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Still Can’t SHOP On Black Friday

- November 29, 2013

Instead Of Being Able To Shop ObamaCare On A Fully Functioning Website, Americans Get Another ObamaCare Delay

DAYS BEFORE OBAMA SAID THE WEBSITE WOULD BE READY, HIS ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED ANOTHER MAJOR OBAMACARE DELAY

The Obama Administration Announced A One-Year Delay Of ObamaCare's Small Business Exchange. "The Obama administration today announced a year-long delay of online enrollment for small businesses looking to purchase health coverage through federal-run exchanges, another setback for HealthCare.gov." (Jason Millman, "Online SHOP Enrollment Delayed By One Year," Politico, 11/27/13)

  • Previously, The Obama Administration Said The Small Business Exchange "Would Be Ready By The End Of November." "The delay, first reported by POLITICO, comes just weeks after Obama administration officials said the online enrollment for small businesses would be ready by the end of November. The announcement also comes just three days before the White House promises HealthCare.gov will provide a smoother enrollment experience for most users trying to purchase individual and family coverage. Fixing the problems with the individual market has been the White House priority." (Jason Millman, "Online SHOP Enrollment Delayed By One Year," Politico, 11/27/13)

Wednesday's Announcement Before Thanksgiving Was Reminiscent Of Obama's Delay Of The Employer Mandate Ahead Of Independence Day Weekend. "The announcement of the delay, just before Thanksgiving, is reminiscent of the way the White House announced, just before the Independence Day weekend, a one-year delay in the requirement for larger employers to offer health insurance to employees." (Robert Pear, "Online Health Law Sign-Up Is Delayed For Small Business," The New York Times , 11/27/13)

AFTER OBAMA'S ASSURANCES THAT THE WEBSITE WOULD WORK, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS DOWNPLAYED EXPECTATIONS

Barack Obama: "[A]nd By The End Of This Month, We Anticipate That It Is Going To Be Working The Way It Is Supposed To, All Right?" OBAMA: "And the website is already better than it was at the beginning of October, and by the end of this month, we anticipate that it is going to be working the way it is supposed to, all right? And folks are working 24/7 to make sure that happens." (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President On The Affordable Care Act , Dallas, TX, 11/6/13)

The Obama Administration Has Been Downplaying Expectations Of Its "Self-Imposed Deadline For Fixing HealthCare.gov." "Administration officials said Monday that some visitors to ObamaCare's federal enrollment site would experience outages, slow response times or messages to try again later during the month of December. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) delivered the message in the latest attempt to downplay expectations surrounding Nov. 30, the administration's self-imposed deadline for fixing HealthCare.gov." (Elise Viebeck, "Health care.gov Won't Be Perfect On Dec. 1, Administration Says," The Hill's Health Watch , 11/25/13)

"Administration Officials Have Sought To Tamp Down Expectations …" "Administration officials have sought to tamp down expectations, noting that improvements will be gradual in the coming weeks and months." (Sandhya Somashekhar And Amy Goldstein, "ObamaCare Update: Consumers See Progress But Insurers Smell Trouble," The Washington Post , 11/25/13)

According To CMS, "The System Will Not Work Perfectly On Dec. 1" And Users Are Expected To Experience "Periods Of Suboptimal Performance." "CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille said errors that persist past this weekend would be 'intermittent' and, in line with a promise made by the White House, would not affect the vast majority of the site's users. But Bataille acknowledged that some people would still experience 'periods of suboptimal performance' by the system due to either heavy traffic or technical issues that are still being addressed. 'The system will not work perfectly on Dec. 1, but it will work much better than it did in October,' Bataille said." (Elise Viebeck, "Health care.gov Won't Be Perfect On Dec. 1, Administration Says," The Hill's Health Watch , 11/25/13)

  • Health And Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: "The 30th Of November Is Not A Magic Go, No Go Date." "'The 30th of November is not a magic go, no go date. It is a work of constant improvement. We have some very specific things we know we need to complete by the 30th and that punch list is getting knocked out every week,' Sebelius told The Associated Press." (Kelli Kennedy, "Health Website To Remain A Work In Progress," The Associated Press, 11/20/13)

In An Attempt To Avoid Embarrassment, The White House Is Asking Allies Not To Send Consumers To The ObamaCare Website

The Obama Administration Is Asking Allies To Not "Send A Flood Of Consumers" To The ObamaCare Website Next Week. "The Obama administration is quietly asking health care advocacy groups not to send a flood of consumers to Health care.gov next week, pushing instead for a more phased approach that won't overwhelm the website that the administration has pledged would be fully functional by Dec. 1." (Dylan Scott, "White House Privately Asks For Gradual Return To HealthCare.gov," Talking Points Memo, 11/25/13)

  • Planned Parenthood And Enroll America Are Among The Groups The White House Is Asking Not To Refer Consumers. "The message is being communicated in private meetings, including one held Monday, a senior administration official told TPM. Groups like Enroll America and Planned Parenthood, which are among the leading organizations that are helping people sign up for coverage under ObamaCare, are some of those to be targeted." (Dylan Scott, "White House Privately Asks For Gradual Return To HealthCare.gov," Talking Points Memo, 11/25/13)

