The Sunday show ObamaCare news coverage post-deadline — in case you missed it — amounted to more broken promises. The Obama administration’s promise to fix the problem plagued-website before their self-imposed deadline of November 30, was broken.
After using a column in USA Today for a sales pitch and to take a victory lap, regardless of the fact the site’s fundamental problems are still present, Secretary Sebelius admits the site is still not working for those who truly need to use it. “For those who prefer to shop online, you may want to visit HealthCare.gov in off-peak hours when there is less traffic — mornings, evenings, or on weekends,” she wrote.
Obama adviser Jeffrey Zients said that their big key improvement increasing HealthCare.gov’s capacity to 50,000 simultaneous users, which would allow the site to handle a minimum of 800,000 users per day. But Zients admitted that traffic volume increases in the coming weeks would erase the new capacity regardless, because the more consumers visit the site to sign up before the December 23 deadline for coverage that begins January 1, the more the site will fail.
That could delay some people from completing online applications for subsidized health coverage, and the reason for the soon-to-be failure is simple. They refused to listen to experts, such as security guru John McAfee and David Kennedy, a “white hat hacker” who also testified at the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing in November.
Kennedy said the problems were “impossible” to fix by the deadline, and merely placing patches of better code over bad code is subjecting user information to identity theft risks, or as McAfee referred to it, “a hacker’s wet dream.” Essentially, they are attempting to make enough fixes to give the appearance the site is functional, but in reality insurers are still not even receiving accurate, appropriate consumer information.
Depending on which show you were watching on Sunday, however, you may not even know any of this. So, we chose one debate on one show that covered the latest ObamaCare news that you and your family absolutely need to know. As usual, however, it needs some translation, because no matter how good the moderator, is it seemingly impossible to get complete answers out of proponents of the law.
On “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace, Neera Tanden, who is the president of the leftist Center for American Progress think tank, debated James Capretta, an AEI fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Worth mentioning, Tanden was a key member of the Obama administration’s team that wrote and passed the behemoth law, ObamaCare.
Beginning with the fundamental integration software, which relays sensitive user information to the insurers, Capretta said the full extent of success or failure will take about a month to ascertain.
“It’s very clear from multiple media reports that the system is still not accurate when it makes payments to the insurance plan. In fact, they’re doing a workaround. They’re going to actually make large lump sum payments to the insurance plan, based on self- reporting from the insurance companies instead of actual individual subsidy calculations. So, they’re working around the whole problem instead of actually solving it,” Capretta said.
In other words, they have no idea who gets what subsidies for which plans, so they are throwing a bunch of money at the insurers in hopes they will cover the cost, with no regard to the security risks associated with user information.
Ignoring the security risks altogether, Tanden revisited the problems associated with Medicare Part D stating, “we actually had hundreds of thousands of seniors being sent to the wrong — they got the wrong pharmaceutical information. That’s a big problem.”
As if that wasn’t enough of an inadequate answer, it was also an inaccurate analogy, because the integration software for Medicare Part D was secure. Even though the programming wrong, it wasn’t an architectural problem with the code that made user information susceptible to theft.
Regarding the loss of health insurance plans, which of course, is the now-infamous broken promise made by President Obama, Capretta highlighted the employer-sponsored insurance cancellation notices that have yet to go out. While others are starting to come to grips with the reality that some 5 million Americans in the individual market have lost their plans with many more to come, this was the one debate all Sunday that touched on the severity and the magnitude of the soon-to-be problem of cancelled employer-sponsored plans.
But they will be cancelled, and as our PPD study first claimed, around 145 million Americans will lose their current plan and doctor.
“Is it or is it not the case that this isn’t just a question — an issue of problem with people with individual policies, but that a lot of people who get their health insurance through their small business employer or even big corporations are going to lose that coverage?” Wallace asked.
“They will,” Capretta bluntly answers. “The law requires — especially small businesses to pay premiums as a large group now, instead of just for the individual enrollment in their company. So, if you have a healthy company and you’re small, your premiums are pretty low today, you’re going to get cooled with a larger group in the future and your premiums are going to go up. Moreover, you have to buy more expansive coverage that is compliant with the new law. So, lots of small businesses signed up for 2014 are going to get notices in the coming months saying, hey, you can’t get your old plan anymore. The same problem that individuals face, these problems are going to wipe all the way out through the small business community.”
You’ll notice that Tanden could not refute Capretta on the facts, thus she goes into a mindless, childish rant about some imagined plan that John McCain supported in 2008, and an attack that falsely charged Capretta with authoring a plan that would have a similar impact.
“With all due respect, I don’t want to get into the plans that don’t exist,” Wallace interjected. “Yes, the plan I drafted, which I would love to have Congress and other people consider, would not actually affect the vast majority of people in employer based coverage because it wouldn’t change the exclusion,” Capretta said correcting the record.
The interviewed debate goes on to discuss the narrowing of choice and coverage under the new law, as well as a few other tidbits. But, ironically, what the debate did not surround was whether or not the amount of people who lost their insurance will have a good experience trying to obtain another policy on the federal website, because that is irrefutable.
The promise was that the website would be fully functional come the self-imposed November 30 deadline, but it isn’t. No amount of downplaying by the administration over the last few weeks has changed that fact. The site isn’t functional, correct user information is not safely being transmitted to insurers, and the government is willing to risk the identity theft of millions of Americans just to keep up this charade.
It’s just another broken promise.