Problems with the Covered California website have forced nearly one million people to wait months to receive verification that they are covered.
The problem affects people covered by the state’s expanded Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal. In theory, those who signed up prior to the end of last year should be eligible to receive treatment starting January 1st. However, website problems mean there is a huge backlog of people waiting to have their enrollment status verified.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the problems with the state’s $454 million website included “programming defects” which caused many applicants to be wrongly denied. In some cases, applicants didn’t include complete documents needed to verify their eligibility. The result has been a long wait for some.
Melissa Young described her experience with the system to CBS 13 in Sacramento: “My son’s coverage has been in limbo since February. He has no case worker yet, and every time I call, they say they have fixed the problem and to wait until the first of the following month. Nothing is fixed and I call again. Repeat.”
Asked about the delays, California Department of Health Care Services spokesman Norman Williams told CBS 13, “We are devoting all the resources we can to make this work and to get them into coverage.”
Under Obamacare, California expanded Medicaid to those earning up to 138% of the poverty line. Approximately 1.9 million people are believed to have signed up for the program since last October. The statewide total receiving the free medical care is now 9.4 million, approximately 25 percent of the state’s population.
By all accounts Cover Oregon has been a spectacular failure. The state was granted $300 million dollars on an ambitious website that, to date, has not enrolled a single person. Thursday night, Portland News station KATU held a televised town hall to discuss what went wrong and where Oregon should go from here.
The town hall was not structured as a debate but one quickly developed between two Republican state representatives who were extremely critical of the failure and two Democrats who alternated between placing blame on Oracle, the primary contractor, and suggesting moving forward was more important than placing blame.
Rep. Dennis Richardson was one of the Republican critics. In 2012 he became alarmed by what he read in quality assurance reports created by a firm called Maximus. The Maximus reports made clear the project was understaffed, under-budget and falling behind schedule. Rep. Richardson says he sent copies of the reports along with a letter to the state officials in charge of the project demanding to know what was being done. He received no response.
Rep. Jason Conger, the other Republican on the panel, says officials in charge including executive director Rocky King, who left his job in December, should have known better than to try to pull off a project of this scope without hiring an IT contractor to run it. “I think it reflects a certain amount of arrogance that it could be done in the timeframe, that it could be done at all,” Conger said.
But others on the panel tried to emphasize the positive. Democratic Rep. Mitch Greenlick suggested it was time to move forward saying ,“We’re trying to get things solved and I think trying to find out who is the bad guy is probably over.” He also claimed that he had no access to the QA reports that had alarmed Rep. Richardson in 2012.
Dr. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, a Democratic State Senator who sits on the Committee on Health admitted part of the problem was “we bit off more than we could chew.” But she directed most of the blame for the failure at Oracle, saying “We were misled. I’d go as far as saying betrayed.” Dr. Steiner Hayward added “We hire IT professionals because we believe they’re going to tell us the truth… unfortunately in this case that didn’t work out so well.”
At this point, about halfway through the 90 minute town hall, a more fundamental debate about the efficiency of government broke out among the panelists. Rep. Mitch Greenlick, who had earlier said the time for casting blame was over, reacted strongly to the suggestion that the government had tried and failed to do the job of private enterprise. “It’s private enterprise that screwed it up,” Greenlick said, adding “I think the problem was we had too much faith in private enterprise in this case.”
That didn’t go over well with Rep. Richardson who recalled a bit of Ronald Reagan in his response “We’re from the government, we’re here to help. We can run a $200 million IT project.” The last line was delivered as sarcasm. Richardson said the problem wasn’t private enterprise it was “a failure in leadership to run this program.”
As for the future of Cover Oregon there was a sharp disagreement about that as well. Rep. Conger was pessimistic. “I think we’re continuing to throw good money after bad… I’m having serious doubts about whether it will ever work,” he said. Conger suggested seeking a waiver from CMS to allow the state to return to earlier programs that were working better.
Rep. Richardson pointed to the fiscal problem going forward “We’re not gong to break even so ultimately we’re either going to shut it down or take money from the general fund.”
