October 03, 2013
A few more Obamacare Exchange Week 1 Odds and Ends
1) I don't want to make too big of a deal about the glitches and tech problems seen around the nation this week as Obamacare's online exchanges debuted. These problems are being ironed out, and enrollment is open for months. The individual problems aren't as interesting as the overall tech picture: not one of the state exchanges, or the federal exchange for states not setting up their own exchange, had a smooth day on Tuesday.
For a state like Washington, which embraced early its role in setting up its own exchange and extensively tested its site before launch, it has to be viewed as a disappointment. Spokespeople for our exchange told reporters that the site's problems were not due to high traffic, something Crosscut's Joe Copeland might want to take note of after saying Tuesday, "Guess all that traffic was too much for the one new site to bear," and adding the next day that the site, "crashed Tuesday under an avalanche of opening day traffic." 'Fraid not.
2) The State Labor Council would like to remind "all gleeful government-bashing right-wing bloggers" that the state is working with a private contractor, Deloitte, to design and build the exchange site. So there.
3) While Tuesday and Wednesday may not have gone smoothly for Washington's exchange site, at least officials weren't wildly overstating the number of visitors: officials said the website had 170,000 visitors the first day, of which 6,000 created accounts. California officials, meanwhile, had to retract some overly-optimistic figures after Day 1. The Los Angeles Times reports:
California's health insurance exchange vastly overstated the number of online hits it received Tuesday during the rollout of Obamacare.
State officials said the Covered California website got 645,000 hits during the first day of enrollment, far fewer than the 5 million it reported Tuesday.
The state exchange had cited the 5 million figure as a sign of strong consumer interest and a major reason people had so much difficulty using its $313-million online enrollment system.
4) Count this as an internet "oops." Washington's official exchange site is wahealthplanfinder.org, but exchange officials neglected to obtain similar domain names, such as washingtonhealthplanfinder.org. Not surprisingly, people snatched those up and are only too happy to get the traffic.
5) At this point, we don't know how many people around the nation have actually purchased policies through the exchanges, and the White House has signaled that it doesn't know and doesn't intend to publish figures for a while. Of course, SOMEBODY knows - there's no way the administration isn't intensely interested in the number. This is leading to speculation that the figures may be unimpressively low.
6) The focus so far has been on numbers - how many visitors, how many accounts, how many policies purchased - but a key question is WHO is purchasing policies. The health and average age of those purchasers will be of intense interest, and those most anxious to secure policies in the exchanges are probably not the healthy young people needed to avoid the "death spiral." Expect an extra push before the end of the year and before the open enrollment ends on March 31 to get younger people purchasing policies through the exchanges.
Posted by Adam Faber at October 03, 2013
05:27 PM | Email This
1. There will also be intense interest in what people give up in order to buy the insurance. For people who have high health care costs, they will likely save money. But what about the 20 to 30 somethings in good health, will they trade down in apartments, or transportation, or savings? A few hundred dollars a month is a more than most line items in budgets, so it will probably be some combination.
2. Does anyone know why they use a .org domain? It is a government run site....so not .gov?
3. I don't want to make too big of a deal about the glitches and tech problems seen around the nation this week
As a hack, you wouldn't have posts to write if you weren't being hyperbolic and focusing on incredibly minor things.
To Dengle's question:
Not for sure, since I don't work for the state government, but my guess is they didn't want the name buried underneath wa.gov or washington.gov. They wouldn't be able to register with GSA (who ones the .gov domain) a second level domain name with the .gov extension. To register with .gov would mean the name would have to be something like wapathfinder.wa.gov. This also has DNS implications. If the site is not hosted on actual government servers, but instead hosted on a third party hosting service, there also is DNS resolution issues. There are ways around it by registering both forward and reverse lookups on both the state's wa.gov DNS servers and the domain registries DNS servers.
Again my guess is they wanted a short sitename.domain name for the site and thus would be barred by GSA to registering the name wapathfinder.gov.
"...you wouldn't have posts to write if you weren't being hyperbolic and focusing on incredibly minor things."
It has been awhile since Jim Miller saw fit to educate his readership on Sound Transit ridership numbers, has it not? :-)
I suspect the same thing will happen here; as the ACA starts delivering, and as the ACA's most vehement critics continue failing at providing contrary evidence (hello, Rags?), Adam and the others will find something else to gripe about. It's not like voters have put uSP's favored politicians in charge of much, so Adam and the rest can whine all they want without having to take criticism in return.
@5: It has been awhile since Jim Miller saw fit to educate his readership on Sound Transit ridership numbers, has it not?
Well, at the very least, if we want to read a smarmy white dude "educate" us about "civil rights", we can read his latest post!
Is it me, or has he become quite a dick after ending comments on his posts?
7. Of late, Jim and pudge have presented us with so many big, fat, slow-moving targets of abject ridicule, I'm seriously thinking we should re-open Effin'UnSound.
8. Demo Kid @6, yes, Jim's posts have gone from logically-defective to logically-ridiculous (and often just ridiculous) since he stopped accepting comments. No need for Effin'UnSound; it's hard to imagine anyone being persuaded by anything they write these days, as they have become caricatures of themselves.
@9: No need for Effin'UnSound; it's hard to imagine anyone being persuaded by anything they write these days, as they have become caricatures of themselves.
