More signs won’t be ready by November 30

During testimony before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, an Obama Administration official admitted that as much as 40% of the IT systems needed to support the federal Obamacare exchange website,, still need to be built so that the scheme can function properly.

“How much do we have to build today, still. I mean, what do we need to build — 50%, 40%, 30%?” Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) asked Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“I think it’s — just an approximation — we’re probably sitting somewhere between 60% and 70% [completion],” said Chao, a key official in construction of the website, adding after a follow up that payment systems to insurers still need to be built.

That’s right, folks, the payment system that would send premiums to insurers for the health plans purchased on the federal exchange has not been built.

Sebelius to testify on ObamaCare website

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has agreed to testify next Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the horribly botched rollout of the federal ObamaCare exchange website:

Embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before Congress next week about the botched rollout of ObamaCare’s insurance exchanges after rejecting GOP demands to appear this week.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee confirmed Monday night that Sebelius would meet with the committee next Wednesday.

The notice capped a day of wrangling between Sebelius and congressional Republicans who repeatedly attacked her for rejecting calls to testify at a Thursday hearing.
the fight over when Sebelius would testify hampered the Obama administration’s effort Monday to regain control of the narrative surrounding ObamaCare, which has turned sharply negative because of the problems people have faced in enrolling online for health insurance.

The pressure seems likely to increase with Republicans making her the face of the dysfunctional rollout.

Government paid $93.7 million to tech firm that built ObamaCare website

How much did the Obama Administration pay for a glitchy, error-plagued ObamaCare exchange website? A report yesterday from Digital Trends noted that the Department of Health and Human Service, which is over seeing much of the implementation of ObamaCare, has shelled out over $634 million to the company that’s responsible for the website.

“The exact cost to build, according to U.S. government records, appears to have been $634,320,919, which we paid to a company you probably never heard of: CGI Federal,” wrote Andrew Couts at Digital Trends. “The company originally won the contract back in 2011, but at that time, the cost was expected to run ‘up to’ $93.7 million – still a chunk of change, but nothing near where it apparently ended up.”

Greg Pollowitz, a conservative journalist, expressed doubts yesterday about that number, noting that the figure counts contractual agreements between GGI Federal and DHHS before ObamaCare was even signed into law. It’s also unlikely that every contract with the company pertained to the federal ObamaCare exchange website.

White House knew of looming problems on ObamaCare exchange

ObamaCare Exchange

The embarrassing rollout of the federal ObamaCare exchange website was problem that some saw coming. But when warned by insurers of the glitches, the White House dismissed the concerns and continued to work toward the October 1 launch date without making improvements, according to the Washington Post:

Major insurers, state health-care officials and Democratic allies repeatedly warned the Obama administration in recent months that the new federal health-insurance exchange had significant problems, according to people familiar with the conversations. Despite those warnings and intense criticism from Republicans, the White House proceeded with an Oct. 1 launch.

A week after the federal Web site opened, technical problems continued to plague the system, and on Tuesday people were locked out until 10 a.m., although some applicants were able to sign up as the day went on. Officials said they were working 24 hours a day to improve the system and that they were confident it would soon be able to meet the demand. They added that there was ample time to correct the site to allow consumers to get insured by Jan. 1.
Two allies of the administration, both of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the controversy surrounding the rollout, said they approached White House officials this year to raise concerns that the federal exchange was not ready to launch. In both cases, Obama officials assured them there was no cause for alarm.

How many people have signed up for ObamaCare? Good luck getting an answer…

The Obama Administration won’t say how many Americans have enrolled in a health insurance plan through the ObamaCare exchanges. The White House has been touting the number of hits the exchange websites have had since their launch at the beginning of the month, despite many reports of glitches.

But during an interview this weekend, President Barack Obama couldn’t say how many people had enrolled for coverage. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew completely avoided the question. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was unable to provide numbers last week and during his briefing yesterday with reporters. He did say, however, that data would be released on a monthly basis.

Paul Krugman in 1998: Internet’s Economic Impact No Greater Than Fax Machine

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman is known for saying some very odd things. The neo-Keynesian economist has firmly planted himself as a hack for President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, even if it means going back on policies he once supported.

For example, Krugman once spoke strongly against the idea of monetizing debt. But when the Federal Reserve decided roll out “quantitative easing” — a nice name for debt monetization, shifted gears and defended the program. Krugman, who often cherry-picks data to come to predetermined conclusions, has written fondly of death and destruction because he believes it will drive economic output. He’s also a big fan of death panels to deal with the unfunded liabilities of entitlement programs.

Krugman was also one of the loudest voices calling for economic stimulus in 2009. After President Obama’s stimulus failed to boost the economy, Krugman, who had advocated for a stimulus bill that exceeded the $833 billion price tag that the Obama Administration requested, complained that it wasn’t large enough.

Krugman chastized those who were pushing for spending cuts and later claimed victory. “Intellectually it was, I think I can say without false modesty, a huge win,” he wrote last year. “I (and those of like mind) have been right about everything.”

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