Administration Announces Plan to Fix Obamacare Website by Nov. 30

A rocky start: Obamacare.
National Journal
Sam Baker
Oct. 25, 2013, 9:22 a.m.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion (fi­nally) an­nounced a plan to fix Health­Care.gov, the broken web­site to en­roll in health in­sur­ance through Obama­care.

The site was sup­posed to be up and run­ning Oct. 1, but it has been mired in tech­nic­al prob­lems that make it all but un­us­able. The new dead­line for a func­tion­al web­site is Nov. 30, of­fi­cials said Fri­day.

“We are con­fid­ent that by the end of the month of Novem­ber, Health­Care.gov will op­er­ate smoothly,” said Jeff Zi­ents, the former White House budget dir­ect­or tasked with find­ing a way to get the en­roll­ment pro­cess back on track. He said a group of tech­no­logy ex­perts has de­veloped a “punch list” of prob­lems they need to fix in or­der to get Health­Care.gov on track. At the top of the list, he said, are prob­lems with the in­form­a­tion the site is feed­ing to in­sur­ance com­pan­ies.

Those back-end is­sues haven’t got­ten as much at­ten­tion as the prob­lems people have had sign­ing up to shop for in­sur­ance, but they’re po­ten­tially much more ser­i­ous. In­surers have warned that if the pace of en­roll­ment picks up be­fore back-end prob­lems are fixed, they’ll be swamped with loads of in­ac­cur­ate, con­tra­dict­ory in­form­a­tion and un­able to pro­cess ap­plic­a­tions cor­rectly. Zi­ents said Qual­ity Soft­ware Ser­vices Inc.—the com­pany that built a massive “data hub” for the health care law’s ex­changes—will take the lead on co­ordin­at­ing re­pairs to the site.

That de­cision ap­pears to rec­ti­fy one of the main com­plaints about the ini­tial launch: that the Health and Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment put it­self in charge of pulling to­geth­er con­tract­ors’ work, rather than ap­point­ing one con­tract­or to over­see the whole pro­ject.

The end-of-Novem­ber dead­line to fix the en­roll­ment pro­cess puts un­in­sured con­sumers on a tight­er timeline to buy cov­er­age. Dec. 15 is the last day to buy cov­er­age that be­gins on Jan. 1. So there’s only a short win­dow between the new tar­get date for Health­Care.gov and the dead­line to buy cov­er­age.

But of­fi­cials said they ex­pect the site to make in­cre­ment­al pro­gress between now and the end of Novem­ber, so that more people will gradu­ally be able to make their way in­to the sys­tem.

COR­REC­TION: A pre­vi­ous ver­sion of this story mis­stated the name of the com­pany that de­veloped the data hub for state health in­sur­ance ex­changes.

What We're Following See More »
WILL APPEAR TOGETHER TOMORROW
As Expected, Clinton Goes with Kaine
12 hours ago
THE LATEST
SO MUCH FOR THE RATINGS BUMP
Convention Ratings Same as 2012
19 hours ago
THE LATEST
8,000 DOCUMENTS
Wikileaks Releases Trove of DNC Docs
20 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Wikileaks published more than 8,000 documents purportedly taken from the Democratic National Committee Friday, just days before the start of the party's convention in Philadelphia. The documents included briefings on off-the-record fundraisers and candid photographs."

Source:
YES, WE KAINE?
Clinton Announcing VP Pick Today
23 hours ago
THE LATEST

Hillary Clinton "is widely expected to announce her choice" of vice president "in an email to supporters while on a campaign swing in Florida on Friday afternoon." The consensus: it'll be Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, although Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are also said to be in the running.

Source:
EARLY BUMP FOR TRUMP?
New Round of Polls Show a Tight Race
1 days ago
THE LATEST
  • A Rasmussen Reports poll shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%, the fourth week in a row he's led the poll (one of the few poll in which he's led consistently of late).
  • A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Clinton leading 40%-36%. In a four-way race, she maintains her four-point lead, 39%-35%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 7% and 3%, respectively.
  • And the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll shows a dead heat, with Trump ahead by about half a percentage point.
×