Obamacare

Thousands Stuck in Obamacare Appeals Limbo

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Whitehouse.gov

You may have heard that HealthCare.gov, which powers the federally run health insurance exchange for 36 states, is, after its disastrous rollout last year, all fixed up and working basically fine. Obamacare is on track. But that's not true, it seems, for anyone who wants to file an appeal regarding insurance coverage obtained through the system.

Some 22,000 people have already filed appeals, saying that the system made a mistake with their application. But those appeals have gone nowhere, because the computer system meant to handle them has not been built, according to The Washington Post, which obtained access to internal government data on progress completing the website. Telephone help doesn't work either, because call center employees can't access the appeals system either. 

The Post had to rely on leaked government data and anonymous insiders for its report because the Obama administration never disclosed the exchange's lack of appeals functionality. When asked about the appeals mechanism, an administration spokesperson responded with a weasely half-admission that, yes, the appeals system isn't finished, saying, "We are working to fully implement the appeals system." Progress! Always progress. Except that there's no indication that the administration is making any. Insiders tell the Post that they have no idea when the system will be complete.

If anything, the administration has worked to mislead people about the status of the appeals functionality, setting up a system that allowed someone to file an appeal that, after being sent off, entered a sort of digital limbo.

The appeals system appears to be one of many components of Obamacare's technology that has not been built yet. At the end of last year, a senior tech official for Medicare, which manages the health exchange, told members of Congress that 30-40 percent of the system had yet to be completed, including crucial payment systems. Those payment systems, which include various money-shuffling risk-mitigation schemes that the administration says are critical to keeping the whole law afloat, still haven't been completed. The administration recently fired its old tech contractor brought on a new firm to complete the remaining work.

Whatever else one thinks about the law and its design, it's clear that the administration, as well as several state governments attempting to build their own exchanges, wasn't even close to sufficiently prepared for launch last October. This looks like a project that needed another year or more before going live. Instead, the administration chose to beta test a faulty, incomplete product on the public while papering over their own administrative failures and incompetence.

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  1. Yeah, and Pelosi still says she had nothing to do with this thing and it is all working great…

    1. We have to launch the system before we know how it’s designed.

  2. As the rest of us are stuck in the Obameconomy limbo.

  3. …”working basically fine.”…
    This is like when your toilet is plugged, but you get the water turned off so it doesn’t continue to flood; it’s now ‘basically fine’.

      1. How is that even possible? There’s no saving that toilet. Just condemn the entire building and start over. Just like Obamacare.

        O_O

        1. How is that even possible? There’s no saving that toilet. Just condemn the entire building and start over.

          Almost my thought process verbatim.

      2. I just threw up in my mouth. A lot.

      3. Who’s the guy who squats on that when it loaded above the seat, thinking: “You know what, it would be wrong to do my business on the floor.”

  4. Cue shreek to tell us how wonderful Obamacare is in 3…2..

  5. Oh, and the article summed up the lying bastard’s admin quite nicely:
    …”the Obama administration never disclosed”…
    Yes, that is pretty much the Obo administration in 5 words.

    1. Transparency, plain and simple.

  6. This thing wasn’t even ready for beta. Beta is what you do when you have the whole system coded, but you need to run real-world testing.

    I saw this described as basically a trade-show demo that they tried to put into production. That sounds about right to me.

    1. Stop insulting trade show demos, please.

  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..4#t=00m42s

    But, but he said “its fixed”??

    1. He was speaking in the veterinarian sense of the term.

      1. No wonder Jay Carney looks like a cat staring at us from the top of a TV….

        It all makes sense now.

    2. “But, but he said “its fixed”??”

      Shreek was lying about the interview here last night, claiming Obo just made hash of O’reilly.
      Yep, he just flat lied on national TV and the shreeks of the world lapped it up.

      1. Yep, he just flat lied on national TV and the shreeks of the world lapped it up.

        I think “slurped” would be a more appropriate verb.

  8. What happened to the 40 million uninsured?

    1. HEY, LOOK OVER THERE! A CHICKEN!!

      1. HEY! LOOK OVER THE OTHER WAY! BUSH!

    2. What happened to the 40 million uninsured?

      They were joined by 20 million of their fellows?

    3. I’m still uninsured. Admittedly, I only tried once to sign up through the exchange. I couldn’t get past the address field because there is a fractional number in my address and the slash is a disallowed character. I’ve had this problem with multiple online registration sites in the past and when it happens, there is no way around it except to register/order by phone. I fully expected it to occur with the insurance exchange.