Ultimately, the decision as to what happens next may not be up to anyone in Oregon. The GAO is currently investigating how federal grants to the state were spent. And near the end of the show a former Oregon representative, Patrick Sheehan, told the KATU host that he had contacted the FBI and asked them to look into the situation. Asked if an FBI investigation was taking place, Sheehan refused to say, though he did suggest obliquely that a big file was being put together.
Rep. Greenlick responded that there was no evidence of any illegality. Rep. Richardson once again took issue with that assessment saying, “When you have 200 million of federal money that has been expended… there may well be a federal law broken. We need the GAO audit. We need the FBI involved.”
As the town hall neared its end, Dr. Steiner Hayward returned to the issue of government vs. private enterprise. She told the story of a friend who had started a business with the help from experts. She said her friend eventually reached the point where the business started making a profit but that didn’t happen right away. She summed up her story saying “to hold the govt to be able to break even immediately in a way that we don’t hold private companies… I’m not sure that’s really fair.”
Rep. Richardson closed with a call for accountability saying, “We’re talking about $200 million… govt can’t just spend other people’s money and then just say ‘I’m sorry’” when things fall apart.
Rep. Conger got in the last word with a question, “Given the failure so far and given the lack of value… do we continue to spend more money on it?” That’s the question that Gov. Kitzhaber, legislators and Oregon’s citizens now have to wrestle with.
Too damn funny.
Via LA Times:
Amid a big marketing push, California’s enrollment website for Obamacare coverage has suffered an unexpected outage due to software glitches.
The website problems come at a crucial time as the Covered California exchange tries to persuade more uninsured people to sign up ahead of a March 31 deadline.
The state exchange unveiled new TV commercials and radio ads this week aimed in particular at Latinos, who have been slow to enroll so far. The exchange is also urging more people to visit enrollment counselors, who rely on the state’s online system.
Covered California took its enrollment system down for scheduled maintenance and upgrades for 24 hours this past weekend. But problems have persisted and Thursday consumers were greeted by a message saying “the enrollment portion of the site is being worked on.”
Covered California said website errors began occurring Wednesday and it hopes to restore online enrollment by Thursday afternoon.
Covered California’s enrollment portal has been temporarily taken offline because of software malfunctions that were affecting the consumer experience,” the exchange said in a statement.
House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled their new “Investigation of Benghazi” website which appears to be a Benghazi file repository of committee reports and other declassified publications related to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and Diplomat Sean Smith.
In a couple of brief paragraphs the website explains that the mission of the House Republicans is to discover what occurred on that night in Benghazi and to uncover exactly what the Obama administration is attempting to cover up:
Shortly after the attack, House Republicans asked the Obama administration to explain to the American people the Administration’s actions leading up to and during the attack itself, as well as the fact that publicly-available information consistently contradicted Administration accounts describing the cause and nature of the attack. Our fight for answers and justice continues today.
For over a year now, House Committees have engaged in serious, deliberate, and exhaustive oversight investigations of what led up to this tragic event, what happened that night, and why the White House still refuses to tell the whole truth. All of the unclassified information and findings from this ongoing investigation can be found on this website.
This page continues to be updated as more information becomes available. The most recent update was made on January 29, 2014.
