ObamaCare Catastrophe Update: MN Exchange Failing As Panel Recommends Scrapping System

MN ObamaCare Exchange Failing, Panel Recommends Scrapping System – Hot Air

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Oregon and Maryland have attracted most of the attention for failures within state-based ObamaCare web portals, but Minnesota may challenge for the bronze medal at the very least. Despite repeated assurances from Governor Mark Dayton on down, the MNSure system is failing, its management structure is “non-existent” according to an independent panel, and the best option might be trashing the whole mess:

An independent consultant has issued a damning report of the state’s troubled online insurance marketplace.

MNsure’s management structure is “non-existent” according to Optum, a subsidiary of Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group, which recently performed a week-long analysis of the more than $100 million website.

MNsure executives have been making decisions in a “crisis mode,” the report states.

MNsure’s board members called for the end-to-end review after the website continued to experience major technological issues three months after it launched.

The report found the agency’s ambitious enrollment goals will suffer as a result.

“While MNsure will fall short of achieving its original enrollment goals and consumer satisfaction levels, continuous improvements can be made in both the short-term and long-term,” the report states.

Those problems, however, won’t be fixed quickly and the state should consider scrapping the system altogether and starting over, the report said.

The MNSure target was 70,000 enrolled in private plans by April 1, according to the metrics laid out by the state. Only 28,000 have done so at this time, even though nearly 50,000 have enrolled in public assistance programs through the MNSure portal, and they have less than two months left to make up the remaining 60% of the goal (April 1 enrollments have to be registered by mid-March). And the website won’t be fixed in time to allow for that kind of boost, KARE 11 reports:

A “large gap exists between required functionality and what has been delivered,” the report states. Technological testing was inadequate, and schedules took precedent over quality.

In particular, Optum faulted IBM Curam for more than 100 defects in its software – more than twice as many as any other vendor on the MNsure project.

In December, Gov. Mark Dayton blasted IBM, which responded that improvements were underway.

But it’s not just the Curam software that has contributed to the site’s technical problems.

There’s a “significant gap” in program management at MNsure, which has made software development, testing and readiness difficult.

People can call into MNSure to get assistance in sign-ups, but that’s also a problem. Wait times are averaging 50 minutes in the call center, which is another area in which management is non-existent. The independent panel recommends hiring another 100 operators, but that will take time, plenty of training, and one hopes no small amount of background investigation before allowing access to that kind of private identity data. Speaking as someone who ran specialized call centers for 15 years in the context of highly-sensitive data, I can attest that there is no way to get that many operators up to speed in that short of a time frame, even if you could hire them all today.

As predicted, MNSure is crashing and burning as we speak. Insurers here expecting a windfall of healthy, young enrollees are going to rethink next year’s premium schedules – and Minnesotans will get the bill just as we go to the voting booth in the midterms.

Addendum: Even when I briefly ran a health-sector call center in the mid-90s, where wait times weren’t a big focus of customer service, a 50-minute average would probably have gotten me fired.

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Pimp Sues Nike For Failing To Provide Label Warning Him Not To Stomp People’s Faces With Jordans

Portland Pimp Sues Nike For $100 Million For Lack Of Warning Label After Beating Victim With Jordans – The Oregonian

A 26-year-old Portland pimp has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Nike, claiming the shoe manufacturer is partially responsible for a brutal beating that helped net him a 100-year prison sentence.

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Sirgiorgiro Clardy claims Nike should have placed a label in his Jordan shoes warning consumers that they could be used as a dangerous weapon. He was wearing a pair when he repeatedly stomped the face of a john who was trying to leave a Portland hotel without paying Clardy’s prostitute in June 2012.

Jurors early in 2013 found him guilty of second-degree assault for using his Jordans – a dangerous weapon – to beat the john’s face to a pulp. The man required stitches and plastic surgery on his nose.

The jury also found him guilty of robbing the john and beating the 18-year-old woman he forced to work as his prostitute. She was injured so badly that she bled from her ears.

In his three-page complaint handwritten from the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, Clardy claims that Nike, Chairman Phil Knight and other executives failed to warn consumers that the shoes could be used as a weapon to cause serious injury or death.

“Under product liability there is a certain standard of care that is required to be up-held by potentially dangerous product…” wrote Clardy, who is representing himself. “Do (sic) to the fact that these defendants named in this Tort claim failed to warn of risk or to provide an adequate warning or instruction it has caused personal injury in the likes of mental suffering.”

Clardy wrote that he’s tried to starve himself and kill himself multiple times.

He asks a Multnomah County judge to order Nike to affix warning labels to all their “potentially dangerous Nike and Jordan merchandise.”

In the past, Oregon defendants have been convicted of using a wide array of items or substances as dangerous weapons. The list includes boots, rope, a phone receiver, scalding hot water and HIV-infected blood. The “dangerous weapon” classification can spur longer prison sentences.

Clardy filed his suit this week in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

During his two-week trial and his two-day sentencing hearing, Clardy was known for his unusual courtroom antics. He shouted expletives at the judge, prosecutors and jurors.

A psychologist declared him an anti-social psychopath who was 100 percent likely to commit violent crimes again. And Clardy disagreed so loudly – making such a scene – that he was removed from the courtroom.

In the coming days, the suit will be served to Nike, which will then have an opportunity to respond.

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Worse Than Mere Incompetence… ObamaCare Website Launched Despite Failing Hundreds Of Tests (Video)

CBS: ObamaCare Launched After Failing Hundreds Of Tests – Breitbart

The hits just keep coming. Every time we think the full depth of the Administration’s incompetence and mendacity has been plumbed, a fresh bombshell revelation detonates.

