Jewish World Review December 4, 2013/ 1 Teves, 5774
Not a good enough Obamacare fix
By Jonah Goldberg
Success! The Obama administration announced over the weekend that it had hit its deadline of
Of course, there were caveats. The site will still probably get buggy when there's a lot of traffic, which is why Health and Human Services Secretary
Oh, and there will still be crashes, and occasionally the administrators will have to take the whole thing offline. But, HHS insists, the "user experience" will be boffo for the majority of users.
There's still one hitch. HealthCare.gov doesn't work, at all. Sure, it provides a remarkably realistic user experience, but as of now it's basically a video game. A really, really boring video game. Call it
This is because the so-called back end essentially doesn't exist. That's the part of the site that talks to the insurance companies, processes payments and actually, you know, gets people enrolled on insurance plans.
Reports vary on whether it needs to be "fixed" or whether it still needs to be built. On
"It's not built, let alone tested," one insurance executive told the
Either way, it's not working. Think of it this way: Would you consider an ATM machine to be functional if it created a lifelike experience but didn't actually do anything with your commands? No money comes out, no deposits get credited, no transfers actually work, but the screen just tells you that everything worked?
Now, that's a bit harsh, of course. Insurance companies say that some people have successfully navigated the digital gauntlet. The
In its triumphant progress report, the administration declared that the effort was now proceeding with "private sector velocity and effectiveness." That's adorable. A project that was sold as tangible proof of the intellectual and managerial competence of liberalism utterly fails after more than three years and
The problem is that in the private sector, the ability to process payments is a big priority. Creating a more enjoyable user experience is nice, but the back end is where the action is. You know where the private sector has worked with real velocity and effectiveness? Sending out millions of insurance cancellation letters.
The most remarkable thing about
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