One of the most interesting sections of the new repository is titled House Committee on Foreign Affairs and includes the following files:
* “Benghazi: Where is the State Department Accountability?” September 18, 2013
* “Terrorist Attack in Benghazi: The Secretary of State’s View,” January 23, 2013
* “Benghazi Attack, Part II: The Report of the Accountability Review Board,” December 20, 2012
* “Benghazi and Beyond: What Went Wrong on September 11, 2012 and How to Prevent it from Happening at other Frontline Posts, Part I,” November 15, 2012
4/23/13 Interim Report 5 Cmte Letter
* Outgoing: 04.23.13 – POTUS, Five Committee letter re Benghazi
05/27/13 OIG Continued Concerns
* Incoming: 05.10.13 – OIG, Dep. IG Harold Geisel, Under review RE Continued concerns with ARB report
* Outgoing: 05.10.13 – OIG, Dep. IG Harold Geisel, Continued concerns with ARB report
* Outgoing: 09.27.13 – OIG, Dep IG Geisel, Questions on OIG ARB Review
05/29/13 Status of ARB-Cited Employees
* Incoming: 08.23.13 – State Dept, RE. Status of ARB-cited employees
* Outgoing: 05.29.13 – State Dept, Sec. Kerry, Status of ARB-cited employees
10/30/13 Benghazi Annex Response
* Incoming: 10.30.13 – DOD, Hagel, RE. Benghazi Annex response
* Incoming: 11.12.13 – State, Kerry, RE. Benghazi Annex response
* Incoming: 12.11.13 – CIA, RE. Benghazi Annex response
* Outgoing: 2013-10-30 DEI & Royce to Brennan-CIA – Benghazi Annex response
* Outgoing: 2013-10-30 DEI & Royce to Hagel-DOD – Benghazi Annex response
* Outgoing: 2013-10-30 DEI & Royce to Kerry-DOS – Benghazi Annex respons
10/30/13 Rewards for Justice Program
* Incoming: 11.15.13 – State Dept, Kerry, RE. Benghazi Rewards for Justice
* Outgoing: 10.30.13 – State Dept, Kerry, Benghazi Rewards for Justice
11/19/13 Benghazi Four Employment Status Update
* Incoming: 01.17.14 -State Dept, RE. Benghazi Four Employment Status Update
* Outgoing: 11.19.13 – State Dept, Kerry, Beghazi Four Employment Status Update
* Outgoing: 12.13.13 – State, Follow-up on status ARB-cited employees
The list of other available reports is quite extensive but many of them are heavily redacted. The page should prove to be a valuable resource for anyone investigating the Benghazi terrorist attack.
While lawmakers in New York State are considering delaying the Common Core standards initiative because of its disastrous rollout, new problems with the academic standards are now drawing intense criticism.
Carol Burris, New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year, reports at Valerie Strauss’s Washington Post blog that Anna Shah, the mother of a kindergarten student, discovered highly offensive materials on the Student Services Page of the Engage NY Common Core materials site. When Shah reported her discovery to NYSED, the page was taken down, though the link had reportedly been active since October of 2012.
The link below is to a screen shot made prior to the removal of the site.
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) site contained a section called “Make test prep fun,” which directed students to a site with quizzes that help them find out if they are a “sexy bitch,” “evil,” a “freak,” “insane,” etc.
Scrolling down and right on the page, students could also click on the links to take quizzes that would help them find out if they are “sluts,” or “losers.”
Questions on the “Are you a slut?” test include:
How many sexual partners have you had?
Would you have a threesome or a gang bang?
Are you often called a slut?
Have you ever let a boy hump you or grind on you in your younger years?
Have you ever messed around with brothers, cousins, or some other people related somehow?
What type of sex do you enjoy/prefer?
Students who wish to find out if they are a “loser” must answer these questions:
Are you a virgin?
Do you pay to talk to hot girls, and or pay for any female interaction?
How many times per day do you jerk your dick to porn/female pictures?
When did you last have sex?
How much is in your savings and checking?
What’s the average size of your dick?
How much time do you spend on femdom sites per day?
Do you cross dress?
As Burris writes, the Engage NY website, created and maintained by NYSED, was supposed to be a step in a positive direction for Common Core in New York. Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch had earlier boasted that New York is the only state using its award of over $28 million in Race to the Top funds to develop curricula aligned with the new standards:
When parents and teachers complained about the content of the curriculum modules, state education Commissioner John King dismissed their concerns, saying that he has “tremendous confidence in the materials.” He often describes the interest in New York’s reforms by the number of “hits” on Engage NY pages.
Based on the “Make test prep fun” fiasco, Burris quips, “sometimes ‘hits’ on the pages prove to be embarrassing.”
