Obamacare has been mired by blunders that will no doubt only get worse in the days ahead. Not just technological blunders but also blunders that will hold YOUR healthcare hostage. This post will be continuously updated so you can see how the Obamacare blunders are affecting you.
Four new Obamacare Blunders added today:
1) According to CNN, the woman cited by President Obama as an Obamacare success story, Washington state resident Jessica Sanford, is frustrated by the signup process on the Washington health exchange. Sanford, a self-employed court reporter who voted for Obama twice, received letters which informed her that the exchange miscalculated her eligibility for a tax credits. Originally thinking her plan would cost $169/month, but now would be more than $390/month. Priced out of the market, she is preparing to pay the penalty for not having insurance.
2) According to Alex Hern, Tech reporter for The Guardian, healthcare.gov "helpfully" suggests “SQL injection attacks” in the search bar returns automatically prompted for you for mistype the right letters or punctuation. SQL is a programming language used very commonly for databases attached to websites, storing information used by the site. Such results are traces of attempts by malicious users to hack into healthcare.gov through the search bar. Smart programmers could sanitize such results, which is yet another indication of how poorly managed the construction of healthcare.gov was.
3) According to the Free Beacon, Richard Painter, President George W. Bush’s former chief White House ethics lawyer has filed a Hatch Act complaint against a D.C.-based health care exchange, alleging that its online communications with liberal activist group Organizing for Action (OFA) violated rules against federal political activity. Painter says DC Health Link appears to be subject to the Hatch Act, which limits political activity by federal employees, because the health exchange was created by the D.C. government and is acting on its behalf. He noted that the exchange may have violated the Hatch Act after it promoted OFA’s pro-Obamacare activism on Twitter. The DC exchange may have violated the Hatch Act by "following" the OFA's twitter account and retweeting one of its messages on Nov. 8. After the IRS scandal, Americans should not live in fear that the exchanges which handle private records are coordinating with partisan political organizations.
5) If it wasn’t clear already, the Washington Post reports that healthcare.gov will not be fully operational by the end of November. Anonymous government officials have noted that the insurance exchange is balking when more than 20,000 to 30,000 people attempt to use it at the same time, which is approximately half of its needed capacity. In addition, the main contractor- CGI Federal - has only succeeded in repairing "only about six of every 10 of the defects it has addressed so far."
6) The Fiscal Times interviewed tech experts who are astonished by the disaster of healthcare.gov. According to Sumit Nijhawan, CEO of Infogix, a data security firm working with private insurers, even if the White House can fix the problems associated with the site, they're going to find new ones immediately. Nijhawan also warned that the systems that allow the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and health insurance companies to exchange information are nowhere close to being ready, meaning tech problems "could last years." In addition, Luke Chung, founder and CEO of the software company FMS said, "When I visited healthcare.gov on October 1, that was the worst piece of software I’ve ever experienced in my life.”
7) Healthcare.gov has been such a disaster that ABC News interviewed the model whose face was on the front of the site and has since become the butt of late-night talk show jokes and internet mockery. “Adriana,” who is not an American citizen, has since been removed from the site.
8) According to CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson, Henry Chao, healthcare.gov's chief project manager, made it clear during congressional testimony that he was unaware of the now infamous memo which outlined important security risks discovered in the computer system prior to its launch. In addition, Chao noted that security gaps could lead to identity theft, unauthorized access and misrouted data. Chao, who joined CMS in 1994, was also responsible for much of the technology behind the troubled launch of Medicare Part D in 2005.
9) While the number of Obamacare enrollees being reported has been small, the Washington Post reports that their numbers are actually being inflated by the Obama Administration. With an updated count expected soon, they plan to include those who have a plan sitting in their online shopping cart at healthcare.gov but have not yet paid. As an example of this generous inflation of numbers, Washington, D.C. supposedly has 321 “enrollees” per this definition, but only 5 actual enrollees with health insurance.
10) President Barack Obama during an interview with Chuck Todd of NBC News, “apologized” to the Americans who are losing their health insurance plans he said they could keep. Obama said, "I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me. We've got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.” The law and the rollout of healthcare.gov have been so disastrous that he did not explicitly rule out a delay in the individual mandate.