EUS was all about pointing out the caricatures! That was half the fun.
10. Will EUS have a section on "Who's doing Goldy's Ex" for all of the old HA posters?
11. @10: Go crawl back under whatever rock you came from.
12. As a hack, you wouldn't have posts to write if you weren't being hyperbolic and focusing on incredibly minor things.
- demo kid
Adam and the others will find something else to gripe about. It's not like voters have put uSP's favored politicians in charge of much, so Adam and the rest can whine all they want without having to take criticism in return. - tensor
Is it me, or has he become quite a dick after ending comments on his posts? - demo kid
Of late, Jim and pudge have presented us with so many big, fat, slow-moving targets of abject ridicule, I'm seriously thinking we should re-open Effin'UnSound. - tensor
No need for Effin'UnSound; it's hard to imagine anyone being persuaded by anything they write these days, as they have become caricatures of themselves. - Bruce
Go crawl back under whatever rock you came from. - demo kid
And yet you all come here every day, multiple times a day to do what? To pick fights and hurl insults? To express superiority (in your own mind)? Because you have nothing better to do in your life? Because without the whipping boy of Sound Politics, you wouldn't have a life?
I've asked before, why don't you band together and start your own blog site and implement all of your concepts of how a blog should be run, and how all guests should be treated. Instead of constantly whining about those who do, become one yourselves. Instead of reacting to blog topics you don't like, create your own and defend it from the author's side.
Go ahead - I'm sure many of us would like to see what the difference would be.
13. Need some help. While typing a comment to post lately, I hit the wrong key apparently and suddenly the font reduced to a size that is unreadable in comments only. The posts themselves are readable. Anyone know how to remedy this? If so, please email me with the advice rather than putting it in comments, as the comments font is too small to read presently. Thanks!
14. Think of carnivores visiting a watering hole, hoping to find a meal waiting for them.
More like flesh eating bacteria.
15. @13: Try Control + 0 ?
@12: And yet you all come here every day, multiple times a day to do what? To pick fights and hurl insults?
Same as the conservatives here...
Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Leave it to government to think that "hits" are visitors. It's either that or their web contractor is feeding them the "hits" bullsh*t for an unknown reason.
These are the kind of read-between-the-lines type of things that show how inept and incapable government is at doing most anything. Yet, stupid liberals keep assigning more and more power to these rubes to run our lives when they can't even run their own. ObamaCare will end up being a real piss cutter (higher premiums for everybody and those that do have lower premiums will by sucking off the feds with subsidy that we can't afford) that will evolve into single payer with all of the debt, death and destruction that single payer has brought to other citizens of other countries and their country as a whole (as other countries like Norway, the UK and Canada are throttling back on single payer beneies, we are diving in with both feet). The real sad part is that a REAL solution was cheap, easy and quick to implement but the Demorats weren't listening. Like some liberal wag said on TV this morning (and I paraphrase), "We've been trying to get this for 75 years, Obama isn't going to give that up!" Just like every idea any liberal ever had . . . it's a old retread.
18. Demo kid: Wow, thank you. It worked! Or actually, because the font was so small, I thought you had written to try Control + 07, and it worked. Thank you so much!
19. @19: Hey, no problem. Same thing happened to me a few times.
@18: The real sad part is that a REAL solution was cheap, easy and quick to implement but the Demorats weren't listening.
Do tell. I'd like to hear your perspective, since solid alternatives have been scarce in the criticisms of the ACA lately.
Restricting malpractice claims doesn't quite cut it -- this is more of a partisan attack on presumed Democratic donors, and it removes a strong motivation to improve the medical system. Also note that a lack of a strong government-supported healthcare system means that many folks with long-term disabilities caused by medical errors NEED lawsuits to finance their care -- limiting awards like that pretty much cut off a major source of support.
Getting your healthcare plan from Guam also doesn't quite cut it either. Cut-rate plans with zero regulatory protections seems like a company's dream, but it doesn't make for actual "healthcare" if it covers next to nothing.
And hey... we need a strong solution fast. Within the next 20 years, the entire healthcare system is going to be reshaped dramatically to meet the geriatric and end-of-life needs of Baby Boomers.
Claiming that insurance is a "personal responsibility" is a great idea from an abstract point of view, but when insurance companies start to collapse under the weight of seniors that are living (and lingering) longer, we're going to have a LOT of problems on our hands. Shifting to high-deductible insurance + health savings accounts now won't really solve this, and healthcare is going to rapidly be in short supply. Without certain changes -- primarily through getting younger folks that are typically uninsured into the system -- our current system is doomed to collapse.
"I've asked before, why don't you band together and start your own blog site and implement all of your concepts of how a blog should be run, and how all guests should be treated."
Roots -- we did this a long time ago, in the very place we mentioned in this thread. Here's an example: http://www.effinunsound.com/?p=1300
Even after pudge has banned more than one of us from uSP, we still go out of our way to ensure he could make comments at Effin'Unsound. Note also how, when denying his own statements, he directly contradicts himself, and, when this is brought to his attention, he simply throws around more baseless accusations of other people lying. We still let him have the last word, wherein he whines the Washington state Constitution is anti-liberty(!).
Why did we do all of this? Because we had confidence in our ideas and arguments, and so we had no need to edit, censor, or ban dissent. The positive example we set was never emulated here, for obvious reasons.