The Obama administration knew in advance that Obamacare’s online small business (SHOP) exchanges would not be ready by deadline and agreed to delay part of the website as early as August, according to emails obtained by House Energy and Commerce Committee investigators.
The Committee accused Obama administration officials of misleading Congress about the website’s progress.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) officials and Obamacare website contractor CGI Federal secretly agreed that the SHOP program would have to be delayed more than a month before the administration told the American public that the program would still be ready on time.
CMS and CGI Federal agreed on Aug. 13 that SHOP would not be ready and would have to be delayed until Nov. 15. The administration then waited a month before announcing on Sept. 26 that “The SHOP Marketplace for Federally-facilitated Marketplace states opens Oct. 1, 2013, when small employers can start the application process and get an overview of available plans and premiums in their area. All functions for SHOP will be available in November and if employers and employees enroll by Dec. 15, 2013, coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2014.”
The administration’s announcement came just one week before employers were set to begin using SHOP. On Nov. 27, President Obama finally delayed the glitch-ridden SHOP exchanges by one year.
The emails paint a picture of an administration desperate to avoid public embarrassment and unwilling to delay launch deadlines, despite glaring flaws with the website.
“I’ve escalated your concerns regarding the SHOP Employee application not being completed until 10/15/13,” CMS official Jo-Ann Webber emailed on July 26, indicating that the administration knew that SHOP would not be completed until more than two weeks after its scheduled launch date.
“I am not recommending delay of the employer application,” fellow CMS official Dean Mohs replied to Webber.
“Guys, this is absolutely urgent and I need an answer on this today. If this is late we have to public[ly] announce we are late with a deliverable which means Marilyn Tavenner and the Secretary will have to announce,” CMS official Monique Outerbridge said on Aug. 6.
Nevertheless, CGI Federal presented its plan to roll out SHOP on deadline, and CMS official Henry Chao asked, “Can we sign this [plan] in blood?”
Congressional investigators see this as evidence that the Obama administration concealed its knowledge about the website’s failures from the American people – until it was too late.
“As the paper trail broadens, we see more and more evidence that the administration was fully aware its signature health care law was not ready for prime time,” said Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
“The documents we are now reviewing tell a much, much different story than what officials testified to Congress. While it’s not clear if any ‘blood oath’ was taken, the president’s top lieutenants repeatedly looked us in the eye, insisting that they were ‘on track’ when they knew looming deadlines would be impossible to meet. These are not the characteristics of the ‘most transparent administration in history,'” Upton said.
“Secretary Sebelius must come prepared next week to provide answers about what January 1 and beyond will really look like,” Upton added.
“As President Obama embarks on his latest PR push to try and salvage his signature legislation, we’re finding more evidence that the administration was painfully aware the work would not be complete by October 1,” said Committee member Rep. Tim Murphy, who heads the Health and Energy oversight and investigations subcommittee.
But no one in the administration has been willing to tell us how many policies have been purchased, and this may be the reason: CBS News has learned enrollments got off to an incredibly slow start.
Early enrollment figures are contained in notes from twice-a-day “war room” meetings convened within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after the website failed on Oct. 1. They were turned over in response to a document request from the House Oversight Committee.
The website launched on a Tuesday. Publicly, the government said there were 4.7 million unique visits in the first 24 hours. But at a meeting Wednesday morning, the war room notes say “six enrollments have occurred so far.”
They were with BlueCross BlueShield North Carolina and Kansas City, CareSource and Healthcare Service Corporation.
By Wednesday afternoon, enrollments were up to “approximately 100.” By the end of Wednesday, the notes reflect “248 enrollments” nationwide.
The health care exchanges need to average 39,000 enrollees a day to meet the goal of seven million by March 1. The war room notes give a glimpse into some of the reasons customers had problems:
* “Direct enrollment (signing up directly on an insurer’s website) is not working for any issuers.”
* “Experian” credit reporting agency is “creating confusion with credit check information.”
* “Issuer phone numbers are not appearing correctly on the Pay Now page.”
The notes leave no doubt that some enrollment figures, which the administration has chosen to keep secret, are available.