      Yesterday, a woman I know, unisured, with education no greater than high school, asked me what I think of the mandate. Was obvious she paid no attention to it until recently. She’s not happy. But the more interesting thing was her opinion of raising the minimum wage. She said you have to have skills to get $15 per hour, and if you don’t, you’ll get fired. In contrast, my college-educated co-workers were getting misty-eyed in the copy room the other day over Obama’s benevolent request that employers raise wages without an increase in the minimum. I’m not kidding, they were staring at the poster with the minimum wage on it (that thing that’s mandated for all workplaces) smiling and speaking in hushed tones! I was stunned and had to leave.

      1. Just shows wisdom and education have little in common.

  9. But those appeals have gone nowhere, because the computer system meant to handle them has not been built….

    BECAUSE OF THE OBSTRUCTIONTHUGLIHADIST RETARDICANS!! When are you gonna get it, Reason? This would all be working perfectly if not for TEAM RED obstructionism!

    Also – Bush.

    1. They refused to help when Obamacare was created, so they are responsible for all its flaws.

      1. Umm….That’s “were not allowed to help” not refused to help.

        1. Does it matter? They had bad thoughts about it! So, any fault at this point is obviously due to their non-actions. Duh!

  10. If anything, the administration has worked to mislead people about the status of the appeals functionality, setting up a system that allowed someone to file an appeal that, after being sent off, entered a sort of digital limbo a matrix of servers set up in hacker dens worldwide where every single bit of one’s personal and financial information was intercepted.

    FIFY

  11. The Post had to rely on leaked government data and anonymous insiders for its report because the Obama administration never disclosed the exchange’s lack of appeals functionality.

    The most transparently opaque administration in history.

    When asked about the appeals mechanism, an administration spokesperson responded with a weasely half-admission that, yes, the appeals system isn’t finished, saying, “We are working to fully implement the appeals system.” Progress! Always progress.

    Twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!

    If anything, the administration has worked to mislead people about the status of the appeals functionality, setting up a system that allowed someone to file an appeal that, after being sent off, entered a sort of digital limbo.

    I didn’t know secret Kenyan Muslims believed in limbo.

    1. Not since Vatican II.

  12. Opponents of big government really can not ask for better than the Obama administration’s mishandling of this from day one. In a perverse way he may do more to discredit big government schemes like this than any other recent President, so maybe his election was a good thing after all.

    1. In a perverse way he may do more to discredit big government schemes like this than any other recent President, so maybe his election was a good thing after all.

      Only to racists, maybe.

      1. With government, nothing succeeds like failure. Obamacare’s huge failure guarantees a massive expansion of its scope and funding. Anyone who doubts this should check out the history of government programs for the last century. See more at straightlinelogic.com.

    2. I wish I could agree with that more than I do. It’s certainly a gift of sorts in being every bit the clusterfuck that small govt proponents always predict, so we’ll at least have it as a tiny credibility reference, but I’m not sure that low info voters in the political center will make the leap from “they sure screwed that up” to “gosh maybe some problems shouldn’t be fixed by big government”. Most days I think that bridge might just be too damn far.

      1. Low-info voters, plus sheeple who cannot or will not reason past talking points. Someone told me with a straight face that since the religious right is for smaller government (if only!) and for drug prohibition, drug prohibition must be an example of smaller government.

    3. ” maybe his election was a good thing after all.”

      (godwin apology)

      That’s like saying “Thank god for Hitler!; he really gave the Nazis a *Bad Name*”

      (yes, I’m aware there are some historians who argue *exactly* this.)

      I think something like Obamacare would have come about sooner or later regardless of who was elected. I think its failure was also inevitable. I think the SCALE AND DEPTH of failure is uniquely the product of Obama’s team. Despite this, I fear that the trend towards greater federal control over the healthcare system in this country will continue regardless. Just my $0.02.

    4. “In a perverse way he may do more to discredit big government schemes like this than any other recent President”

      Yes, I think this is true and a good point.

  13. Pay no attention to that paranoiac behind the curtain.

  14. Is it NOW unconstitutional since the redress of grievances piece doesn’t work?

    I’ll never forgive Justice Roberts.

  15. I’m so glad Mary participates in serious discussions about actual policies like Healthcare reform, NSA spying, or the failure of the Afghan war, to help clarify to everyone why libertarian points of view are so utterly unworthy of serious consideration. I think she’s done a great deal to really raise the level of dialogue here and help people back on to the path of a more Reality-Based socio-political consciousness. I personally want to extend my thanks.

  16. my buddy’s aunt makes $66 an hour on the internet . She has been fired for six months but last month her payment was $15780 just working on the internet for a few hours. go now……
    http://www.Jobs84.com

    1. Your buddy’s aunt should go fix Obamacare.

  17. Dieing during the appeals process saves taxpayers money. Duh!

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