An Illustration

…of why government is unsuited to run what are essentially business operations.

Not to keep picking on Obamacare, but this program really is a poster child for why government can’t do this sort of thing. All year long, the Federal government has been trying to revamp its failed ObamaMart, euphemistically known as Healthcare.gov. Here’s the status of that effort.

  • ObamaMart still is transitioning to new government contractors to manage basic functions. This transition has been going on since the first of the year. They’re not even stable yet on what companies have been hired to do the work.
  • Some back-end functions, including a system to automate payments to insurers, are running behind schedule—still. These functions were supposed to be fully operational last October 1, at the initial deployment of ObamaMart. The revamp can’t get this right, either.
  • [N]ew versions of some functions still will need to be tested with insurers before open enrollment begins 15 Nov. Actual testing is a new wrinkle. Welcome to be sure, but even though CDS has said that ObamaMart was never seriously tested the first time, apparently CDS still is only testing some parts—spot checking.
  • [The] exchange for small businesses, delayed by technical problems last year…will “launch” without some functions.
  • [T]he system to funnel subsidy payments to plan providers for the benefit of plan purchasers (remember that back end?), originally supposed to be ready for the launch in October, then later set for completion by mid-March, is now scheduled to be fully operational in 2015—well after the enrollment period for purchasing 2015 plans has closed.

These highlights demonstrate a terrible performance, by an entity that has no concept of the cost of money and that has none of the performance incentives that a competitive environment in a free market economy provides.

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