“Statistics coming in,” said notes from the very first meeting the morning of Oct. 2. Contractor “QSSI has a daily dashboard created every night.”
But head of CMS Marilyn Tavenner would not disclose any figures when Rep. Dave Camp, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, asked earlier this week.
“Chairman Camp, we will have those numbers available in mid-November,” she said.
Health and Human Services told CBS News Thursday it’s in no position to confirm or discuss enrollment figures because it doesn’t have any. A spokesman suggested the numbers obtained by CBS News may not include all the different ways to enroll, such as paper applications. The spokesman also said that enrollment figures in Massachusetts’ health care plan started off negligible but then skyrocketed as a deadline neared.
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.
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.
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.
Just minutes before Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was set to testify on Capitol Hill, the Healthcare.gov site crashed. Spot checks verified that the State of North Carolina, Virginia, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, and New Hampshire are all down – which likely means the entire federal site is down.
The site was still down thirty-minutes into Sebelius’ testimony.
Washington (CNN) — The Obama administration was given stark warnings just one month before launch that the federal healthcare site was not ready to go live, according to a confidential report obtained by CNN.
The caution, from the main contractor CGI, warned of a number of open risks and issues for the HealthCare.gov web site even as company executives were testifying publicly that the project had achieved key milestones.
On Capitol Hill on Monday, Medicaid Chief Marilyn Tavenner, whose job it was to oversee the October 1 rollout of the website, said she did not foresee its problems.
“No, we had tested the website and we were comfortable with its performance,” she said. “Now, like I said, we knew all along there would be as with any new website, some individual glitches we would have to work out. But, the volume issue and the creation of account issues was not anticipated and obviously took us by surprise. And did not show up in testing.”
But the CGI document, which describes “top risks currently open” and “outstanding issues currently being mitigated” says the testing timeframes are “not adequate to complete full functional, system, and integration testing activities” and lists the impact of the problems as “significant.”
Another element is listed as ” not enough time in schedule to conduct adequate performance testing” and given the highest priority.
From the Daily Caller:
Company behind Obamacare website in charge of nearly $2 billion in Sandy relief
By Allison Coyle | October 26, 2013
GI Federal Inc., the mastermind behind healthcare.gov, is assisting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the distribution of $1.7 billion in relief for Hurricane Sandy.
In a memo obtained by FreedomWorks titled, “Minutes of the 295th meeting of the members of the Housing Trust Fund Corporation held on May 9, 2013, at 8:30 a.m.,” CGI Federal is tasked with implementing the Disaster Housing Assistance Program. Additionally, they are asked to aid in the implementation of the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program, an assistance program that had recently obtained $1.7 billion…
The Associated Press revealed Tuesday that a mere $700 million of the $60 billion federal aid package – 1.2 percent of the total funds – has been given to victims of super storm Sandy.
Nearly a year after the devastating storm, a majority of the 24,000 families that have requested monetary assistance have yet to receive a penny from the federal aid package.
There have probably been ‘glitches.’
Meanwhile, we have this from the Daily Caller:
Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is executive at company that built Obamacare website
By Patrick Howley | October 25, 2013
First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the contract to build the failed Obamacare website.
Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov. CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.
Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni…
But it’s almost certainly just a coincidence. The Obama administration has carefully eschewed even the appearance of any cronyism.
First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the contract to build the failed Obamacare website.
Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov. CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.
Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.
Toni Townes ’85 is a onetime policy analyst with the General Accounting Office and previously served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, West Africa. Her decision to return to work, as an African-American woman, after six years of raising kids was applauded by a Princeton alumni publication in 1998
George Schindler, the president for U.S. and Canada of the Canadian-based CGI Group, CGI Federal’s parent company, became an Obama 2012 campaign donor after his company gained the Obamacare website contract.
As reported by the Washington Examiner in early October, the Department of Health and Human Services reviewed only CGI’s bid for the Obamacare account. CGI was one of 16 companies qualified under the Bush administration to provide certain tech services to the federal government. A senior vice president for the company testified this week before The House Committee on Energy and Commerce that four companies submitted bids, but did not name those companies or explain why only CGI’s bid was considered.
