the Saga Continues

Techs in the Hot Seat

With 136 days remaining to enroll in a Healthcare Exchange, is still not working the way it should and they might not meet their November deadline either. Open enrollment began on October 1, coverage can begin on Jan 1, and open enrollment closes on Mar 31. They are still reporting regularly on How we’re working to improve on software updates and enhancements. And they still can’t tell you enough that there are four ways to apply for coverage: online, phone, paper application, or in person.

We begin with the finally revealed numbers everyone has been asking for. An HHS press release announced the detailed results of the first reporting period, Oct. 1 through Nov. 2 of the Health Insurance Marketplace’s open enrollment. 106,185 Americans selected health plans in first reporting period of open enrollment, 975,407 customers through the process but have not yet selected a plan, and an additional 396,261 assessed or determined eligible for Medicaid or CHIP.

And this week we heard from the head tech guys on the project. In Wednesday’s House Oversight and Government Reforms Committee hearings in was over four hours of what was working when. Four came by invitation and one by subpoena. Here are the guests in no particular order of how and when Representative Issa disparaged and turned all the problems into a White House political ploy:

  1. Frank Baitman – Chief Information Officer Department of Health and Human Services
  2. Henry Chao – Deputy Director Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of Information Services
  3. Todd Park – Chief Technology Officer, White House
  4. David Powner – Director Government Accountability Office, Information Management and Technology
  5. Steven VanRoekel – Chief Information Officer Office of Management and Budget

Here is what we learned. Blame it on the volume. The site can’t take it when 20,000 to 30,000 users are visiting at the same time. Their goal is to have most of the problems and performance better by Nov. 30. What does that mean?

If you didn’t know the term anonymous shopper before this week you do now. Was the decision to 86 that function political? Did it work or didn’t it? If you don’t create an account will you get real options and correct pricing numbers?

Now that Todd Park is on this project did the time he spent preparing for the committee and the day in testimony slow down site progress? The White House was not the only ones who thought that this week. CNN reported a group of technology experts protested and launched their site –

Well it looks like they all will be working next week continuing the fixes and improvements to And we will be there to check in on them. Until then, have a good weekend.