Skip to comments.Former official: Admin refused to bring in outside help for ObamaCare website for fear GOP....
Posted on 10/18/2013 8:45:45 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Facing such intense opposition from congressional Republicans, the administration was in a bunker mentality as it built the enrollment system, one former administration official said. Officials feared that if they called on outsiders to help with the technical details of how to run a commerce website, those companies could be subpoenaed by Hill Republicans, the former aide said. So the task fell to trusted campaign tech experts.
Very important to understand: Between this and the fact that HHS deliberately hid the price of insurance behind a reg wall on Healthcare.gov to reduce rate shock, the grand takeaway about the websites failure is that O and his team made it much worse than it needed to be because they were terrified of transparency. And the reason they were terrified of transparency, both in the case of hiding the cost of the premiums from web users and hiding the sites architectural problems from contractors who might be hauled before Congress, is because they know theyve delivered a bad product. Put the premiums on the front page and the public, expecting affordable care, would recoil at the truth. Put the contractors at the witness table before Issas committee and the public, expecting that the government would fix health care, would recoil upon discovering that they cant even build a website with three years lead time.
I dont know whats more amazing, that theyd place their own political comfort above creating a smoother user experience for the uninsured or that they somehow didnt realize that a botched rollout on October 1 would be far more embarrassing than contractors talking to Republicans under oath. Or would it? What was HHS so worried that outside contractors would tell the GOP that they preferred to risk total chaos on the exchanges during launch month instead?
Apropos of nothing, Reuters is now reporting that the budget for the site exploded earlier this year as the Hopenchange brain trust realized they were way, way, way off course. And by exploded, I mean tripled:
How and why the system failed, and how long it will take to fix, remains unclear. But evidence of a last-minute surge in spending suggests the needs of the project were growing well beyond the initial expectations of the contractor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Why this went from a ceiling of $93.7 million to $292 million is hard to fathom, said Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group that analyzes government contracting.
Something changed. It suggests they ran into problems and knew last spring that they couldnt do it for $93.7 million. They just blew through the original ceiling. Where was the contract oversight?
The Obama administration was issuing regulations and changing policy regarding how the reform should be implemented late into this summer. Many required significant changes to the IT running Healthcare.gov, which kept contractors scrambling.
Well need congressional hearings to find out which regulations forced the IT team to scramble at the eleventh hour to rework the site, but this could be another example of the White Houses desire to hide the uglier parts of this boondoggle creating problems for the website architecture. Remember, it was only this past summer that HHS suddenly decided to eliminate income verification for subsidies for the first year. Applicants will be placed on the honor system in reporting their wages, which is basically an invitation to commit fraud but which serves the end of making those subsidies nice and robust for anyone willing to lie, which encourages enrollment. Could be that they built the site with the income verification tech integrated and then had to tear it out quickly and haphazardly once HHS changed its mind, leading to bugs. Like I say, this is what congressional hearings are for.
Nancy Pelosi, by the way, thinks theres no reason at all to delay ObamaCare if the exchanges are still a disaster come December, which also happens to be the deadline for enrollment if you want your coverage to begin in January. Id be surprised if theres a single manager anywhere in the insurance industry who agrees with her, given the Thunderdome-levels of chaos Glitchapalooza will be causing them next year if this persists much longer.
Update: Merry Christmas, Barack.
The federal health care exchange was built using 10-year-old technology that may require constant fixes and updates for the next six months and the eventual overhaul of the entire system, technology experts told USA TODAY
Recent changes have made the exchanges easier to use, but they still require clearing the computers cache several times, stopping a pop-up blocker, talking to people via Web chat who suggest waiting until the server is not busy, opening links in new windows and clicking on every available possibility on a page in the hopes of not receiving an error message. With those changes, it took one hour to navigate the HealthCare.gov enrollment process Wednesday.
Those steps shouldnt be necessary, experts said.
I have never seen a website in the last five years require you to delete the cache in an effort to resolve errors, said Dan Schuyler, a director at Leavitt Partners, a health care group by former Health and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt. This is a very early Web 1.0 type of fix.
