Over at The Washington Post, Ezra Klein wrote Friday that the federal ObamaCare site “is on a clear path to functionality” and then went on to ridicule Republicans for opposing it. That might make sense if it were anything close to the truth. Like the Administration, Klein is spewing false propaganda based on a website that works better on the front-end for the voters. On the back-end, however, The Wall Street Journal reports that Healthcare.gov is plagued with the kind of errors that will spell calamity for thousands:
Insurers and federal officials sifting through insurance applications under the health-care law have identified a raft of errors, including missing customers and inaccurate eligibility determinations that mean people may be enrolled in the wrong coverage.
Thousands of insurance applicants from HealthCare.gov–at least one in five at the height of the problems by one estimate–have received inaccurate assignments to Medicaid or to the marketplace for private plans, or have received incorrect denials, people familiar with the matter said. Eligibility determinations are an early step in the application process, before consumers choose plans.
In some cases described by a state official with knowledge of the matter, legal immigrants who aren’t yet eligible for Medicaid in Illinois–it takes five years of residence to join the state-run programs for low-income people–were nevertheless told they would be enrolled.
What all of this means is that, come January 1, thousands who believe they are insured will not be. Many of them were insured until ObamaCare canceled their policies. Many of them were covered through perfectly good high-risk pools offered by their state. Those high-risk policies, that cover the chronically ill who at the very least require monthly prescription refills, were also canceled by ObamaCare. How many of them, through no fault of their own, are about to find themselves in a health emergency and without coverage?
Currently, the White House claims that close to 370,000 people have “enrolled” in ObamaCare (not including Medicaid). Although the media is slavishly reporting what their government tells them, this number is wildly misleading. In reality, those 370,000 represent those who have only placed a policy in their shopping cart. You have to pay your first month’s premium in order to be “enrolled.”
With some insurers showing payment follow-throughs at 5-20%, this means that less than half of those 370,000 have really enrolled. Meanwhile, close to six million have had their policies canceled.
Although the mainstream media are back in their natural position of covering up ObamaCare’s problems, earlier this week the White House was forced to throw another set of willy-nilly fixes against the wall in the hope they would stick. The fixes are unlikely to truly help those who, for inexcusable reasons, will find themselves uninsured on January 1. But the fact that the White House “tried” to do something will likely be enough to keep the media silent.
Despite Ezra Klein’s robotic happy talk, HealthCare.gov is far from fixed and setting hundreds of thousands up for a New Years disaster. If Amazon.com let you look at their products but couldn’t pay vendors or deliver the correct product 20% of the time, would Ezra Klein call that “a clear path to functionality?”
Only if the government told him to.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC