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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

October 23, 2013 - 2:17 pm

Healthcare insurance executives were received at the White House today — but not to confront President Obama about the flub-ridden exchange launched on Oct. 1.

Instead, the CEOs of Aetna, Humana, CareFirst, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Health Net, Inc., Health Care Services Corporation, Independence Blue Cross, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Molina Healthcare, Centene Corp., Tufts Health Plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Wellpoint and Kaiser Permanente got to meet with Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Meanwhile, on the Hill, Pelosi brushed off the tech implosion as something they just have to be able to fix because she doesn’t want to consider extending the individual mandate deadline.

Also in the White House meeting were Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Director Marilyn Tavenner, recently added Obamacare adviser Chris Jennings (a lobbyist and former Clinton adviser), and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.

“The administration is committed to working in partnership with the insurers so we can successfully meet the great demand people have shown for the affordable health care coverage at the heart of the Affordable Care Act,” the White House said of the meeting, which it added focused on “open enrollment and ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

“Specifically, we are collaborating closely with the insurers to address problems we have witnessed in what are called ’834′ forms and in direct enrollment. To that end, we have worked with the insurers and the ‘alpha teams’ we jointly established made up of insurers’ technology experts and CMS technology experts, to iron out kinks in the both the 834 forms and in direct enrollment.   These ‘alpha teams’ are working side-by-side to correct challenges as soon as we see them. The teams have been meeting virtually with CMS and CGI and with tech teams associated with operations leaders on the industry,” the readout of the meeting continued.

“Drawing on the industry techs’ experience in this way is a part of the ‘tech surge’ that is incrementally improving performance at HealthCare.Gov. Today’s announcement is another way we are ensuring that we are doing everything possible to address the technical issues to ensure that all the American people who need it can purchase the affordable health care coverage made available as a result of the Affordable Care Act.”

An official with HHS met with House Democrats today to give them an update on the site’s problems.

At her press conference today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was asked if Democrats were asking about a delay of the individual mandate because of the faulty website.

“The nature of the questions was largely, let’s talk about what people are getting now. They are signing up. They know that they are going to have something pretty soon, and certainly, hopefully, by December 15th, where you have to start to start sign up, that this will be in place. But it was — it was more positive than that. No, no one got up and made that suggestion,” Pelosi said.

“Now, I did go out for my morning share of potassium for a moment, and somebody might — while I was getting that banana, somebody may have asked that question, but I think I would have known about that.”

She stressed that when it comes to getting the website fixed, “I have faith in technology.”

“We have a common sense initiative going forward. And what we want to do is fix it and go forward with it, not make policies that are predicated on how it’s now working.”

Pelosi grew increasingly frustrated when reporters kept hammering her with Obamacare questions, as she’d called the presser to lay out Democrats’ plans for a budget agreement before Thanksgiving.

“There certainly is accountability internally in terms of what decisions were made when and all of this, but I think that our focus and energy should be used to fix it because the American people are depending on it, and it’s going to be a beautiful thing in their lives to have that freedom of — I keep talking about life — a healthier life, liberty, the freedom to pursue their happiness, not chained to a policy but — but able to follow their passion,” she said. “And that’s how I see this: Fix the — fix the technology, and let’s not get too bogged down in what happens if they’re not able to fix it. Because, as I say, I believe in technology.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Its hilarious to watch her frustration when her BS is challenged.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
No doubt that Jarrett is the "person behind the curtain" pulling the strings that makes Obama dance.

Jarrett must really think that he's in trouble to come out in the open and strong arm the insurance companies in person instead of sending a surrogate.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The last time I remembered, Valerie Jarrett was neither a policy maker nor an elected official. So, how does a White House adviser get to host a meeting to address laws and policies? Now, can Jarrett be showing her true colors now, as the White House puppet master?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (37)
All Comments   (37)
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my roomate's step-mother makes $77 every hour on the computer. She has been without a job for six months but last month her check was $17845 just working on the computer for a few hours. navigate here....WWW.Rush64.COM
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
They all showed up and demanded to speak to the person in charge. Naturally they were taken to Valerie Jarrett's office...
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
No surprise here. Ole val mans the ship of state while ole barry is out on the golf course.

