Obamacare

Massachusetts Health Exchange is Still Broken—and Won't Be Fully Functional Until Next Fall

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Whitehouse.gov

The Massachusetts health policy overhaul that Mitt Romney signed into law in 2006 was an explicit model for the 2010 federal reform.

Like Obamacare, the Massachusetts plan featured an individual mandate, subsidies for low income individuals to purchase health coverage, and a government-run online exchange to facilitate shopping for insurance.

Obamacare backers argued that the success of Massachusetts' reform proved that Obamacare would work everywhere else. Instead, the Bay State is one of the places where Obamacare is most obviously broken. Under Obamacare, the state's exchange simply doesn't work.

When Obamacare's network of state and federal exchanges launched last October, Massachusetts had to upgrade its technology in order to meet the federal law's specifications. But practically speaking, the upgrade has been a complete failure. The system has so far been unable to process anyone through the system electronically.

Obamacare's first open enrollment period—the window of time in which all people are allowed to buy policies through the law's exchanges—ends in just a few weeks, at the end of March. But in late February, state officials admitted that their upgraded exchange would likely not be fully operational by June, the extended enrollment date granted to it by the federal government.

Today the state announced that it will sever its relationship with CGI Federal, the tech vendor responsible for building both the Massachusetts exchange and the problem-plagued federal exchange. The Boston Globe reports:

"We have made the decision we're going to be parting ways with CGI," said Sarah Iselin, who was hired recently by Governor Deval Patrick to oversee repairs to the website, which hasn't worked properly since it was launched last October. The state has scrambled since then to sign up thousands of residents for health insurance that meets the requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act, resorting to using paper applications.

Iselin said that the state will ask for a further extension of its enrollment window, the Globe reports. Officials say they hope that the state will have a finished, functional exchange ready and online for the 2015 open enrollment period, which begins next fall. 

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  1. Whatever. You can take a break from healthcare for a year for the good of the country, can’t you?

    1. “rub some dirt on it and get back in there!”

      1. Penicillin is, essentially, bread mold. Here, have some moldy bread.

        1. We could learn a great deal from the new Venezuelan model of care. Organic, free-range antibiotics are available in every dumpster.

      2. Isn’t that what Mark Wahlberg’s character said in Lone Survivor to his fellow seal team member right before he died?

      3. …as the actress said to the bishop.

  2. …signed into law in 2006 was an explicit model for the 2010 federal reform.

    For the record, with regard to Obamacare, the word explicit doesn’t hold the same meaning.

  3. The Massachusetts health policy overhaul that Mitt Romney signed into law in 2006 was an explicit model for the 2010 federal reform.

    Will I get accused of being another Tulpa sockpuppet if I say STOP BLAMING ROMNEY FOR OBAMACARE!!!

    1. No, but you will get a response:

      President Barack Obama points to the success of Massachusetts’ health reform as evidence that, despite a rocky start, the law will work to provide near universal coverage to the citizens of the nation.
      “?the worst predictions about health care reform in Massachusetts never came true. They’re the same arguments that you’re hearing now? and it’s because you guys had a proven model that we built the Affordable Care Act on this template of proven, bipartisan success. Your law was the model for the nation’s law.

      Said the president without irony.

      http://boston.cbslocal.com/201…..fferences/

  4. The system has so far been unable to process anyone through the system electronically.

    Like the commonwealth wanted to do away with any human bureaucratic functionaries anyway.

  5. More-or-less on-topic: Has anyone seen a follow-up to this? Accenture Faces Mid-March Healthcare.gov Deadline Or ‘Disaster.’ I see things about Healthcare.gov being “fixed,” but nothing explicit about the back-end working, so I suspect it’s not, but I’m not sure.

    1. Please stop misspelling the name of the consulting company.

      It’s ACCIDENTURE

      1. nice 🙂

        Glad an “opportunity” with Accenture Accidenture a couple years back didn’t work out. Just got my bonus and stock – my present firm is keeping me in monocles, top hats and babies’ blood just fine…

        1. We had to teach one of their Excel “experts” how to use the IF formula. Contemplate that on the tree of woe.

          I have nothing but contempt for that firm and its management.

  6. I’m gonna take a stab in the dark here and say it won’t be ready then either.

  7. It’s great to see friends who berated me for not voting for Obama stifled whenever the subject of Obamacare comes up. Obama fucked them over royally because whenever some Progressive mentions single pay, the masses will remember this fuck up and say fuck that. The government couldn’t get a halfed ass socialized system going, you can imagine if this was single payer.

    1. “Obama fucked them over royally because whenever some Progressive mentions single pay, the masses will remember this fuck up and say fuck that. The government couldn’t get a halfed ass socialized system going, you can imagine if this was single payer.”

      You’re more optimistic than am I. See shreek and Tony on these pages: ‘O-care is really just fine except for the nasty things rethugs say about it!’

      1. That’s because they are void of any morals and principles and will let the boat sink if it means that their shitty policies and the people who crafted them stay in place. For them politics and the state is who they are and the moment it’s proven perhaps that the state shouldn’t be dabbling in certain things, it destroy’s their world view.

        1. That’s because they are void of any morals and principles and will let the boat sink if it means that their shitty policies and the people who crafted them stay in place.

          You just described the voters that re-elected Obama.

          And if they elected one President, they can elect more.

  8. “Won’t Be Fully Functional Until Next Fall”

    Money to be made here; bet on Fall, 2016. Just in time for the full term elections!

  9. I bought a policy on Mass Health Connector last Thursday, and it seemed to work mostly OK, but with a few glitches. The premium was deducted from my account today, so I’m presuming my coverage will start April 1, in time to avoid the penalty. It’s possible that it doesn’t calculate subsidies correctly, which I don’t qualify for, but the other aspects do seem to be working.

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