Republicans maintained Sunday that the Obama administration has failed to solve the issues surrounding healthcare.gov despite an announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services that the problems have been solved.
“I talked to some people in the insurance industry this morning,” former Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Penn.) told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“They told me that most of the front end may be looking good. People may be able to get on and get responses, but the information coming out the back end to insurance companies is still garbage it’s undecipherable … there’s misinformation, there’s triplicates, there’s husbands labeled as wives.”
“So you think you may of signed up,” Santorum said, “but you may not because the insurance may not have the data available to actually put you in the system.”
Department of Health and Human Services announced that healthcare.gov has met operational and performance goals, vastly improving the technical issues encountered following the October 1 rollout.
“The new management system and instrumentation have helped improve site stability, lower the error rating below 1%, increase capacity to allow 50,000 concurrent users to simultaneously use the site and will help drive continuous improvement on the site. While we strive to innovate and improve our outreach and systems for reaching consumers, we believe we have met the goal of having a system that will work smoothly for the vast majority of users,” the HHS report concluded.
Sunday signaled the end of the administration’s self-imposed deadline to correct issues with the website. Health policy experts on the left and right told “Fox News Sunday” the accuracy of this report would not be known immediately.
James Capretta, of the Ethics and Policy Center, said it was “very hard to tell,” if the website has been fixed, noting, “We’re not going to know for at least a month or so.”
“The real test of HealthCare.gov,” Capretta continued, “is whether you make the right payment to the right people on the right insurance plan. It’s very easy to fix the front end enrollment if you turn off controls in the back end, and it’s very clear from multiple media reports that the system is still not accurate when it makes payments to the insurance plans … they’re working around the whole problem instead of solving it.”
“Obviously the test will be in a month, but I think the idea of doom and gloom is overstated,” said Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress.
Tanden maintained that the process to send enrollment information to insurers, known as an 834 EDI transmission, was “working much better now.”
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that insurance companies were receiving incorrect personal data, delivered via an 834 transmission, making it difficult or impossible to process and register applicants.
The administration has not provided a report detailing what, if any, changes have occurred in regards to these issues. It was not addressed in the report released by HHS this morning.
“I think it’s good enough progress,” Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, a key architecture of the health care legislation, said of the website.
“Clearly, just like Google and Facebook and all the internet sites are constantly tweaking their sites, constantly improving them. This one still has a ways to go, but it is certainly working reasonably well.”
Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) called the success “overstated,” during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“Have they made some progress? Yes. They brought in some private sector folks to try to get the functionality up. It still doesn’t function right. Matter of fact our own CIO said that he believed that if they had the ability to get up to 80 percent functionality that would be a good day for them,” Rogers said. “But here’s the most important part of this discussion that nobody talks about: The security of this site and the private information does not meet even the minimal standards of the private sector.”
Rogers previously expressed concern over the security of the site during HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.