KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Federal Officials, Contractors Give Health Exchange ‘Data Hub’ Thumbs Up

Several contractors gave positive reports about their readiness to launch the health law's new online marketplaces Oct. 1 at a House hearing Tuesday, although one expert predicted a "rocky start," and several Republicans said they were not reassured.

The Washington Post: Health-Care 'Data Hub' Is Ready, White House Officials Say
Obama administration officials, facing criticism that they are behind schedule in implementing the president’s health-care law, said Tuesday that they have finished a major piece of the technology that will help millions of Americans sign up for insurance this fall. Federal health officials said they have completed the "data hub," a complex system that will verify people’s Social Security numbers, immigration status and other information when they log on to government Web sites to buy health plans and apply for government subsidies (Somashekhar, 9/10).

The Associated Press: 'Obamacare' Contractors Project Confidence
Major contractors hooking up the internal plumbing of President Barack Obama’s health care law projected confidence Tuesday that they will be ready to go by an Oct. 1 deadline, even though the system is still being tested. With just three weeks to go before new state health insurance markets launch, efforts are ongoing to reliably link up government agencies, the markets themselves and private health plans (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/10).

Reuters: Obamacare Exchanges Seen Headed For 'Rocky' Enrollment Start: Expert
Obamacare is likely to have a "rocky" enrollment start on October 1 in some U.S. states, because of ongoing technology challenges facing new online health insurance exchanges, a leading expert told U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday (Morgan, 9/10).

Politico: ACA Contractors: We'll Be Ready Oct. 1
Several Obamacare contractors say the massive infrastructure allowing millions of Americans to sign up for health insurance will be ready for launch on Oct. 1 despite high-profile delays of some of the law’s major provisions. Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of CGI Federal, told the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday morning that the federal health insurance exchange her company is designing is on track with CMS’s timeline (Millman, 9/10).

CQ HealthBeat: Republicans Challenge Readiness Of Data Management And Security In Health Exchanges
Government contractors working to implement parts of the new health insurance marketplaces said Tuesday that they expect some glitches but are on track to meet deadlines, while House Republicans said they were not reassured. With three weeks before open enrollment for the exchanges begins on Oct. 1, lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee continued to bicker over whether the programs would be ready to accept applicants and protect their personal information (Ethridge, 9/10).

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