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November 13, 2013

Federal Exchanges Might Not Be Fixed in Time

Posted in: healthcare

It appears the Obama administration might not have properly functioning by the end of the month. From the Washington Post:

Software problems with the federal online health insurance marketplace, especially in handling high volumes, are proving so stubborn that the system is unlikely to work fully by the end of the month as the White House has promised, according to an official with knowledge of the project.

The insurance exchange is balking when more than 20,000 to 30,000 people attempt to use it at the same time — about half its intended capacity, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose internal information. And CGI Federal, the main contractor that built the site, has succeeded in repairing only about six of every 10 of the defects it has addressed so far.

If the site is not working well by the beginning of December we will have a real policy disaster on our hands instead of just a political embarrassment. Some people are seeing their old policies being cancelled starting in January and need to be able to get new coverage from the exchanges. If people want insurance in January they need to be able to buy it by December 15th. Having a site that doesn’t work as it needs to would leave these people in a bureaucratic limbo.

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