11) According to Gallup, only 18% of uninsured Americans have not even attempted to visit healthcare.gov or a state exchange site. In addition, only 22% of people who are uninsured say they plan to eventually try to buy insurance through the exchanges. As Obamacare’s target audience is the uninsured, these numbers demonstrate what a failure the law already is.
12) As reported by Bloomberg, a "stress" test was conducted on healthcare.gov on Sept. 30, which found it could only accommodate 1,100 users "before response time gets too high." This test was conducted by Quality Software Services, Inc., and was released by the House Oversight and Government Reforms Committee. Such a major weakness should have been a clear indication that healthcare.gov was not ready for prime-time.
13) As covered by the Wall Street Journal, healthcare.gov needs a "couple hundred" of fixes from contractors, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee. As old problems are "fixed," newer ones are discovered, which has rendered the website useless for almost anyone interested in purchasing health insurance. The Administration was misleading when they initially estimated 700,000 people would sign up by the end of November, and Mrs. Sebelius said the enrollment numbers "are likely to be quite low" because of the technology problems.
14) As reported by the AP, the State of Oregon which spent millions on hipster television ads to promote Obamacare, the state has failed to enroll a single person since launching its insurance exchange. About 4,000 applications have been filled out, but the website cannot figure out what subsidies people are eligible to receive. As more Oregonians watch their insurance policies become cancelled or their premiums skyrocket to unaffordable levels, state insurance bureaucrats have resorted to mailing hard copies of applications.
15) According to Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, he received a report from Tom Dougall of Elgin, SC, who had created an account on Healthcare.gov early last month in order to research insurance plans. Last week, Mr. Dougall heard from another individual, Justin Hadley of North Carolina who had done the same thing and found Mr. Dougall’s private personal information linked to his Healthcare.gov account. Mr. Dougall called the Department of Health and Human Services to have his account deleted and, after multiple attempts, was referred to another federal agency to have the issue resolved. Apparently, you can never quit healthcare.gov.
16) According to the USA Today, thousands of small businesses in America are scrambling to renew their health insurance plans before December 1, in hopes of avoiding the larger premium increases which hit next year thanks to Obamacare. Insurance brokers told the paper that 60% to 80% of small business clients are renewing their policies to skirt the law. The law prohibits larger companies with greater than 50 employees from having this final opportunity to delay a portion of Obamacare’s job killing effects.
17) According to the Wall Street Journal, the few people who sign up for Obamacare online are not healthy young individuals. With an older than expected crowd, that set of customers will certainly drive up the prices for everyone. The assumption is healthy customers are more willing to put up with the disastrous healthcare.gov, while website blunders discourages the healthy people insurance pools needed to operate.
18) According to Department of Health and Human Services memos obtained by ABC News, the dysfunction with HealthCare.gov has "upended" the entire Obamacare enrollment process, which also includes applications by paper and phone that officials have been pushing as more reliable alternatives. The documents show officials were reluctant to encourage consumers to fill out paper applications to buy more time as healthcare.gov frustrations mount. But at the end of the day, all applicants are stuck in the same broken queue.
19) As reported in The Hill, many media organizations have joined together to petitioned the government to release ObamaCare data that the White House has refused to make public. CNN, ABC, MSNBC and others have filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking information on the beleaguered healthcare.gov website. They have also asked for government documents revealing how many people have enrolled in the new healthcare exchanges. The stonewalling from an embarrassed Obama administration has been so great that even the liberal media is out to expose the truth about healthcare.gov data.
20) According to the NY Post, a firm owned by a major Obama donor was hired to fix the broken healthcare.gov website it helped create. Anthony Welters, a top campaign bundler for Obama and frequent White House guest, is the executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group, which owns Quality Software Services Inc., the software company now at the center of the ObamaCare Web-site fiasco. He and his wife have bundled hundreds of thousands for Obama's 2008 campaign, and helped bring in additional hundreds of thousands for inauguration events. These “investments” paid off handsomely, as not only did Welters’ firm get to provided the flawed software, but his wife was made the US ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago in 2009, a job she held through November 2012.
21) According to The Hill, a contractor heavily involved in repairing healthcare.gov was previously criticized for endangering the personal data of more than 6 million government beneficiaries through insufficient security controls. Quality Software Services, Inc. was considered a "high" risk by investigators, after it was learned the company did not stop employees from using unauthorized USB devices with sensitive Medicare systems. According to a June report by the HHS inspector general, employees connected unsanctioned devices, such as iPods, to 29 or 30 of the studied workstations which all had access to personal data for millions of Medicare patients.
