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  • More Obamacare News

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on January 18th, 2014 (All posts by )

    The CMS has a new contractor for Obamacare, not just the web site. The previous contractor, CGI Federal, has been replaced rather suddenly.

    “Accenture, one of the world’s largest consulting firms, has extensive experience with computer systems on the state level and built California’s large new health-insurance exchange. But it has not done substantial work on any Health and Human Services Department program.
    “The administration’s decision to end the contract with CGI reflects lingering unease over the performance of HealthCare.gov even as officials have touted recent improvements and the rising numbers of Americans who have used the marketplace to sign up for health coverage that took effect Jan. 1.”

    CGI Federal is the company connected with Michelle Obama through her classmate, a fellow Princeton alumna.

    It’s true that Townes-Whitley works for CGI Federal. She joined the company in May 2010, and is senior vice president of the Civilian Agency Programs Business Unit, according to the CGI website. In her current role, she oversees services to 22 U.S. federal civilian agencies and is “responsible for sales, client relationships, P&L and member management for CAP’s 1,850+ members across the U.S. and 34 countries internationally.”

    Her job sounds similar to the job Michelle held briefly with the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she was in charge of “urban outreach.”

    The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) blasted MichelleObamacare, expressing “grave concerns that the University of Chicago’s policy toward emergency patients is dangerously close to ‘patient dumping.’” The group concluded that the Urban Health Initiative “reflected an effort to ‘cherry pick’ wealthy patients over poor.” That practice was made illegal by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) signed by President Ronald Reagan.

    Bipartisan complaints about impoverished South Side Chicago patients getting the shaft led GOP Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush of Chicago to challenge the crony hospital’s abuse of its nonprofit status and lucrative tax breaks. But the probe went nowhere.”

    Of course, the job ended when Barack was elected President and the position was never filled again. It will be interesting to see if Townes-Whitley stays with CGI Federal after this.

    Anyway, the move was deemed “urgent” because the Obamacare program is in big trouble, not just the web site.

    If the ObamaCare contractor brought on last week to fix the back-end of the HealthCare.gov portal doesn’t finish the build-out by mid-March the healthcare law will be jeopardized, according to a procurement document posted on a federal website.

    It said insurers could be bankrupted and the entire healthcare industry threatened if the build out is not completed.

    The procurement document signed by healthcare officials in late December says that the government determined in mid-December that CGI Federal, the contractor originally tasked with connecting the online healthcare portal to insurers, was not up to the task.
    The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) announced last week it was firing CGI Federal, and bringing on Accenture to finish the website.

    It’s not just the web site, as I keep repeating.

    “If this functionality is not complete by mid-March 2014, the government could make erroneous payments to providers and insurers,” it continues. “Additionally, without a Financial Management platform that accounts for enrollments and associated program costs that integrates with the existing CMS Accounting platform, the entire healthcare reform program is jeopardized.”

    The “back end” was never designed or written prior to the October 1 rollout. I pointed this out two months ago. They didn’t even have the payment mechanism built. If anyone still wonders why they don’t know if people paid their premium for coverage, this is why.

    “Well, how much do we have to build today, still? What do we need to build? 50 percent? 40 percent? 30 percent?” Chao replied, “I think it’s just an approximation—we’re probably sitting between 60 and 70 percent because we still have to build…”

    Now, we have until March 14. What then ?

    Cohen said that “because we don’t have full functionality” of the website that the government was using a workaround, and that the automated payment system would be ready “in the next months.” Notice he didn’t say how many months ?

    While Cohen did not give a timetable for the project, he said that a stopgap system would pay insurers next week based on calculations of what they are owed.

    However, the back-end problems extend beyond federal subsidy payments. According to the document, the system is vulnerable to “inaccurate forecasting” of the risk mitigation programs in place to pay insurers who enroll a higher-than-expected number of sick patients with expensive bills, “potentially putting the entire health insurance industry at risk.”

    By mid-March, Accenture must build a financial management platform that tracks eligibility and enrollment transactions, accounts for subsidy payments to insurance plans, “provides stable and predictable financial accounting and outlook for the entire program,” and that integrates with existing CMS and IRS systems.

    The plan to “pay insurers” is the notorious Reinsurance Program

    insurance purchased through Obamacare’s government-run exchanges isn’t even full-fledged private insurance; rather, it’s a sort of private-public hybrid. Private insurance companies pay for costs below $45,000, then taxpayers generously pick up the tab—a tab that their president hasn’t ever bothered to tell them he has opened up on their behalf—for four-fifths of the next $200,000-plus worth of costs. In this way, and so many others, Obamacare takes a major step toward the government monopoly over American medicine (“single payer”) that liberals drool about in their sleep.

