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Health Care Edge

No Goals for Fixing Website's Biggest Problems

November 18, 2013

No Goals for Fixing Website's Biggest Problems

There was some pretty frightening news over the weekend about the plan--such as it is--to fix The administration apparently has "no concrete goals for the site's accuracy, including whether users are correctly informed whether they are eligible for federal help in paying for health plans or whether insurance companies are given correct information about their new customers," according to The Washington Post.

The Post also reported that the administration will consider the website "fixed" if at least 80 percent of users can make it through the enrollment process. That obviously falls short of a full repair job, but the lack of a plan for the site's back-end problems--incorrect subsidy calculations and erroneous information to insurers--is worse. As National Journal has reported, the site's front-end problems could have been a blessing in disguise, allowing the administration to work out back-end problems while there was still only a trickle of enrollees. And officials said those back-end problems were at the top of the "punch list" for fixing the site.


But it sounds like the administration has set goals for the user process alone, and not the accuracy of back-end information. That threatens to leave's biggest problems intact, if it doesn't make them worse.

Sam Baker

Top Health Care News

By Sophie Novack and Clara Ritger

OBAMACARE WEBSITE GOAL: 80 PERCENT. If 80 percent of users on are able to enroll in coverage, the federal government considers the online marketplace a success.

D.C. MAYOR DISMISSES INSURANCE COMMISSIONER. The insurance commissioner got the boot after criticizing Obama's proposed fix to the health-plan cancellation notices.

REPUBLICANS PUSH PLAN TO RENEGE ON MEDICAID PROMISE. Rep. Tom Price and other House Republicans say states should have to pay for at least part of their expanded Medicaid programs.

FRUSTRATION BUILDING AMONG SENATE DEMOCRATS. Close ties between the Capitol and the White House are being frayed by flaws in Obamacare.

OBAMACARE IS REVERSING POLITICAL FORTUNES. Democratic leaders in Congress are tasked with preventing from becoming political chaos, changing the game in 2014.

OBAMACARE'S PROBLEMS COULD HAUNT DEMOCRATS FOR YEARS. The party's strategists thought the program would show white voters that government can help them. It's not going so well.

OBAMACARE DOESN'T MAKE 2016 A LOCK FOR THE GOP. While Republicans are well-positioned after the troubled rollout of, they still have structural and demographic issues their party has to overcome if they want to make a splash in 2016.

WHERE STATES STAND ON OBAMA'S INSURANCE CANCELLATION 'FIX.' Updated as state insurance commissioners decide whether to allow non-ACA compliant plans to be offered another year.

SUPPORTING OBAMACARE BUT REJECTING OBAMA'S 'FIX.' An interview with the Washington state insurance commissioner.

GOP 'KEEP YOUR PLAN' BILL DRAWS DOZENS OF DEMOCRATS. A bill introduced by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., to allow people to keep their health care plans drew its share of Democratic support Friday.

INSURERS UNDER FIRE FOR MISLEADING LETTERS. Insurance companies have sent thousands of misleading, threatening, and incorrect letters to consumers to keep them on their plans and away from the Obamacare exchanges, and state insurance commissioners are on it.

MORE REVEALING OBAMACARE WEBSITE DOCUMENTS. Emails from July show staff overseeing were concerned the project was in jeopardy.

PRINCETON MAY IMPORT MENINGITIS VACCINE TO STOP OUTBREAK. FDA officials said the university can import Bexsero, a vaccine approved for use in Europe and Australia, but not the U.S.

A DOUBLE-EDGED DRUG. Buprenorphine has become both an addiction treatment and a dangerous drug.

TENNESSEE GOVERNOR HESITATES ON MEDICAID. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has yet to decide if Tennessee will expand Medicaid, frustrating many in the state.

Happening Today

INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE WORKSHOP. The first in a two-day workshop begins Monday at 8:30 a.m. It is titled "The Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on U.S. Preparedness Resources and Programs."

FAMILIES USA CONFERENCE CALL. An update from state exchange directors on Affordable Care Act enrollment at noon Monday. Contact for more about the call.

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