The Obama Administration Is Hoping To Avoid Any "Embarrassing Outages" That Have Plagued HealthCare.gov. "The plan would serve two purposes. First, it would lighten the load on Health care.gov next week, the first after the administration's self-imposed Dec. 1 deadline to get it fully functioning. Limiting the number of people who are coming to the site should help prevent any embarrassing outages. And second, preventing outages would ensure that people who are returning to the site after being frustrated by its early problems will have a better experience." (Dylan Scott, "White House Privately Asks For Gradual Return To HealthCare.gov," Talking Points Memo, 11/25/13)

THE FEDERAL OBAMACARE EXCHANGE WEBSITE WILL CONTINUE TO EXPERIENCE PROBLEMS AFTER NOVEMBER 30

Problems Will Continue To Plague The ObamaCare Exchange Website. "Even if it does work better for consumers, there are still problems - particularly the scrambled reports insurers are getting about people who have signed up for coverage through Health care.gov. Insurers say they are getting duplicate records and reports that misstate family relationships, such as listing a child as a spouse. In some cases, enrollment reports are disappearing. With these 'orphan records,' insurers would have no way of knowing whether a person is signed up for coverage, unless a new customer happened to call the company with questions." (Sandhya Somashekhar And Amy Goldstein, "ObamaCare Update: Consumers See Progress But Insurers Smell Trouble," The Washington Post , 11/25/13)

  • HealthCare.gov "Is Still Marred By Defects," Giving Insurers "Error-Riddled Reports" That If Left Unresolved, "Could Be Disastrous If Not Fixed Soon." "But the online system is still marred by defects that would create havoc for insurance companies if a significantly larger volume of applicants starts to sign up in coming weeks. Among them are the error-riddled reports that insurers are receiving about who has enrolled, a problem that could be disastrous if not fixed soon." (Sandhya Somashekhar And Amy Goldstein, "ObamaCare Update: Consumers See Progress But Insurers Smell Trouble," The Washington Post , 11/25/13)
     
  • As Recently As Earlier This Week, The Federal ObamaCare Website Experienced An Outage. "The Health Care.gov site had an unexpected outage for one hour Sunday afternoon. The site was also down for routine maintenance from Saturday evening through Sunday morning. 'The tech team quickly addressed the issue,' Bataille said. 'The federal data hub remained fully operational.' Bataille said that, as more fixes are implemented, 'We'll likely find additional glitches. We expect to see intermittent periods where [HealthCare.gov] is slow.'" (Sarah Kliff, "Three Things We Learned From Today's ObamaCare Update," The Washington Post's WonkBlog , 11/25/13)
     
  • The ObamaCare Website's Identity Verification Has "Prevented Thousands Of People" From Shopping For A Health Plan. "Just days before the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline to fix the troubled federal health insurance website, officials said Monday that they were aware of another problem that has prevented thousands of people who were unable to verify their identity from shopping for health plans." (Robert Pear, "ID Verification Lagging On Health Care Website," The New York Times , 11/26/13)

New Website Problems Will Threaten Enrollments, Leaving Consumers At Risk Of Getting Coverage. "Further technical problems at Health care.gov would also threaten the wave of enrollments expected in the first three weeks of December, putting consumers at risk of lacking coverage they need on Jan. 1." (Elise Viebeck, "Health care.gov Won't Be Perfect On Dec. 1, Administration Says," The Hill's Health Watch , 11/25/13)

  • "Tens Of Thousands" Of People Will Be Unable To Enroll Online On The ObamaCre Exchange Website. "The goal is that 80 percent of people going to HealthCare.gov should manage to enroll electronically - but that means that many others, perhaps that tens of thousands, will be unable to do so. It puts more pressure on the administration to fix technical problems that have made it difficult for people to sign up for coverage by other routes, including federally sponsored call centers and the insurers themselves." (Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin, "HealthCare.gov Goal Will Leave Many Unable To Enroll For Insurance Through Website," The Washington Post , 11/16/13)

ObamaCare's Spanish Version Website Will Still Be Unable To Enroll People. "Add one more delay to the list for the rollout of President Barack Obama's health care law. This time, it's a postponement of the launch of online enrollment tools in Spanish. The Spanish version of HealthCare.gov now provides basic information, but still doesn't allow users to apply for insurance coverage online. U.S. Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters told The Associated Press on Tuesday the administration plans a quiet launch of the Spanish enrollment tools in early December without much advertising." (Carla K. Johnson, "Health Law's Spanish Sign-Up Tools Delayed," The Associated Press , 11/26/13)

A DISASTROUS RELAUNCH COULD SPELL TROUBLE FOR THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

If HealthCare.gov Still Experiences Problems, The Obama Administration Will Have "Another Political Crisis" On Its Hands. "Both groups know that if the site cannot recover by next month, its dysfunction will plunge the administration into another political crisis." (Elise Viebeck, "Health care.gov Won't Be Perfect On Dec. 1, Administration Says," The Hill's Health Watch , 11/25/13)

For The Obama Administration, "There Is Little Room For Error At This Point." "There is little room for error at this point. People seeking to take advantage of new consumer protections that kick in Jan. 1, or whose health insurance policies are being canceled at the end of the year, have until Dec. 23 to choose a plan and until Dec. 31 to pay their first month's premium." (Sandhya Somashekhar And Amy Goldstein, "ObamaCare Update: Consumers See Progress But Insurers Smell Trouble," The Washington Post , 11/25/13)

  • "The Obama Administration Has Staked Its Credibility On Turning HealthCare.Gov Around By The End Of This Month." (Kelli Kennedy, "Health Website To Remain A Work In Progress," The Associated Press, 11/20/13)

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