On the government end, construction of the disastrous Healthcare.gov website was overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of longtime failed website-builder Kathleen Sebelius’ Department of Health and Human Services.
Update: The Daily Caller repeatedly contacted CGI Federal for comment. After publication of this article, the company responded that there would be “nothing coming out of CGI for the record or otherwise today.” The company did however insist that The Daily Caller include a reference to vice president Cheryl Campbell’s House testimony. This has been included as a courtesy to the company.
Well, the good news is that HHS has actually tried to fix a few things on the Healthcare.gov website. The bad news is that the fixes make the confusion and incompetence even worse. After hearing a hailstorm of criticism over the necessity to completely enroll before seeing premium prices, HHS added a premium estimator on the front page of the website. However, unless you are exactly 27 or 50 years old, the estimates you get will wildly undershoot what you’ll be forced to pay.
CBS reports that industry analysts can’t believe what they are seeing:
As President Obama promises to fix HealthCare.gov, his administration is touting what it calls “improvements” in design, specifically a feature that allows you to “See Plans Now.” White House press secretary Jay Carney has said, “Americans across the country can type in their zip code and shop and browse.”
Industry analysts, such as Jonathan Wu, point to how the website lumps people only into two broad categories: “49 or under” and “50 or older.”
Wu said it’s “incredibly misleading for people that are trying to get a sense of what they’re paying.”
Prices for everyone in the 49-or-under group are based on what a 27-year-old would pay. In the 50-or-older group, prices are based on what a 50-year-old would pay.
CBS News ran the numbers for a 48-year-old in Charlotte, N.C., ineligible for subsidies. According to HealthCare.gov, she would pay $231 a month, but the actual plan on BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina’s website costs $360, more than a 50 percent increase. The difference: BlueCross BlueShield requests your birthday before providing more accurate estimates.
The numbers for older Americans are even more striking. A 62-year-old in Charlotte looking for the same basic plan would get a price estimate on the government website of $394. The actual price is $634.
What part of “trust us to fix what we couldn’t deliver correctly in the first place” do industry analysts not understand?
Who needs five years to build a website? The Obama administration, that’s who!
What a disaster.
HHS Secretary Sebelius told supporters on Saturday that the administration needed five years to construct the website and two years to test it out.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
After two weeks of review, the HHS secretary concluded, “We didn’t have enough testing, specifically for high volumes, for a very complicated project.”
The online insurance marketplace needed five years of construction and a year of testing, she said: “We had two years and almost no testing.”
In her role as HHS secretary, Mrs. Sebelius is traveling around the U.S. to persuade people to sign up for coverage.
How do you describe the train wreck that is Obama Care? Flustercuck? Massive FAIL? Incompetence on a level never before seen or even imagined? Maybe all of the above, as The Lonely Conservative finds
The Obama administration is recognizing the glitches in its Healthcare.gov website that nobody bothered to test before rolling it out to the public. It turns out there are more than a few glitches. One person interviewed by The New York Timesestimates that there are about 5,000,000 lines of code that need to be rewritten. I wonder what this is going to cost us.
In interviews, experts said the technological problems of the site went far beyond the roadblocks to creating accounts that continue to prevent legions of users from even registering. Indeed, several said, the login problems, though vexing to consumers, may be the easiest to solve. One specialist said that as many as five million lines of software code may need to be rewritten before the Web site runs properly.
“The account creation and registration problems are masking the problems that will happen later,” said one person involved in the repair effort. (Read More)
An illegal immigrant in New York is serving as an Obamacare navigator, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, a non-profit limited immigration group.
According to a CIS report, Maria Marroquin – identified as an illegal immigrant as recently as March 2013 – from Peru is also the “Health Education Organizer” for the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY).
ROC-NY is listed as a subcontractor for the “New York Health Benefit Exchange: In-Person Assistors and Navigators.”