    See, that wasn’t that painful, was it ?

    Obamacare also contains a “Risk Corridor Program that limits overall losses for insurers.” So insurers not only don’t have to pay out all of their costs; they also don’t have to swallow all of their losses.

    There are all kinds of surprises to come. I can hardly wait. It seems obvious that we need to be ready with a reform plan after the new Congress is sworn in next January.

     

    18 Responses to “More Obamacare News”

    1. David Foster Says:

      Sounds like there is a new candidate for the title of Greatest Debacle in the History of Organized Work.

    2. Michael Kennedy Says:

      I’ve been referring to the Virtual Case system since my daughter, an FBI agent, told me about it.

    3. Michael Kennedy Says:

      I’ve been referring to the Virtual Case system since my daughter, an FBI agent, told me about it.

      “The problems were made even more complex by the FAA’s absolute insistance that AAS was to be an entirely paperless system–the paper flight strips, previously printed out for each individual flight being tracked, were to disappear and be replaced by some virtual incarnation on the screen.”

      Shades of the Electronic Medical Record.

    4. TMLutas Says:

      Take a look at the mythical man-month to figure out why things go wrong on big software projects.

    5. Roy Lofquist Says:

      We are barely hearing the ominous rumblings in the mountains. Payments will be delayed. The general confusion and chaos will clog up the system even more. Suppliers will see their receivables slide inevitably towards the 90 day cliff. Utility companies will ask where last month’s payment is. Nurses and billing clerks will find out that promises won’t put gas in their cars. Rent payments on offices will come due. Somebody please wake me from this nightmare.

    6. dearieme Says:

      The Democrats’ dégringolade.

    7. Trent Telenko Says:

      Obamacare is a government health care policy disaster equivalent of the Zombie Apocalypse.

      The Federal Reserve will be printing money to cover the Obamacare medical fraud, to avoid Congressional appropriations oversight, before this is over.

    8. ErisGuy Says:

      The only solution is to abolish most of the government. All the power, control, and authority it has accumulated since the Civil War has been a mistake. It must be ended. Or we must admit that the dreams of the Founding Fathers, the dreams that people can live in liberty and prosperity must founder on the fundamental human lust for control.

    9. Dan from Madison Says:

      The Republicans need to make this the Democrats Stalingrad, as Lex Green put it in an email to me a month or to ago. Zerocare’s failures need to be the single talking point over and over and over. If the R’s don’t capitalize on this nightmare, to hell with them. (Well, sort of to hell with them anyways, but you get my drift).

    10. VVXC Says:

      As I was chastised for snark, I will put it directly again;

      THEY.MEAN.HARM.

      They mean harm, proceeding from a base motive of malice, gleefully profiting from the chaos.

      The post and the comments all reflect “oh it’s not working”. With all the rest besides the Cargo Cult Deity known as website that’s “not working” being mentioned in passing.

      It’s working perfectly. Brilliantly.

      It’s destroying private insurance, which is it’s purpose.

      That it was intended to get us to single payer National Health Care was how it was trumpeted from the Ivory Tower, and the sweetening on the pill that allowed the Left to swallow it.

      And Yet…it’s putative defects which Brilliantly Distract from it’s main purpose of destruction of the Private Sector are what everyone focuses on.

      Because it’s a bad customer service experience, and a good customer service experience is all that counts.*

      To diagnose your disease: You are confronted with deadly pathogens that you cannot accept are disease.

      For the ancient malady of predatory rulers is new to America, and it has not yet developed immune defenses.

      For that we shall require suffering.

      *I shall be looking very skeptically at agile, scrum, and the entire customer service is GOD ethos. So it’s actually a profit here for me.

    11. VVXC Says:

      Now for the same reasons – Motives of Malice and Harm – your fairy Republic of 3.0 will never materialize as long as they draw the breathe of Power.

      There is check man can devise that will balance against those determined to HARM and profit from it.

      They will do all they can for instance to both retard the return of manufacturing and middle class compensation for the masses.

      For instance the minimum wage hike will be hijacked [from Ron Unz] to retard the return of manufacturing.

      They will use the Regulatory machine to ensure you can’t make Kindles at Home.

      They’re not going to allow it, and they literally have unlimited options [Federal Register] to retard it.

