But as the Medicare CIO revealed during a congressional hearing that in a best case scenario we have somewhere around 30-40% of the actual exchange’s software that remains to yet be built! Notice that’s best case, because the first numbers Chao gave pointed at 60-70% still needing to be built before dropping to the lower numbers. From the article:
The revelation came out of questioning of Mr. Chao by Rep. Cory Gardner (R., Colo.). Gardner was trying to figure out how much of the IT infrastructure around the federal insurance exchange had been completed. “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…”
Gardner replied, incredulously, “Wait, 60 or 70 percent that needs to be built, still?” Chao did not contradict Gardner, adding, “because we still have to build the payment systems to make payments to insurers in January.”
Gardner asked a third time: “Let me get this correct. 60 to 70 percent of healthcare.gov still needs to be built?” Chao: “It’s not really about healthcare.gov; it’s the federally-faciliated marketplace…the on-line application, verification, determination, plan [comparison shopping], getting enrolled, generating the enrollment transaction—that’s 100 percent there.”
Gardner, a fourth time: “But the entire system is 60 to 70 percent away from being complete.” Chao: “There’s the back office systems, the accounting systems, the payment systems…they still need to be done.”
Gardner asked a fifth time: “Of those 60 to 70 percent of systems that are still being built, how are they going to be tested?
So it’s not clear whether Chao meant to say “60 to 70 percent” hasn’t been built, and then backtracked to “30 to 40 percent,” or whether he meant to say all along that 30-40 percent of the exchange has yet to be built. Either way, it’s an astounding percentage. Apparently, the accounting systems and payment systems that protect taxpayers against waste, fraud, and abuse—systems that also ensure that insurers get paid, and that premium subsidies are accurately doled out—have not yet been built.”
This time, Chao said: “You mean the remaining 30 to 40 percent? How are they going to be tested? In the same exact manner we tested everything else.”
Only a government entity could get away with shit like this. And this is some absolutely serious shit. We are talking about a disruption of services related to something that can have horrible repercussions to individuals affected by this government takeover of healthcare. And can you imagine if they were grilling a private entity what the reaction, and then the action to punish them for not only not being ready to provide critical service but lying about the state of affairs for political/ideological reasons, would have been like? To quote someone I heard explain this phenomenon, the problem amounts to “Our government is trying to build the airplane as it is taking off and flying away”. The only possible outcome is that this thing crashes and burns.
And we are seeing that happen right now. Let’s take up the security of this information. Government put in place HIPPA to force private entities handling this information to really safe guard patient information or risk some hefty penalties. But the site they are building is a haven for hackers, and yet, there is no consequence for our government to that revelation their site is allowing people to steal more patient information than any hacker could have hoped to get from a private entity in their wildest dreams.
Did I mention this thing is a royal fuck up yet?