In the Fortune 50 world, we called it quality assurance (QA) testing. Either HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius completely ignored all standards for QA testing when it comes to a roll out of a new online application, or she knew it was screwed up and let it launch anyway.
Emerging errors include duplicate enrollments, spouses reported as children, missing data fields and suspect eligibility determinations, say executives at more than a dozen health plans. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska said it had to hire temporary workers to contact new customers directly to resolve inaccuracies in submissions. Medical Mutual of Ohio said one customer had successfully signed up for three of its plans.
Sebelius told us over-and-over again the website would be open, up and running for open enrollment. In her defense, she never said it would actually work, it would just be open.
Now Sebelius is saying they needed five years of development time and one year of testing to do the job.
“It’s tough to take these shots,” said Secretary Sebelius, who made clear in an interview she wouldn’t resign. “But I will take them until we get this right.” She and other officials say the site is slowly improving.
Yet even some of the law’s supporters criticize her management of the rollout, particularly after it became clear the site’s troubles weren’t just “glitches,” as Mrs. Sebelius had first said, but broader design defects.
After two weeks of review, the HHS secretary concluded, “We didn’t have enough testing, specifically for high volumes, for a very complicated project.”
The online insurance marketplace needed five years of construction and a year of testing, she said: “We had two years and almost no testing.”
I want to point something out here… it was possible for people to search for – and sign up for – health insurance policies before the Obamacare websites and the existence of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Now that the government is involved, is it any better? Nope, it’s much worse. And they spent more than $500 million on just the website for the federal government! Certainly, they will spend at least another $500 million over the next two years on maintenance, updates and fixes.
In my next post, we’ll look at the cost of health insurance premiums before Obamacare as to what’s available now.