“IPA/Navigators will provide in person application assistance to individuals, families and small businesses and their employees at initial enrollment and when renewing coverage. IPA/Navigators remove barriers to the application process by providing assistance in multiple languages, in community based settings during non-traditional hours such as evenings and weekends,” The New York health care exchange explains.
When reached by The Daily Caller for comment Marroquin would not speak about her immigration status or Obamacare position, instead telling TheDC she would “call back.”
Multiple attempts to reach Marroquin after the fact were unsuccessful. She reportedly applied for President Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program in September 2012.
Monday, Michael Volpe – writing for TheDC – highlighted another Obamacare outreach worker in Lawrence, Kansas with an outstanding arrest warrant.
Rosilyn Wells was certified to assist Obamacare signups as well – thanks to an HHS grant – despite a 2003 bankruptcy, a 2007 civil charge from Midwest Checkrite, and the aforementioned outstanding arrest warrant.
As Volpe pointed out, the House Oversight Committee recently issued a report highlighting the personal security risks involved with handing over sensitive consumer information to such workers – who are not required to undergo background checks.
“[T]he main concern for consumers is the heightened risk of identity theft and financial loss from a poorly managed outreach campaign,” the Oversight Committee report read. “Navigators and Assisters will come into contact with a plethora of personally identifiable information (PII), including an applicant’s Social Security number, date of birth and income, as well as the PII of everyone in an applicant’s household.”
James R. Edwards Jr., a CIS fellow and the author of the report on Marroquin explained to TheDC that the main concern with having an undocumented immigrant as a navigator is identity theft.
“If you are illegally present then you might be inclined to use some of those folks who you are supposedly helping, use their information for your own or somebody else’s benefit,” Edwards explained to TheDC.
A spokesperson for HHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
And yet the website still isn’t working properly. I guess the reason for the site’s horrific performance wasn’t traffic related as the White House has been claiming.
The number of visitors to the federal government’s HealthCare.gov Web site plummeted 88 percent between Oct. 1 and Oct. 13, according to a new analysis of America’s online use, while less than half of 1 percent of the site’s visitors successfully enrolled for health insurance the first week.
The new numbers on the Affordable Care Act – released by Kantar US Insights, and based on an assessment conducted by the nonpartisan research firm Millward Brown Digital – provide a snapshot of how the federal health-care exchange has fared since it launched at the start of the month.
Based on a sample of two million users – or 1 percent of all online users in the U.S. – which Millward Brown Digital has permission to track, it suggests that the rush of traffic administration officials cited as the cause of the site’s problems trailed off within a matter of days.
Two weeks after the ObamaCare exchanges were opened for business, a photo received by the Washington Free Beacon depicts only one person in a room at an event in South Carolina intended to educate the public about the benefits of enrolling in ObamaCare.
The two-hour event in North Charleston was listed on the Get Covered America website and was hosted by Ve Ja Manigault, who explained how Americans can enroll in the healthcare exchanges implemented by ObamaCare.
The federal government has spent $634million on the Obamacare website – more than it cost to build Facebook or Twitter, it was revealed today.
Despite the massive bill to taxpayers, the Healthcare.gov still doesn’t work properly ten days after it was launched – allowing only a handful of Americans to sign up for plans on the insurance exchange market.
And experts warn that the site is likely to continue to experience significant glitches for months to come as engineers work out the bugs they failed to to spot before the site went live on October 1.
The price tag for the broken healthcare site is more than six and a half times higher than what the government initially meant to pay.
Failure: This is the error message MailOnline received on Thursday when a reporter tried to sign in to Healthcare.gov. Some content on the site doesn’t even appear to have been proof-read
It appears that only a handful of users have been able to sign up for health insurance through Healthcare.gov ten days after the site launched
In 2011, the Obama Administration agreed to pay contractor CGI Federal $93.7million to build, launch and maintain Healthcare.gov.
In the two and years since CGI Federal won the bid to build the Obamacare site, the company requested more and more money to cover cost over-runs. And the federal government had agreed.