22) As reported by CBS News, early enrollment figures for healthcare.gov show that the day after launch, only six enrollments occurred. This report came from notes from meetings held at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The health care exchanges need to average 39,000 enrollees a day to meet the goal of seven million by March 1.
23) An internal Administration memo, originally written on September 6, lists numerous reasons to believe healthcare.gov wouldn't be ready Oct 1. The memo warned that in the days leading up to the launch, the system hadn't been sufficiently tested, "exposing a level of uncertainty that can be deemed high risk." This news is devastating to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, as it appears she knowingly falsely certified the site as functional.
24) According to the Wall Street Journal, online exchanges are causing endless headaches for Doctors. One Maryland doctor looked up his name and was surprised to see himself as participating in 36 insurance plans from five different carriers. In addition, many were listed at the wrong addresses or covered therapy services which he does not provide. In addition to providing wrong information, the lists will give consumers a false impression of how big the networks actually are. State exchanges are already warning shoppers to ask doctors directly if they accept the new plan.
25) According to CNN, software tester Ben Simo of Arizona discovered that, until recently, it was possible for anyone to easily reset your healthcare.gov password without your knowledge and potentially hijack your account. Simo showed how quickly anyone could have gained access to accounts and viewed the site's unencrypted source code in any browser to find the password reset code.
26) As Breitbart reported, during HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' testimony, the helathcare.gov site crash. The site remained down thirty-minutes into Sebelius' testimony, which only reinforced what a colossal disaster the Obamacare exchanges are.
27) As the ultimate blunder, NBC News uncovered that the White House knew that Obamacare would result in millions of Americans losing their current insurance policies. President Barack Obama said in 2009 "if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan. And in 2012 Obama continued repeating that lie: “If [you] already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance." Their sources “deeply involved” in Obamacare admitted “50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a ‘cancellation’ letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don't meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience ‘sticker shock.’”
28) According to Mother Jones, a liberal magazine which supports Obamacare, healthcare.gov is vulnerable to a hacking technique known as "clickjacking," where invisible links are planted on a legitimate web page, tricking users into giving up sensitive, personal data. Kyle Wilhoit, a threat researcher at Trend Micro, a Japanese security software company, studied the Healthcare.gov portal with his security team and found a "moderate risk" for hacking due to an easy-to-fix coding problem that leaves the site vulnerable to clickjacking. This concern is only amplified with 15 states having their own exchange websites, each with unique vulnerabilities.
29)According to Bloomberg, on October. 27, 2013 the disastrous healthcare.gov faced even more problems as the Verizon-operated data services hub stopped operating. Officials have declined to say what went wrong and no one knows just how long it would take to repair.
30)The Daily Caller reported that CGI Federal, the Canadian firm which received the no-bid contract to build the $678 million healthcare.gov, is lead by a classmate of First Lady Michelle Obama. Toni Townes-Whitley, President of CGI Federal, is a 1985 graduate of Princeton. Both she and Michelle are members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.
31)According to The Weekly Standard, even though healthcare.gov informs users that the U.S Department of Homeland Security may verify immigration status or naturalized citizenship status, the Obama administration is making it clear that any possible violations of laws will result in no action. It appears that if the website ever starts to function, illegal immigrant applying for coverage will be protected from prosecution.
32) CBS News reports a huge spike in people enrolling in Medicaid rather than buying private health insurance. Not only does this add to the unsustainable costs of that entitlement program, it shrinks the pool of healthy people the insurance exchanges require.
34) According to the Washington Post, even state bureaucrats with Obamacare’s endless technical glitches. While HHS is trying to claim the website is improving, insurance commissioners responsible for overseeing insurance industries in states relying on the federal government to run health-care exchanges still cannot get answers to their desperate phone calls to Washington.
35) As reported in the Wall Street Journal, healthcare.gov is sending erroneous data to insurers. What little data they are receiving is overburdening them because of the frequent errors, such as duplicate enrollments, missing data fields, spouses reported as children, and multiple spouses on single applications.
