The Healthcare site works! Sort of… It seems as though weeks of behind the scenes work by technicians and specialists have managed to bring Healthcare.gov back from the brink of critical condition and is now on the road to recovery- sort of. The fix-up has “made the healthcare.gov website easier for consumers to use,” but still has not helped users officially enroll into a health plan.
With coverage set to kick in for those who have enrolled into Obamacare in 30 days, the “Back end system” which delivers consumer information to insurers has yet to be fixed. The result- insurers have no information on consumers who are expecting to be covered in less than a month.
There are reports of people signing up for particular health plans only to find out that the insurance company has no record of their enrollment, while other insurers are saying they are collecting data that is either incomplete or inaccurate about potential customers, leaving the White House’s proclaimed gains in the service of it’s healthcare.gov site less than adequate.
“The bottom line is healthcare.gov on December first is night and day from where it was October first,” said Jeffrey Zients, the President’s appointee tasked with fixing the website’s issues. “The site is now stable and operating at its intended capacity at greatly approved performance.”
The issue Mr. Zients and his team fixed was the initial problems with the website’s inability to load and its tendency to freeze when consumers tried accessing it.
While the White House praises the site’s progress, observers say the intent of the website, that is to enroll people into health insurance policies, has still yet to be addressed and continues to plague insurers and consumers who have to deal with the site’s incompetence.
President Obama has assured the public that he has set a priority on improving the consumer’s access to the website, saying that insurers and company’s grievances could be addressed at a later date. Despite Obama’s concern for the public, public opinion polls show a sharp drop in his approval rating following the tumultuous health care roll out.
And while the President and his team may be basking in a dubious victory, the issue remains- both the consumer and the insurer are left where they were when the website stumbled onto the internet Oct 1st. Duplicate files, lost information and inaccurate reports of enrollees continue to disrupt the affordable health care’s roll out. Companies and Insurers say they can do little but wait for the government to fix the ongoing technical issues.
At the website’s current capacity, it can serve up to 50,000 people at one time or a total of 800,000 people a day according to a report by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The continuing health care website debacle is an embarrassment for the Obama administration, as well as the federal government’s ability to provide its citizens with a service. With technological giants like Google and Apple taking on millions of hits a day, processing billions of payments and various other transactions a year, the government’s inability to operate a website seems to defy all logic. More tragic than the government’s technological incompetence, is the fact that millions of Americans are still left uninsured, and unsure of what to do next. So for now, Healthcare.gov works… sort of.
by John Amaruso