KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Fears Of Website Instability As Deadline Nears

Also, The Washington Post looked into the company that built 

The Washington Post: Contract: Politics Not A Factor, But Neither Were Firm’s Ties To Failed Projects
CGI Federal, the company responsible for building the problem-plagued Web site for the Affordable Care Act, won the job because of what federal officials deemed a “technically superior” proposal, according to government documents and people familiar with the decision. Not considered in the 2011 selection process was the history of numerous executives at CGI Federal, who had come from another company that had mishandled at least 20 other government ­information technology projects more than a decade ago (Markon and Crites, 12/22).

Politico: Obamacare's Next Big Test
The Monday night deadline for getting Obamacare insurance starting Jan. 1 will test the American public's interest in coverage under the president's health law -- and the capacity of the recently refurbished website to accommodate a last-minute enrollment surge. Dec. 23 is the first hard deadline for the Affordable Care Act since the disastrous Oct. 1 debut of, and the most significant stress test for the website itself since Nov. 30, the date the administration promised to have it working smoothly for the "vast majority" of Americans. By Dec. 1, it had largely met that goal (Haberkorn, 12/23).

The Wall Street Journal: Health-Site Outage Recalls Flawed Launch
For the past few weeks, U.S. officials and government contractors have been pleased with the performance of the website. But Friday brought a reminder of the site's disastrous rollout when it suffered an unexpected outage just days before a crucial enrollment deadline. The outage, which was resolved after three hours, underscored the challenges as President Barack Obama's health law reaches a key coverage deadline (Ante and Radnofsky, 12/20).

The Associated Press: Obama Says 1 Million Signed Up For Health Care
Largely hidden from consumers, another set of technical problems is frustrating insurers, who say the government continues to send them inaccurate data on some enrolled individuals. Insurers call some of those jumbled enrollment files "orphans" and others "ghosts." They could turn into gremlins after Jan. 1 for some patients trying to use their new coverage. Consumers might show up at the pharmacy counter or doctor's office only to be told they're not in the system (Alonso-Zaldivar and Pace, 12/20).


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