36) As reported in Forbes, in just 3 states, 500,000 individuals have had their insurance policies cancelled. In addition to the disaster in Florida, we now learn Kaiser Permanente in California sent notices to 160,000 people (about 1/2 of their state customers) cancelling their coverage. Also, Insurer Highmark in Pittsburgh dropped about 20% of their individual customers while Independence Blue Cross of Philadelphia is dropping about 45%.
38) According to Kaiser Health News, 300,000 Floridians received insurance coverage cancellation letters from Florida Blue. That is 80% of their policy holders in the state.
39) CBS News reported that a “shop and browse” feature that was added to the Obamacare website in order to offer customers the ability to see premium price estimates to creating an account is wildly inaccurate and misleading. It often underestimates actual premiums by over 50%.
40) Consumer Reports magazine, which has supported Obamacare since 2009, suggested to readers that due to privacy concerns, everyone should "(S)tay away from Healthcare.gov for at least another month if you can." Their software tested opined, “'Hopefully, that will be long enough for its software vendors to clean up the mess they’ve made.'"
41) On Sean called the Obamacare hotline on air and asked the representative on the phone about call volume along with other questions. Just days later, she was fired for being honest about the glitches in the program.
42) On Bloomberg TV, Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell has refused to guarantee that the Obamacare website will be fixed by December 15, even though the individual mandate goes into effect that same month.
43) According to Politico, because the White House knew the Federal exchange website disaster would be investigated by House Republicans, the Administration had a “bunker mentality” and only sought advice from partisan “trusted campaign tech experts.”
44) The New York Times reported contractors and specialists have said fixing the site’s problems soon is “unrealistic,” as “more than 5 five million lines of software code may need to be rewritten before the web site runs properly.”
45) The Washington Examiner discovered that CGI Federal, the Canadian firm which designed the Obamacare health insurance exchange website, was given a no bid contract for the work. At an estimated $635 billion cost to taxpayers, Digital Trends notes this is bigger price tag than Facebook.
46) According to The Washington Examiner, Obamacare’s exchange website was tested only a week prior to launch.
47) According to Millward Brown Digital research firm, the Obamacare exchange website had an estimated 9.47 million unique visitors during the first week. Of those visitors, 3.72 started the registration process, but only 1 million registered. Only 36,000 completed enrollment. CNBC’s initial report showed 99% of Obamacare applicants “hit a wall.”
48) Even prominent Democrats admit the website is a disaster. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told ABC News that the Obamacare website glitches are “unacceptable.” On MSNBC, former White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs believes people should be fired.
49) The Hill reports that states are already facing a serious threat of identity theft, as fake insurance exchanges are being launched by cyber criminals trying to steal private information.
50) Reporters on CNN and MSNBC have tried and failed to sign up for Obamacare while on air.
51) After California state officials initially trumpeted that more than 5 million people viewed their $313 million state exchange website on the first day, the LA Times reported they were forced to admit the actual number was 645,000. A local television news channel reported that traffic led to zero completed applications.
52) According to the Times Record, Arkansas state exchange launch was so disastrous, their launch event forced applicants to resort to paper applications.
53) A New Jersey television station reported that even though their state exchange seemed to create accounts, but after an extensive application the site only returned error messages.
54) According to The Wall Street Journal, in North Carolina, Blue Cross Blue Shield said it only enrolled one person in the state by the end of the second day. The state has yet to release updated numbers.
55) The Detroit Free Press reported many “filled waiting rooms” at a Dearborn, Mich., community organization where “nearly every attempt to pull up the website resulted in error messages” on the marketplace website’s first day. Ann Flood, the newly appointed director of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services said there is no confirmation of anyone signing up on the state exchange.
56) Chad Henderson of Georgia, who became the media’s poster boy as one of the few to actually sign up for Obamacare lied about his success, according to a Reason Magazine investigation. On LinkedIn, Henderson lists himself as a volunteer for Organizing for Action.
57) WBAL reported that week into its launch, the Maryland exchange had reportedly enrolled only 326 people.
58) In Connecticut, a local television station reported that the launch of the state exchange will be delayed for weeks.
59) According to the Alaska Dispatch, residents of Alaska have struggled to use their state exchange website, and there were no early reports of anyone enrolling in an insurance program.
60) As reported by Breitbart.com, the Nevada state exchange was not tested in September, even though the state started to run television ads promoting it. Their exchange Facebook page has been bombarded with frustrated comments showing how dysfunctional the website is.