Experts say the site has dramatic problems with the back-end architecture has resulted in servers becoming overloaded and bogging down. But the interface is also a problem. Much of the site contains grammatical and typographical errors. Java Script errors prevent pages from loading correctly in browsers.
Even more infuriating, Andrew Couts of Digital Trends points out, is the fact that much larger, more successful sites have been built for far less money.
Facebook operated for its six years, until June 2010, on less than $600million in outside funding – a acquiring more than half a billion users and more than 130million monthly unique page views.
Twitter, founded in 2006, operated on $360million in investment until 2011 – when servers were processing more than 140million tweets a day.
The October 1 roll out of health insurance exchanges is one of the key pieces President Barack Obama’s health care law
The professional social network LinkedIn built a base of more than 230million users with $200million in funding.
The Washington Post reports that 4.7million people tried to log onto the site in the first 24 hours.
But, the government has refused to release traffic number for Healthcare.gov since.
On Thursday, the site allowed visitors to create a username, but was not allowing log-ins.
Digitial Trends points out that it’s not as though the United States of is short on talent when it comes to developing online software – Americans invested the Internet itself, after all.
CGI Federal has refused to comment on the glitches and why Healthcare.gov has failed to work – or when full service might be restored.
Government contractor CGI Federal won the contract to build Healthcare.gov two years ago – for $94million
The Department of Better Technology, a federal contractor that competes with CGI Federal, sheds some insight into why the Healthcare.gov contract might have failed so spectacularly.
‘That cancer is called “procurement” and it’s primarily a culture driven cancer one that tries to mitigate so much risk that it all but ensures it. It’s one that allowed for only a handful of companies like CGI Federal to not only build disasters like this, but to keep building more and more failures without any accountability to the ultimate client: us,’ the company wrote in an op-ed posted on its site.
On top of promoting mediocrity, the federal procurement system also weighs down site developers with 6,500 pages of registration and regulation for contractors.
Those restriction ensure that ‘very few new businesses can compete for contracts, and the ones that do end up becoming specialists in those regulatory burdens, not in doing the right thing,’ the Department of Better Technology says.
The unemployed in Illinois may experience frustration when applying for unemployment benefits if they do not speak fluent “Klingon” – the language of “Star Trek” creatures. The Illinois Department of Employment Security website makes it difficult to get answers in English, but Klingon is no problem. Unfortunately, this is no joke, or is it?
The Illinois bureaucrats claim they added the language to promote the new Star Trek movie. Independent Journal Review is at a loss for why the Illinois site would do this, and speculates maybe they got some money for it.
Here’s another theory to consider: Maybe no direct money but rather a quid pro quo exchange to promote the movie as a reward for Hollywood’s ATM-like support for the Democratic regime. Just a thought…
WQAD reports the following:
Cory Dilts feels like a character out of “Star Trek” these days.
He’s trying to boldly go where no man has gone before. Really, he just wants to log on to the Illinois Department of Employment Security website.
“You don’t get to talk to a human,” he said. “You don’t get tech support.”
When the Kewanee, Illinois, man lost his job in August, he turned to the IDES website. But instead of help, he found Klingon as a language option.
“To see this, it becomes a slap in the face,” he said.
Yes, Klingon, the language of fictional villains from “Star Trek.”
IDES says it got a positive response and boosted website traffic from a free Microsoft service.
But Dilts isn’t laughing. After battling faulty passwords and phone numbers, he faces losing his home.
“How does this make them look?” he asked. “They do not look professional.”
Dilts just want to make ends meet, let alone to live long and prosper. To him, this Klingon communication is no joke.
“They make it sound like just because you’re unemployed, this is going to make you laugh,” he continued. “It does not.”
IDES is already under fire for policy changes at its Rock Island office. The agency is driving clients to a website that frequently locks up while offering bad practical jokes.
“When they’re running into those kind of roadblocks on the internet or on the phones, it’s just that more hard to do,” said Moline Township Supervisor Don Johnston.
There was more bad news in Thursday’s mail for Dilts.
“You have been rejected for benefits,” he read.
His unemployment application was turned down. It will force him to appeal and fight the system again.