Youll have to read the rest to find out how clearing your cache might actually cause new errors.
Update: Icing on the cake from health-industry consultant Bob Laszewski, who says the systems scarcely improved after another week of frantic HHS triage:
At the end of week two of the Obamacare launch, health plans were generally seeing no more enrollments per day then they saw in the first week.
As troubling, the backroom issues plaguing the connection between health insurers and the federal government had not been resolved and there is no indication from the feds when they will have these things cleared up.
My sense is that the feds, based upon the number of enrollments they have sent to the insurance companies, enrolled about 10,000 people in the first week (about 5,000 single and family contracts) and another 10,000 people in the second week in the 36 states using the federal exchange.
I guesstimated that the feds were up to 95,000 or so enrollments in my earlier post, less than 20 percent of HHSs target for October. Laszewski thinks even that number is wildly optimistic. If hes right and theyre only at 20,000 enrollments total, theyre at less than five percent of their goal.
Update: No ones getting fired, huh?
The root cause of the problems was a pivotal decision by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officials to act as systems integrator, the central coordinator for the entire program. Usually this role is reserved for the prime information technology contractor.
As a result, full testing of the site was delayed until four to six days before the fateful Oct. 1 launch of the health care exchanges, the individual said
Normally a system this size would need 4-6 months of testing and performance tuning, not 4-6 days, the individual said.
The source said there were ever-changing, conflicting and exceedingly late project directions. The actual system requirements for Oct. 1 were changing up until the week before, the individual said.
How could they have done a worse job?
YEP...the “website”...I believe...was so monstrous...because they want to MONITOR/CONTROL OUR EVERY MOVE...
Billions will be spent over the next years to NOT get it working. It’s the next Solyndra — a money laundering operation. Thanks Ernest.
Officials feared that if they called on outsiders to help with the technical details of how to run a commerce website, those companies could be subpoenaed by Hill Republicans, the former aide said. So the task fell to trusted campaign tech experts.
What does this even mean? Congress cant subpoena trusted campaign tech experts? What law/rule is that?
cptacek on October 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM
Interesting. Very well put. I had not thought of it exactly that way but you are certainly correct.
cptacek on October 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM
Which is why they only hired trusted campaign tech experts instead of people who actually knew what they were doing.
txhsmom on October 18, 2013 at 11:15 AM
What does this even mean? Congress cant subpoena trusted campaign tech experts? What law/rule is that?
cptacek on October 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM
They can subpoena them, but presumably, they will be more willing to lie to congress, and even if theyre unwilling to technically commit perjury for their masters, they would still be much more inclined to filibuster and give evasive and deceptive answers, and be willing to embarrass themselves to protect the administration. Outside contractors would have much more incentive to be candid, and not just to the minimum extent required by law.
RINO in Name Only on October 18, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Ok... then what?
Your evalution is correct.
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE LOSER!!!!
Only a Democrat could be so disingenuous as to pretend that this rumpclown is anything but a massive failure, and only another "bruvvah" could be so dim a racist bulb as to not be supremely disappointed in this greasey faggot of an asshat.
I just read today that this same company has approximately five contracts with the US govt.!
Would Mr. Flip Wilson's Representatives please pick up the white courtesy phone. The Demotards are stealing your shtick...
“those companies could be subpoenaed by Hill Republicans, the former aide said. So the task fell to trusted campaign tech experts”
So do they think “trusted campaign tech experts” can’t be called to testify or is it they know they will lie under oath?
LOL. I took a programming course from the guy that invented Pong. Of corse, that was a few years back...
America will soon realize how far it has descended — and for what... the worst it has to offer.
They end up with guys whose guns jam, who forget to bring ammo, who show up stoned, who end up shooting each other, and who forget to put gas in the tank of the 1980 Chevy someone provided for transportation and getaway.
It's all the cops' fault!
They can, but the trusted experts can be counted on to lie, cover up, and totally snow Congress. When it's all over, Congress would praise them for their cooperation and commend their efforts to put together a complex system, the likes of which the universe has never seen.
