October 27, 2013

Indeed, we know there are significant system issues accessing the Exchanges on-line; we now have a team in place promising relief in a month; and at the same time, the Republicans are happy as can be to see it falter so the grumbling and screaming has increased….this time, as they try to take advantage of  the situation and turn this into a political win rather than a win for the people they represent. .

Unfortunately, a technical hiccup – no matter how big a disaster it is, does not change the facts.  A whole lot of people are trying to take advantage of its availability.

Underneath the noise, we continue to hear that more folks were trying to sign up right away than anticipated which magnified the problem.

 Hmmm.  My immediate question was why was this NOT anticipated?   Indeed, we know now it was more than just the volume causing the problem but nevertheless, as the volume dropped off, access improved despite the design or code problems in the system.

It appears the fact remains, Americans were inquiring in droves – many more than planned for and it contributed to the problem.  Assuming they return when the system is smoothed out, the interest – even though it was under-predicted- demonstrates the need!

 So back to basics, there was a GREAT need; there is A GREAT interest. Which brings me full circle…then why did the plan not allow for that?

 Ironically, the massive amount of calls often originated in those states like Texas where 90% of the citizens have no health care insurance.  What’s the connection there?  And a nagging thought kept coming back – why is MNSure doing ok?

As time unfolds, we learn high volume was exasperated by not enough time to write and test code. Vendors started pointing fingers to the government and the blame game became the focus.  

And now very quietly after the roar of the last two weeks, I am starting to hear more and it is starting to make sense to me.  For instance, although Texas has 90% of its population uninsured, Texas is one of the states that refused to follow the plan and develop an Exchange.  Seems to me Rick Perry by putting party propaganda first, shot himself in the foot….now he has a whole lot of unhappy folks who eventually will figure out it may not have been the system, but politics instead that contributed to all this mess.

As I focused on State vs. Federal Exchanges, a little voice kept saying – wait a minute – is this a clue to what really happened?

14 states went ahead and developed Exchanges, just as the plan called for.  I haven’t fact-checked yet, but I seem to recall Minnesota has been working on that for a year or so.  So when did the Federal Government realize that step was being boycotted and ignored?  Did the refusal to comply contribute to the fact that there was a scramble at the last minute to determine how to minimize the impact of that? Did that cause the frantic programming that just began last May – not because of bad planning but because States ignored the plan and the federal government had to step in and build a safety net?

Does that mean the culprit here is neither the Federal Government NOR the software developers initially working on the project, but the faulty political stance led by Tea Party States that snowballed – if they refused, then we will too?

This may be one to watch closely…as the issues could  have their roots in a Mad Hatter scheme of wishful thinking that became reality and harmed every one of us as well as the country.


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