Nice work, lefties, for putting this goon squad in the WH.

46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm going to stop reporting the deals that that guy's roommate's mother got. I checked, and they're more reliable than Obamacare and the websites work.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jarrett = Al Capone's baseball bat.

CEO's of insurance companies = eager to feed at the trough.

What could possibly go wrong?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
“Drawing on the industry techs’ experience in this way is a part of the ‘tech surge’ that is incrementally improving performance at HealthCare.Gov. ". Sure, flying in a bunch of insurance honchos (how many flew in on private jets?) to be used as props to reinforce a BS PR message is what a tech surge looks like. LOL.

They all went and played the game because they can. And it will make for great cocktail party stories they can regale their local city and state cronies with. If they really came for confrontation I won't hold my breath waiting for one of them to break ranks and tell us what they really know.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't believe that silly press release. Those execs are going for confrontation all right. When the back end of the exchanges fails, policy holders will get glitchy letters and confirmations of policies that don't exist or policies with premiums, co-pays, and deductibles that are fictitious. People go into their doctors and find out they're out of network, or they haven't got coverage, or they owe a gigantic co-pay, or they have another $5000 to go before their co-pay is met.

Who gets the heat for that? Not Kathleen Sebelius, but THE INSURANCE COMPANY. Those companies shelled out $100 mil for that law and they don't intend to take the fall for its failure. They're not going to D.C. for photo ops and cocktail party anecdotes.

The hilarious irony is that they're getting stuck talking to that iron-willed mouse Jarrett, who will answer hard questions with ideology and threats.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can you imagine the embarrassment of a top exec being forced to try to communicate with this worthless POS? She is a lying Black muslim camel jockey whose only "business" experience was a chicago dem machine slumlord who had her resident's living in their own filth while she got rich. A pig all he way. Plus she won't tell what anyone said..she'll tell him her version of everything. The only bigger ahole in the WH is king Obongo who let's her lead him around.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The funny thing is that we had a tolerable system in place before this fiasco. So, I'm thinking the Republican solution is to convert to a 100% self provided individual market and re-open unlimited HSA's. People purchase the insurance they can afford/want or don't want to purchase and it's portable (including across state lines). Medical providers must post prices for routine procedures - and everyone understands that emergency issues are honest unknowns.

Personally - I'd even be happy to getting back down to cash only practices for routine and discretionary services that provide you an itemized receipt for submission and re-imbursement.... Those practices already give deep discounts by having a reliable cash flow and no billing costs.

And I'll be satisfied to leave the Medicaid/Medicare folks alone, if and only if, there is some serious effort to routinely prosecute and recoup fraud and periodic requalifying for all recipients outside of the elderly..... and by elderly, I do mean over 70.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think too many people forget the tradesmen when deciding the retirement age. If you work in an office, 70 is fine. If you've been digging trenches or pounding nails your whole life, ummm, NO. There needs to be some consideration there. One size does not fit all, remember, as we've been trying to tell the Feds.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
The stupidity and incompetence in this administration is amazing. And Pelosi is an absurd joke! The only thing in which they excel is controlling the media.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The only thing in which they excel is controlling the media."
-----------------------------------------

Maybe its the other way around...

46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gosh, Cardinal Richelieu Valerie Jarrett, we are getting a lot of heat and our bottom line doesn't look like it is going to soar-at the expense of the America people. We are scared that the public will find out that we allied with you as crony capitalists. And this Single Payer stuff, what's up with that? I mean, it seems that you deliberately set us up to fail and be the fall guys.

Hello, Valerie? Hello? Valerie, are you there?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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