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by
Rick Moran

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October 26, 2013 - 6:43 am
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Former OMB Director Jeff Zients, who has been tapped to lead the “tech surge” to fix the Obamacare website, assured Americans yesterday that the site will  “work smoothly for the vast majority of users” by November 30.

That news would be very comforting coming from a tech geek from Amazon.com or Apple Inc. But considering that many outside IT experts have been saying that it would take months of debugging in order to get the site working properly, the former OMB director’s prediction could be based more on wishful thinking than any realistic estimate.

That’s because many of these same experts have set Thanksgiving as a deadline for the website to be clear enough of problems that tens of thousands of consumers a week would be able to complete the entire process of signing up for an insurance plan by January 1. Otherwise, Congress will probably act to delay either the deadline for open enrollment (March 31) or the individual mandate itself.

“By the end of November, HealthCare.gov will work smoothly for the vast majority of users,” said Zients, who was appointed earlier this week to oversee the repairs on a short-term basis.

“It will take a lot of work, and there are a lot of problems that need to be addressed, but HealthCare.gov is fixable,” he said.

Friday’s comments were the administration’s most direct admission so far that system-wide problems are plaguing HealthCare.gov, the online enrollment portal serving 36 states.

They also represent the clearest disclosure of how federal officials plan to attack the issues over the next five weeks.

While emphasizing that the enrollment site does not need to be scrapped, Zients described working off an initial “punch list” that includes more than two dozen must-do repairs.

One high priority is fixing part of the system that is sending error-ridden application data to health insurers, Zients said, as well as improving the basic user experience.

Would it fill you with confidence to know that the company chosen to oversee repairs is the same company that designed the bug-ridden sign-up process on the site?

As part of the triage effort, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it has appointed one of the companies behind HealthCare.gov as a “general contractor” for the repairs.

That company, QSSI, is behind the site’s problematic account registration tool and its data hub, which officials said is functioning well.

Zients said the firm would pursue a “relentless focus on speed and execution to work through the punch list.”

The CMS would not disclose how much QSSI’s new role will cost, nor what other experts have been involved with the so-called “tech surge” to asses the site’s problems.

The Nov. 30 deadline for repairs is the first timetable from the administration on when the system will function smoothly.

Applicants must enroll by Dec. 15 in order to receive healthcare plans that take effect on Jan. 1.

Though the enrollment period lasts until March, the White House is under serious pressure to fix the problems before they create a drag on applications.

The marketplaces — ObamaCare’s central mechanism for offering coverage to the uninsured — will need a balanced risk pool of millions of patients in order to operate well.

The CMS said Thursday that nearly 700,000 applications have been filed in exchanges around the country since Oct. 1, and the agency clarified Friday that more than half came through marketplaces associated with HealthCare.gov.

It is not clear how many have resulted in enrollments, or how many were for Medicaid instead of the exchanges.

Zients said Friday that at one point this month, as few as three in 10 users were able to complete the application process.

“The bottom line is that the performance of the system has been unacceptable,” he said.

“Now, we’re executing a plan of attack and the system is getting better.”

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All Comments   (45)
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my best friend's step-mother makes $88/hour on the laptop. She has been without work for 10 months but last month her pay was $14500 just working on the laptop for a few hours. this article ......
http://www.jobs53.com
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
my classmate's step-mother makes $61 an hour on the internet. She has been without work for ten months but last month her payment was $13315 just working on the internet for a few hours.......www.Bay95.com
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nobody think it at all strange that it took less time for this Bill of MORE THAN 2000 plus pages to go through Congress to become law under the "whip" of Nancy Pelosi "WE have to pass it to know what's it it"? than it has to date to design and manage the website?

Why such a rush to get this Bill into Law? Method in madness? Distraction from other things being done by this "team"? Another example of their rush in exempting themselves, their staffs, and favoured client groups from provisions of the Bill.. Imposed - "it's the law" - on the "Astro-turf" and "That vast right-wing conspiracy" AKA ordinary American citizens who don't bow the head and bend the knee. The Commoners !

WHAT EVIL LURKS in the 2000 plus pages of this Bill made law in such a manner by Congress? Then Stamped "approved" by H. Reid's Senate and Charles Roberts Scotus?

In the shortest time imaginable for ANY Bill, EXCEPT increase in pay and emoluments of members of Congress, etc, to to through the usual rigamarole of Congressional "agreement".

Anyone think it strange that documents - what and why - are permitted to be forbidden the light of day or review by citizens of the USA in whose trust and name Obama and his administration act? In this "most transparent administration"?

AND in which nation there is a Freedom of Information Law to ensure that people acting in citizens' trust "are" and "stay honest"? And that the USA is also called "A Country of Law" in which NO MAN is above the law?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
up to I saw the draft 4 $5028, I have faith that...my... friends brother actually bringing home money part time at there labtop.. there mums best friend started doing this for only about six months and just now repayed the dept on there condo and got a great new Chevrolet. you can check here >>>>> http://x.co/2hNL1
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think the Dem controlled Senate will simply pass a bill delaying ObeyMeCare for 1 year. The Rep controlled House won't dare block it because then the Dems will claim everyone's suffering is due to the Reps. If ObeyMe signs it, then -- everything delayed until after 2014 midterms and Dems can rest easy.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm guessing that they can make the front end work pretty nicely... they'll just gut the calls to all the subroutines that bottleneck the process. So it will look nice, do some fancy screens when you put in data, and probably accomplish nothing except putting your data into a table that will be manually entered into the system, sometime over the coming decade. You won't know if you have health insurance until you make a claim.

But the website will be pretty neat. /sarc
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
results are in, and the winner for the amerikan's got punked prize goes to the kenyan from hawaii. was there ever any doubt?

on our next program, we will see how many illegal aliens our punkin' prez. can get signed up for free stuff before the entire global financial system collapses.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course it will be running smoothly. People who don't have a pot to piss in will sign up for the free health care while the people who don't want to pay the inflated premiums, but are needed to subsidize the "free" health care, will structure their taxes so the IRS can't collect the penalty for their failure to sign up for Obamacare. The Chinese will continue to loan the feds the money to make up the difference so Walmart can import Chinese dog treats.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've worked as a technical writer in large scale enterprise software development. I've worked on stuff at the state and county level. I wrote the guide for the care and feeding of a $2 billion a year database at HP. And I can tell you they'll be lucky to get this bugger up and running before Chocolate Nixon leaves office.

I suspect jimmytbone is correct.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
All this is BS and just buying time. Time for what? More time to strong-arm insurance companies - you know the private ones. Obama has stated more than once that SINGLE/INDIVIDUAL PAYER is what he wants; therefore, in order to achieve that he needs to get rid of PRIVATE insurance companies because they are the ONLY ones standing in the way. All this hand-wrining about the website is simply another distraction; it'll get fixed because Obama has already given the private insurance companies an offer they cannot refuse while they were in their emergency meeting a couple of days ago. Think about it; the website totally failed, and the very first thing Obama did was to haul all the CEO's of very large private insurance companies into the WH for a meeting. The show must go on and small companies will be the first to go under; then the larger ones are sitting ducks. BINGO! INDIVIDUAL PAYER suddenly appears out of the crisis and becomes every dictators dream scenario of power wielding. Obama has to be stopped.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
They may be hoping everyone will be too busy eating turkey and battling the Black Friday mobs to notice is still doesn't work. And even if it does work the problems described by Ezra Klein will still exist as well as the hidden clause advising you that once you enroll you have no hope of privacy. That issue alone is enough to scare people off.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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