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calendar   Wednesday - May 13, 2015

Obamacare Exchange Down The Toilet

Hawaii Closing $205 Million Health Care Exchange: FAIL

Despite over $205 million in federal taxpayer funding, Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange website will soon shut down. Since its implementation, the exchange has somehow failed to become financially viable because of lower than expected Obamacare enrollment figures. With the state legislature rejecting a $28 million bailout, the website will now be unable to operate past this year.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser the Hawaii Health Connector will stop taking new enrollees on Friday and plans to begin migrating to the federally run Healthcare.gov. Outreach services will end by May 31, all technology will be transferred to the state by September 30, and its workforce will be eliminated by February 28.

While the exchange has struggled since its creation, it is not for lack of funding. Since 2011 Hawaii has received a total of $205,342,270 in federal grant money from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In total, HHS provided nearly $4.5 billion to Hawaii and other state exchanges, with little federal oversight and virtually no strings attached.

Despite this generous funding, the exchange has underperformed from day one. In its first year, Hawaii enrolled only 8,592 individuals – meaning it spent almost $23,899 on its website for each individual enrolled. Currently over 37,000 individuals are enrolled in Hawaii’s exchange - well below the estimated 70,000 enrollees that is required to make the website financially viable. Unfortunately, taxpayers will have to hand out an additional $30 million so that Hawaii can migrate to the federal system.

It’s not like the interface wasn’t standardized or anything ... they just can’t code a gateway for shizz ...

The plan, obtained by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, states the Connector will cease new enrollments Friday, discontinue outreach services May 31 and transfer its technology to the state by Sept. 30. The Connector’s workforce will be completely eliminated by Feb. 28. The exchange has 32 employees, 29 temporary staff and 12 full-time contractors.

“Staff reductions will commence immediately, with the executive director ( Jeff Kissel) exiting once the bulk of operational activities end,” the report said. “If the state cannot facilitate an orderly transition, the Connector’s operations will abruptly end, as the Connector does not have the resources to continue operations.”

The state was notified in March that Hawaii was out of compliance with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, because the Connector wasn’t financially sustainable at the start of this year and wasn’t integrated with the Medicaid system, which determines eligibility for subsidies and tax credits obtained through the exchange. The federal government subsequently restricted grant money to support the Connector and moved to take over its IT functions to allow residents to enroll in coverage through the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov.

Ya, I kinda hate to say it, but once this crap was signed and sealed, there really should have been a big software design symposium. Design the federal back-end, the federal front-end, and the state front-ends all at the same time. Then hand out the front-ends to the states, so they can modify their copy by changing the name of the state and the wallpaper. And the state providers database. But that’s about it. It really should be an out-of-the-box solution, built, bulletproofed, and tested to bazinga and back again before release.

What a total rip-off this whole thing has been.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/13/2015 at 01:11 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentHealth-MedicineObama, The One •  
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