Obamacare Progress and Performance Report, Administration claims Obamacare achieved private sector effectiveness, Obama: team operating with private sector velocity and effectiveness
“If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.”…Barack Obama
“millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.”…NBC News October 29, 2013
“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s centre. With the feeling that he was speaking to O’Brien, and also that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote:
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984”
From Zero Hedge December 4, 2013.
“In 4 Short Weeks, The Administration Claims Obamacare Has Achieved ‘Private Sector Effectiveness'”
“As we noted last month, President Obama sat down for an interview with Chuck Todd on November 7 and said:
You know, one of the lessons — learned from this whole process on the website — is that probably the biggest gap between the private sector and the federal government is when it comes to I.T. … Well, the reason is is that when it comes to my campaign, I’m not constrained by a bunch of federal procurement rules, right? …When we buy I.T. services generally, it is so bureaucratic and so cumbersome that a whole bunch of it doesn’t work or it ends up being way over cost.
Well, this week we learned that the gap’s been closed. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) told us so. In its official, December 1 “Progress and Performance Report” on the Obamacare website, HHS not only announced that it had “met the goal of having a system that will work smoothly for the vast majority of users,” but wrote that “the team is operating with private sector velocity and effectiveness.” That sure was quick.
Sarcasm aside, we found it hard to read HHS’s eight page document without cringing. Needless to say, it’s not a genuine “progress and performance” report. It’s not even close.
Consider that shortly after accepting his position as website czar in October, Jeffrey Zientz let us know that he’s working from a list of problems on a “punch list,” which included over 100 issues according to an anonymous spokesperson. Zientz added that the system’s failure to deliver accurate reports to insurance companies was at the top of the list. This seems a reasonable prioritization, right? If the exchange can’t deliver the necessary information to insurance companies, the whole process collapses. But HHS’s report doesn’t even mention this critical problem.
And how about measures to protect website users’ personal information, which are widely reported to be full of holes? Again, not a word.
You won’t find expense figures, either, which is unfortunate in light of Bloomberg’s analysis showing that the largest 10 contractors were already paid an astounding $1 billion. Considering the administration’s private sector aspirations, the absence of any information on the website’s soaring costs seems a conspicuous omission.
Instead of checking off accomplishments against what still needs fixing, while revealing the taxpayers’ bill, HHS’s report combines vacuous “achievements” such as “2X a day standup war room meetings” with unverifiable statistics for response times, capacity, error rates, uptime and software fixes. The report reads like a baseball team’s declaration of success on its spring training goals of learning each others’ names, knowing which base is which and memorizing the infield fly rule. We don’t doubt there’s been some improvement in the metrics, but it’s unlikely that the last two months’ progress gets the website to much better than inadequate, from its earlier status of epically inadequate.
Worse still, HHS seems to think we take their propaganda seriously. Displaying #AskJPM-like ignorance of how the administration is perceived, they act as if we believe what we’re told. On the contrary, there seems only a shrinking minority of loyalists who still trust the official narratives, as shown by Obama’s plummeting approval ratings. Those who weren’t predisposed to disbelieve empty rhetoric probably tuned out at “you can keep your plan if you like it.””
“Reviewing these facts, I suppose HHS could support their claim to “private sector velocity and effectiveness” with some semantic tricks. If you interpret that phrase as referring to the principle contractors’ adeptness at winning huge, no-bid contracts through personal connections, donations, fund raising and lobbying, then it all adds up.”