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Washington Post reports that errors at HealthCare.Gov cannot yet be fixed

by | Feb 3, 2014

 

By Dave Andrusko

healthcareerrorSo how many people in the United States do you think don’t know that HealthCare.gov is awash in problems—everything from…. Well, you know the snafus, small, large, and huge.

But the game plan for the Obama administration (understandably, from its point of view) has been to appeal for calm and insist that everything is getting better, day by day. If you know anyone personally who has gotten lost in the byzantine maze that is HealthCare.gov, you know that’s not true.

Which is why the Washington Post story today, “HealthCare.gov can’t handle appeals of enrollment errors,” is merely confirming what we already knew: that problems are not being corrected and that they won’t (and can’t) be for some unknown period of time.

Here are the lead paragraphs from Amy Goldstein’s above-the-fold page one story:

“Tens of thousands of people who discovered that HealthCare.gov made mistakes as they were signing up for a health plan are confronting a new roadblock: The government cannot yet fix the errors.

“Roughly 22,000 Americans have filed appeals with the government to try to get mistakes corrected, according to internal government data obtained by The Washington Post. They contend that the computer system for the new federal online marketplace charged them too much for health insurance, steered them into the wrong insurance program or denied them coverage entirely.

“For now, the appeals are sitting, untouched, inside a government computer. And an unknown number of consumers who are trying to get help through less formal means — by calling the health-care marketplace directly — are told that HealthCare.gov’s computer system is not yet allowing federal workers to go into enrollment records and change them, according to individuals inside and outside the government who are familiar with the situation.”

Here’s the really scary part. Fixing this problem—“It is unclear when the appeals process will become available”– is down the list of priorities, which including fixing many other parts of the exchange’s computer system such as making it possible to have “the ability to adjust people’s coverage to accommodate new babies and other major changes in life circumstance.”

But to return to the errors and omissions that are not being corrected… In theory, people are supposed to be able to file appeals by computer, phone, or mail, but only the latter is available. According to Goldstein, the hapless consumer fills out a 7-page form, mails to a place in Kentucky where the form is scanned and then transferred to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (which oversees HealthCare.gov.) where it sits!

Why?

“The part of the computer system that would allow agency workers to read and handle appeals has not been built, according to individuals familiar with the situation.”

Get that? Hasn’t been built.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey reminds readers of everything else that’s in desperately behind schedule.

“Don’t forget that we’re still waiting for the back-end payment systems to come on line, too. Earlier this month, HHS finally fired CGI Federal and hired a new contractor, Accenture. That means that Accenture has to come up to speed on all of the broken and missing parts of Healthcare.gov before they can proceed in fixing it. They’re getting $90 million to do so, but even all that money won’t speed the process up appreciably.”

What a mess.

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Categories: ObamaCare