Let's hope they are in charge of obama's secret gun-grab/registration data base.
Seems the Zero administration is already creating the meme that the Obamcare roll out failure was the fault of the Republicans. Watch this theme get more and more legs for the LIV.
Bingo! I have been thinking, how could this happen? We have brilliant programmers capable of just about anything. Military technology next to none, NSA, NASA, the list is limitless. Yet, they can not put together a viable website in three years? Something is really wrong.
More proof that Tea Party Conservatives are smarter than Dimocraps...
If you think their web sites a piece of crap....wait till you see their healthcare program!!!
-———Why anyone on either side still wants Sebelius in charge, I have no idea.-——
The tried and true. Lie, lie, lie. She is the lie.
Think fst and furious, think bengazi.
The lie is the truth, the lie is told over and over and over..... it is still the truth.
So long as they all exist, there is no possible solution.
Like the nobility of France in 1792, they must be gone
Yea! I heard they figured it would be fixed by the time the shut down ended.....wrong!!!!!
An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.
As we in the military used to say, "Always remember your weapons were made by the lowest bidder".
If you think this is a trainwreck, just wait. Selling insurance is easy compared to actually delivering health care.
“From those efforts ...cam the efforts to condense time to meet deadlines by throwing 9 men at a project that represented 9 man months to finish....thus theoretically gating it done in one month.”
Hey, it works so well with making babies, doesn’t it? One pregnant lady + 9 months = 1 baby. 9 pregnant ladies + 1 month = 1 baby. Right? Right?
Only hundreds have been able to sign up for a health care plan at the Obamacare websites. The Wall Street Journal reported:
Okay now we will try the landline # 1-800-318-2596 listed above or 1-800-318-2596 = 1-800-FAU-CKYO.
Never mind. Don’t let me interrupt your “we’re doomed” reverie.
I never said we are doomed. but it does look that way. i ask, after you do all you suggested. Then what?
I didn’t suggest doing anything. Where did you read that?
I think i got your post confused with something else. carry on.
The list, Ping
Let me know if you would like to be on or off the ping list
There is a problem with that approach.
The Federal Government would not be in total charge of the program.
And, more important, wouldn't be receiving directly all the information required upon enrollment: Name, address, family members, income, employment, SS #, bank account and routing numbers, etc.!
There is a problem with that approach. The Federal Government would not be in total charge of the program.”
You’re right. I keep forgetting that the real purpose of this program has nothing to do with health insurance. That was just the wrapping on the package.
......I cant excerpt all the parts that are noteworthy, although if youve been following news about the Healthcare.gov apocalypse you already know some of what Levin reports the login fiasco is a result of HHS demanding that people create an account before seeing what plans cost, the system still cant calculate subsidies correctly (which means some people are getting the wrong price when they buy coverage), the back end communications between the federal data hub and private insurers are a shambles, and the chaos will only increase if HHS solves the login problems without solving the back end problems. (Imagine insurers having to sift through 5,000 garbled enrollments per day instead of 50.) What about the timeline, though? Per Levins sources, D-Day will come sometime in mid-November.
..........One key worry is based on the fact that what theyre facing is not a situation where it is impossible to buy coverage but one where it is possible but very difficult to buy coverage. Thats much worse from their point of view, because it means that only highly motivated consumers are getting coverage. People who are highly motivated to get coverage in a community-rated insurance system are very likely to be in bad health. The healthy young man who sees an ad for his state exchange during a baseball game and loads up the site to get coveragethe dream consumer so essential to the design of the exchange systemwill not keep trying 25 times over a week if the site is not working. The person with high health costs and no insurance will. The exchange system is designed to enable that sick person to get coverage, of course, but it can only do that if the healthy person does too. The insurers dont yet have a clear overall sense of the risk profile of the people who are signing up, but the circumstantial evidence they have is very distressing to them. The danger of a rapid adverse selection spiral is much more serious than they believed possible this summer. They would love it if the administration could shut down the exchange system, at least the federal one, until the interface problems can be addressed. But they know this is impossible.