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Here’s a new report from the mainstream media’s most persistent Obama gadfly, Sharyl Attkisson, in which we learn the exchange system failed hundreds of tests administered by employees of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These were the simplest sort of “beta” tests, the kind of thing I used to do all the time in my IT career. You plug in some simple manufactured data and see if the system can swallow it and regurgitate on command.

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The tests were postponed until late September – an early warning sign of disaster that was kept hidden from the American people. When they finally occurred, they were a complete failure. The system “ground to a halt,” “froze,” and “crashed” under the lightest and most rudimentary data entry by a tiny pool of CMS testers.

“It was unequivocally clear from testing this wasn’t ready,” was the conclusion forwarded to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius… who serenely ignored these desperate warnings and launched anyway. And worse, the head of CMS said the site’s issues “did not show up in testing” during testimony on Tuesday.

Attkisson is carefully willing to allow for the possibility that this was incompetence on a cosmic scale, rather than perjured testimony, by suggesting CMS honcho Marilyn Tavenner might simply have been completely unaware that several rounds of testing resulted in red-alert warnings from her own agency. I find that rather difficult to believe, and I suspect the redoubtable Ms. Attkisson does, too. But a lot of unbelievable things have been happening lately, haven’t they?

At the very least, this makes mincemeat of the last quivering chunks of that stupid “so popular we couldn’t keep up with demand!” excuse peddled by the Administration for the ObamaCare crash, and should serve as another mortal blow to both the Affordable Care Act and the Democrats’ entire philosophy of super-intelligent central planning by an all-wise, supremely capable government.

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WTF? California Farmer Faces Bankruptcy For Failing To Give Federal Government Free Raisins

California Farmer Faces Bankruptcy For Failing To Give Feds Free Raisins – Independent Journal Review

From the You Can’t Make This Stuff Up department: A California raisin farmer is facing bankruptcy for defying a law requiring him to give the federal government a portion of his raisin crop – without compensation.

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According to The Washington Post, in the world of dried fruit, there is no greater outlaw in America than Marvin Horne of Kervin, California.

Horne, a raisin farmer, has been breaking the law for 11 straight years. Moreover, he now owes the U.S. government at least $650,000 in unpaid fines. And 1.2 million pounds of unpaid raisins – roughly equal to his entire harvest for four years.

Horne’s crime? He defied one of the most bizarre and outdated arms of the federal bureaucracy – a farm program created during the Truman administration:

Marvin said no to the National Raisin Reserve. (I’m not making this up.)

As described by Hot Air, the U.S. government started the National Raisin Reserve in 1937. Fearing that raisin producers might produce too many raisins – thereby leading to a drop in prices – the government began confiscating [stealing] a percentage of raisin production – for raisin farmers’ own good, of course. The problem is, Marvin Horne doesn’t see it that way:

“I believe in America. And I believe in our Constitution. And I believe that eventually we will be proved right,” Horne said recently, sitting in an office next to 20 acres of ripening Thompson grapes. “They took our raisins and didn’t pay us for them.”

The Washington Post reports that Horne stopped giving raisins to the government in 2002, thereby violating Marketing Order 989 – the federal regulation that established the raisin reserve and made “contributions” by raisin farmers mandatory.

Even worse? The government can save the raisins, sell them on foreign markets (and keep the money), throw them away, or even feed them to animals – just as long as it keeps them off the domestic market.

So, Marvin Horne did what any good raisin producer worth his weight in grapes would do; he sued the government. After several losses in lower courts, Horne’s case reached the Supreme Court this spring, where things changed.

Justice Elena Kagan wondered whether it might be “just the world’s most outdated law.” Justice Stephen Breyer said: “What it does is it takes raisins that we grow – in effect, throws them in the river,” “Your raisins or your life, right?” joked Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Court issued its ruling and gave Horne a partial victory. A lower court had rejected Horne’s challenge of the law. Now, the justices told that court to reconsider it.

Marvin Horne says that if he loses, it’s all over.

“If we lose, we’re bankrupt. We won’t have a pot to piss in,” Horne said, noting he would be liable for nearly $3 million. “No. I don’t want to even think about it. Would you?”

Regardless of the outcome of the case of Marvin Horne vs. the National Raisin Reserve, I don’t think I’ll ever look at raisins the same way again.

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Sandy Victim Blasts “Phony” And “Liar” Obama For Failing On Hurricane Relief (Video)

Sandy Victim Blasts “Phony” And “Liar” Obama For Failing On Hurricane Relief (Video) – Gateway Pundit

Hurricane Sandy victim, Scott McGrath of Staten Island, gives his opinion of FEMA and the Obama administration’s handling of the storm relief effort.

He blasts “phony” and “liar” Obama.

Via Your World with Neil Cavuto:

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Could you imagine if Bush was president right now? The liberal media would be all over this. Scott McGrath would be on every channel.

Hat Tip Mara

The Right Scoop has more.

Sandy victim Scott McGrath who spoke directly to Obama right after the hurricane hammered Obama today saying that he’s a phony and a ‘straight out liar’. He said it’s been 2 months now and that no red tape has been cut.

He also says that even though they need the aid money from Congress, they shouldn’t lard it up with pork because tax payers will have to pay for it down the road. Love hearing that, especially from a Sandy victim. Also, he said Chuck Schumer is full of it after lambasting Republicans for not passing it with all the pork in it. This guy needs his own show!

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