KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Earlier Signs Of Website Problems Weren’t Addressed

The Wall Street Journal examines how officials building the federal marketplace failed to alert others to problems they were encountering. Other reports look at the concerns about some functions on the site that still are not working properly.

The Wall Street Journal: Health Website Problems Weren't Flagged In Time
When warning signs emerged earlier this year, the agency running the website mostly kept the problems to itself -- a decision that now looms large in explaining how the project went so badly astray. Over the weekend, the White House official leading the repair effort, Jeffrey Zients, described a series of improvements that took just six weeks to carry out under a new general contractor, underscoring how an earlier alert might have led to problems being addressed more urgently before the site's Oct. 1 launch (Nagesh, 12/2).

The Washington Post: Health Care Enrollment On Web Plagued By Bugs
The enrollment records for a significant portion of the Americans who have chosen health plans through the online federal insurance marketplace contain errors -- generated by the computer system -- that mean they might not get the coverage they're expecting next month. The errors cumulatively have affected roughly one-third of the people who have signed up for health plans since Oct. 1, according to two government and health-care industry officials. The White House disputed the figure but declined to provide its own (Goldstein and Eilperin, 12/2).

Marketplace: Healthcare.Gov's Next Hurdle: Fixing The Part You Don't See
By midday Monday,  roughly 375,000 people had logged onto But an "Open for Business" sign may still be a long distance from a health insurance policy that works at the doctor's office. There are a lot of steps between signing up for health insurance and actually getting that insurance card. Just think about all the folks -- and computers -- that need to talk to each other (Hill, 12/2).

And NPR looks at the extensive problems Oregon has experienced in building its own marketplace.

NPR: Could A Tech Giant Build A Better Health Exchange? Maybe Not
Oregon has spent more than $40 million to build its own online health care exchange. It gave that money to a Silicon Valley titan, Oracle, but the result has been a disaster of missed deadlines, a nonworking website and a state forced to process thousands of insurance applications on paper. Some Oregon officials were sounding alarms about the tech company's work on the state's online health care exchange as early as last spring. Oracle was behind schedule and, worse, didn't seem able to offer an estimate of what it would take to get the state's online exchange up and running (Henn, 12/2).

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