If the objective was, as we were told, to insure everybody -- wouldn't it have been cheaper and easier to simply give a policy to everybody without one?
Like poverty, the war on drugs, the environment, and (insert your favorite liberal ideology here) the only way to fix it is with more money of course.
Tell us how you really feel....
If the objective was, as we were told, to insure everybody...”
But that was not the real objective. My grandson will eat most vegetables only if they are covered in melted cheese and he can dip them in Ranch dressing so if I want him to eat his vegetables I just drag out the cheese and the Ranch dressing. What several someone’s in the government decided to do was to disguise what they wanted to accomplish by packaging it as health care for all. It’s all about means, ends and packaging.
The MSM can spin this any way they want, but this time it’s up close and personal for the public.
They aren’t buying it and the won’t.
The MSM spins one way only - to the left. So it doesn’t matter what democrats say, the press will believe it. For now...
It doesn’t matter what the press thinks. Voters are seeing the disasterous results of this law first hand. Not only from a tech standpoint, but in the form of hugely rising premiums, loss of choice of doctors & coverage options and giant deductibles.
And they’re not happy. The middle class, which is full of swayable Independents, is very pissed. And they WILL vote next fall.
The whole Obamacare project has nothing to do with healthcare, only with control.
The whole Obamacare project has nothing to do with healthcare, only with control.”
Been doing some thinking on this whole issue. If Obama really wanted to control health care, it could be done easily enough and without spending so much money for something that isn’t going to work.
I think there are forces behind the scene that want to create total mayhem and virtually destroy everything that has made America great and prosperous: healthcare, creative minds once developed through education, money, food, great military, religious freedom, ability to defend ourselves.
We’re losing doctors, our public education system sucks, too many people out of work and jobs not being created, corn is used for ethanol and access to food for millions can easily be controlled through withdrawal of food stamps, our military is being gutted, we can no longer worship when and were we choose and there is a huge anti-gun movement.
Revolt, dictatorship or take over by outside forces?
To answer that question, you'd need to know who is calling the shots for Obama.
For purpose of discussion, let's stipulate that Valerie Jarrett is, in fact, Obama's "controller". This has been often rumored and I'm prepared to accept that it's true. My reading of Obama is that a.) he's not particularly smart and b.) he's lazy. Accordingly, the agenda that is being pursued hasn't been authored by him but, by virtue of his raising and his training, he's certainly in agreement with it.
So, somebody is "running" him. That being Jarrett.
But who's running her?
Remember that Blackberry that Obama refused to surrender upon being elected President? The one that the National Archives grudgingly let him keep, even though it wasn't tied into the White House network -- so there would be no record of who he talked to and what was discussed (as there is of every other Presidential phone conversation). Wouldn't you like to know who is on the other end of that Blackberry?
My own working theory is that:
a. Both Obama and Jarrett are of the Chicago cell of domestic Communists. A group that includes (or has included): William Ayers (and his father), Valerie Jarrett's husband and father-in-law, David Axelrod (and his parents), Michael Kronsky (and other Ayers followers from the Weather Underground), Frank Marshall Davis, Saul Alinsky et cetera.
b. Starting in the eighties, the funding that the cell received from the KGB began to dry up as the Soviets realized they were losing the Cold War. The cell began searching for a new source of funds and found one in the Radical Islamists (e.g., Muslim Brotherhood). Both the Communists and the Islamists had been busily agitating in the black community, recruiting allies. Vernon Jarrett was one of these who was plugged into both groups. Brotherhood money started replacing Soviet money in the Chicago Cell -- but there was a price to be paid.
c. Eventually, it was agreed that, were they able to subvert the U.S. and install a leader under their control that the Communists would set the domestic agenda while the Brotherhood would control foreign policy.
And here we are...
This explanation accurately reflects history...plus it explains the strangely bifurcated approach the regime has to domestic policy and foreign policy.
I confess, though, that I have no idea exactly who it is on the other end of that phone. Or who is giving directions to Jarrett.
But I suspect we have enough context to answer your question...
But who’s running her?
It pays to know people.