Stanley Feld M.D., FACP,MACE
In the last ten days before the November 30 deadline to fix healthcare.gov President Obama dialed down his definition of fixing www.healtcare.gov.
President Obama knew at that time that the back end of www.healthcare.gov was not completed. He knew a security was not built into the system. Yet he is telling the people it would not work perfectly.
At the same time he made this promise he was fighting the reality. It looked like the traditional media was finally presenting reality and not President Obama campaign hype.
Obamacare is directly affecting them. Over 5 million people, in the individual market have lost a healthcare insurance policy. They could not get on healthcare.gov to buy insurance from the health insurance exchange.
I would expect at least 5 million more to lose their individual insurance. It is predicted that at least 80 million more will lose their group policy under Obamacare.
The premiums for new policies are skyrocketing because of the required Obamacare coverage mandate.
On Sunday, as a Nov. 30 deadline set by the administration for improvements to the web site had passed.
CMS issued a report concluding: "We believe we have met the goal of having a system that will work smoothly for the vast majority of users."
On October 5, we were told that healthcare.gov would be completely operational by November 30th. Would that statement be considered a lie given the result?
Federal officials have acknowledged they had only begun to make headway on the biggest underlying problems: the system's ability to verify users' identities and accurately transmit enrollment data to insurers.
Insurers have complained they have not gotten accurate data to do their due diligence. There is no mechanism for payment of premiums or subsidies. The insurance companies have not issued insurance policies.
Many people think they have signed up for insurance. They do not have an insurance policy that covers their healthcare.
They have not been issued insurance policies because of the lack of the health insurance exchange transfer of accurate verified data nor have they paid the premium.
Once a person applies for insurance, income must be verified, subsidy calculated and a premium must be paid before insurance is in effect.
Much of this data collection and transfer has not been built into the healthcare.gov system.
Many software programmers claim the software used by CGI makes the integration impossible to do effectively.
Insurers do not want to take the risk without verification of the criteria for qualifications or premium collection.
Insurers and some states are continuing to look for ways to bypass the balky technology underpinning the health-care law despite the Obama administration's claim Sunday that it had made "dramatic progress" in fixing the federal insurance website.
The Obama administration has not released the number of people who have applied, been approved and have paid their premiums.
Only 26,000 people signed up and think they “got” insurance coverage by November 2 according to data released November 15th.
The November 30th numbers have not been officially released.
I do not blame the healthcare insurance industry for doing business in a business like way.
Obamacare is facing these and other giant issues.
Another big issue is the security of personal information issue an applicant enters on the web site. The security of information has not been addressed. In fact, hidden code in the web sites code releases www.healthcare.gov from responsibility for maintaining privacy.
The application process is still complex. This is a glimpse of the steps necessary to complete the application. Double click on the image to enlarge the image.
As far as President Obama is concerned he has delivered on his promise to make www.healthcare.gov functional by November 30 even if he modified his promise along the way.
The traditional media is cheering for him on his delivery of his promise.
Can anyone believe this?
After spending two months of defending www.healthcare.gov and his ill advised promises about “keeping your healthcare insurance and doctor period”, President Obama figured it is time to change the subject and go on the offensive since he has delivered as promised on the web site.
President Obama, starting Tuesday, will hold an event a day that will emphasize a different benefit of the law and try to remind Americans why Democrats pushed the law through Congress in the first place, according a White House official.
The plan is to have an event-a-day push to extoll the virtues of Obamacare. It will continue through much of the holiday season until the Dec. 23 enrollment deadline for January coverage.
The Obama administration coordinated the promotional blitz with Democratic allies on Capitol Hill and the party's campaign committees, all of which will be involved in pitching the daily message through press events and social media.
The idea of this campaign is to refocus the media and citizens away from the upcoming problems with www.healthcare.gov and emphasize the core principles of Obamacare.
President Obama has used the same strategy many times with healthcare, and his other scandals as he pursues his transformational agenda. It is called a diversion.
He plans to make clear the direct benefits Obamacare has provided to millions of Americans already.
Americans are starting realize Obamacare has meant more taxes,( to everyone including the poor, middleclass and wealthy), tremendous increases in healthcare insurance premiums, less full time jobs, less access to care and glimpses of the upcoming torrent of rationing of medical care.
Democrats and consumers are realizing the sham of this promotional campaign.
Many congressmen are running for the exits because they are up for reelection in 2014. They are trying to avoid the folly of President Obama’s promotional blitz.
The public relations ploy will further decrease President Obama’s credibility.
How can we trust the government with our healthcare decisions when it is having so much difficulty constructing a web site?
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.
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