      I’m not here to be dismal, I’m hear to tell you there’s no such thing as wooden plumbing, the showerheads aren’t coming on because cleanliness isn’t the point.

    12. VVXC Says:

      To wrap up some unfinished business…I have on these pages been denounced as a criminal for suggesting that no legal solution presents itself for what is an absolutely political issue, with the avowed enemies of Liberty, Decency and Good writing the laws. As soon as you appeal [pathetically] to those laws, they have won.

      Now do allow me to denounce you for peddling false hopes of Blue Skies that magically happen without the Dawn of Victory.

      And hurling accusations of crime* to protect the proceeds of the peddling.

      I may be brutally candid, but I’m not applying for a job in the Auschwitz Gift Shop 3.0.

      Good Morning Sirs.

      *I prefer Extra-Law to Outlaw.

    13. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.”

      Napoleon Bonaparte

      The left was trying to make a working system but they don’t know how to make any system. What successful system has ever been created by the left ?

    14. VVXC Says:

      Incompetence is not an adequate explantion when you have the malice published aforethought.

      They always intended single payer and that would be the government. This was much discussed at the time in their own councils, and is being more meekly raised now.

      On another matter Detroit may be said to be malice. It is the peak of Cloward/Piven.

      On the matters of their policies being the result of incompetence or malice…when they’ve comprehensively ruined 2 generations [the last 50 years] it may no longer be said to be mere incompetence.

      Then there’s the corruption. On the matter of Peculation they seem to be strikingly competent.

      Was Fannie/Freddie MAE incompetent? Including the payoffs?

    15. VVXC Says:

      Cloward-Piven is not incompetence. It’s the birth of the modern government, morphing from the benign New Deal into a Predatory Machine.

      “The United States welfare system in 1966 was not at all to the liking of the strategy’s authors, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, a husband-and-wife team of sociologists-cum-activists. The pair favored a centralized, federally-run system guaranteeing a minimum income for everyone, thereby wiping out poverty.

      The strategy: Cloward and Piven had determined that many people in the U.S. were eligible for welfare, but were not receiving it. They believed that if all these people were to apply for welfare all at once, the local welfare offices would be overwhelmed and the states would be threatened with bankruptcy.

      In advocating such disruptions, Cloward and Piven were making a deliberate attempt to incite racial, ethnic, and class tensions, setting whites against racial minorities and middle-class liberals against working-class immigrant groups. This would weaken the already fragile New Deal liberal coalition and threaten the Democratic Party politically, which would cause the Democrats to institute a new welfare scheme in an attempt to maintain the cohesiveness of their coalition (and thus remain in power). ” – RationalWiki.

      RationalWiki BTW is very Left.

    16. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

      .

      Not to worry.

      When the Health Care and Insurance systems go tits up, Congress will be there, ready to step in and fix everything in one swell foop.

      Yyyyup.

      …Anyone want to buy some LAND?

    17. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

      ErisGuy: I have been arguing for years that the last truly GREAT PotUS we had was Grover Cleveland.

      No, not Reagan, nor Kennedy, not FDR, nor Coolidge … not even Teddy, whose “Progressive” ideas are at the heart of many of our current government woes (I believe he was correct in believing that there were things that Needed To Be Done. I just argue that using Government to do it is what set us upon this long slow road to ruination).

      YES, Cleveland (from the wiki entry):

      Cleveland [a Democrat] faced a Republican Senate and often resorted to using his veto powers. He vetoed hundreds of private pension bills for American Civil War veterans, believing that if their pensions requests had already been rejected by the Pension Bureau, Congress should not attempt to override that decision. When Congress, pressured by the Grand Army of the Republic, passed a bill granting pensions for disabilities not caused by military service, Cleveland also vetoed that. Cleveland used the veto far more often than any president up to that time. In 1887, Cleveland issued his most well-known veto, that of the Texas Seed Bill. After a drought had ruined crops in several Texas counties, Congress appropriated $10,000 to purchase seed grain for farmers there. Cleveland vetoed the expenditure. In his veto message, he espoused a theory of limited government:

      I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people. The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.

      We need a PotUS like that, again. And a Congress to support him.

    18. MikeK Says:

      “We need a PotUS like that, again. And a Congress to support him.”

      I suggest you read my biography of Coolidge linked at this blog. Cleveland was president in simpler times. What Harding and Coolidge did was to reverse a good amount of the Progressive agenda set in place by Roosevelt and Wilson. That was more important than what Cleveland did.