campaign trail again to blame it all on Republicans!