Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Cruising the Web

The administration is proudly proclaiming that they got the job done on time with fixing the healthcare.gov website, but they won't give out the statistics on the error rate on the back-end. There seems to be a major back-up with sending the data on enrollees to insurance companies.
Insurers are supposed to receive 834 EDI Transmission Forms, which tell them which individuals have enrolled in health care plans. Without such information, insurers have no way of knowing who has signed up for Obamacare exchanges or what coverage to offer them.

Even though a CMS spokeswoman insisted Monday that a bug causing 80 percent of problems with the 834 Forms had been fixed, she could not quantify the error rate for transmitting data from the healthcare.gov website to insurers.

When pressed on how the administration knew the origin of 80 percent of the problems — without disclosing the actual error rate — CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille said, “that’s the information I’ve got today.”
An 80% fix means that perhaps 20% of those signing up and thinking they've bought an insurance policy could be disastrous for those people. And the Washington Post is reporting that about one-third of those who think they've signed up for health-care plans have errors that the computer created with sending the information on to insurance companies.

Trudy Lieberman of Columbia Journalism Review does some navel-gazing in Politico at the media to note that they had basically ignored all the warnings about problems with Obamacare before the October 1 rollout. As Politico explains, the political reporters didn't have a clue about the looming problems from the program. While the criticism is all apt, it leaves out the fact that the conservative media have been covering these problems since the bill was passed. None of what we've seen, except maybe for the severity of the website problems, has been a surprise to conservatives. The MSM is just catching up to what conservatives have been saying for years. Perhaps the fix for the faults that Lieberman cites would be for media outlets to have at least one person on staff who reads the conservative media outlets. Then they wouldn't have to resort to repeating the talking points of Obama supporters.

Charles Ornstein at ProPublica tried to get on the healthcare website and encountered all sorts of problems. I guess it all depends on what the meaning of the word "fixed" is.

Bret Stephens contrasts Barack Obama with Jeff Bezos to see why Obama's leadership style has not led to healthcare.gov becoming an Amazon-like experience.

George Will remembers some of the more ludicrous moments of 2013.
Some of today’s brains. A Tennessee judge’s ruling was reversed: She had ordered a family to change a child’s name, Messiah, because that “title” has “only been earned by one person.” At the school where a Maryland kindergartner is supposed to learn reasonableness, school officials interrogated him for more than two hours before notifying his mother that he possessed a cap gun. Fortunately, it contained no caps; otherwise it would have been deemed an explosive. Michigan educators forced the removal of the little plastic soldiers a mother had put on cupcakes she took to school on her son’s birthday.

On Sept. 17, Constitution Day, a student at Modesto Junior College was told to stop distributing copies of the Constitution until he had filled out the requisite forms for permission to use the college’s designated “free speech area.” The Bank of England is putting Jane Austen on a new 10-pound note because, without a woman on some notes, British currency would “not command respect and legitimacy.” Queen Elizabeth II is on all notes. When Britain’s education secretary said children should learn to add and subtract, and memorize some of the nation’s kings and queens, a teachers’ union objected. The union had hitherto said: “For the state to suggest that some knowledge should be privileged over other knowledge is a bit totalitarian in a 21st century environment.” American University in Washington, D.C., scheduled a course on “The 50 Shades Trilogy.”

The infantilization of adults continued with the marketing of $600 High Rollers, which are Big Wheels for (biological, not actual) grown-ups. MSNBC, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Gov. George Wallace’s attempt to prevent the integration of the University of Alabama, identified Wallace as a Republican.

Mark Steyn covers the horrifying story of an Italian woman visiting England when social services there decided she would be an unfit mother and they got a court order to forcibly perform a Caesarean section on her and take away her child for 15 months.
It's an absolutely unbelievable awful story and Steyn points to the culture in British social circles that they know best and can perpetrate any sort of horror on people just because they think they're right.
It was around this time last year that a couple in Britain had their three foster children removed by authorities for the high crime of supporting both British withdrawal from the European Union and a cap on immigration. The father – a Navy reservist who works with the disabled – and the mother – a nursery nurse – were disgusted by the accusation that they were “racists” for holding a position that the majority of Britons do. But that didn’t matter. Some jumped up little rainbow warrior in the local office had decided that the pair’s political views weren’t kosher and that they thus couldn’t be trusted to raise kids. So they took them away.
Timothy Carney examines all the corporations that benefited from the contraception mandate. How nice for Obama that his political advantages matched up with his desire to help drug companies that had helped lobby to get Obamacare passed.