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Tags Popped: AB NewsBriefs
The enrollment records for a significant portion of the Americans who have chosen health plans through the online federal insurance marketplace contain errors — generated by the computer system — that mean they might not get the coverage they’re expecting next month.As a guy who (sorta) does this kinda stuff for a living, it's rather infuriating to watch the level of incompetence and excuse-making here. Either the site works, or it doesn't. And it should have been fully tested well before it was made public. That didn't happen, and it's casting a huge shadow over the many legitimate ACA success stories thus far.
The errors cumulatively have affected roughly one-third of the people who have signed up for health plans since Oct. 1, according to two government and health-care industry officials. The White House disputed the figure but declined to provide its own.
The mistakes include failure to notify insurers about new customers, duplicate enrollments or cancellation notices for the same person, incorrect information about family members, and mistakes involving federal subsidies. The errors have been accumulating since HealthCare.gov opened two months ago, even as the Obama administration has been working to make it easier for consumers to sign up for coverage, the government and industry officials said.
Figuring out how to clean up the backlog of errors and prevent similar ones in the future is emerging as the new imperative if the federal insurance exchange is to work as intended. The problems were the subject of a meeting Monday between administration officials and a new “Payer Exchange Performance Team” made up of insurance industry leaders.
Some of the errors in the past forms were generated by the way people were using the system, another senior official on the project said, such as clicking twice on the confirmation button or moving backward and forward on the site.
Through more than a dozen bug fixes over the past week, the team has managed to reduce the instances of when data was not generated on 834 forms from 3 percent last week to 0.5 percent now, according to senior officials.
The heightened attention to enrollment errors follows a five-week technical blitz to improve consumers’ ability to use the site.
Federal health officials announced Sunday that they had met that goal. By 6 p.m. Monday, the Web site had had close to 800,000 unique visitors — one of the administration’s targets for the site’s performance — and was set to pass that mark by the end of the day, according to administration officials. And the site processed 18,000 enrollments in the most recent 24-hour period, nearly double the previous record.
Still, not all was smooth. By mid-morning Monday, some Americans trying to use the Web site were running into a logjam. And by late morning, when the number of people on the site was roughly 35,000 — or 15,000 fewer than administration officials had said it could handle — some consumers encountered a “queue,” a new feature intended for times when the site was too crowded. The feature limits the number of people on the site and notifies others by e-mail when it’s a better time to log in.
If nothing else, the Republican National Committee has gotten people thinking about Rosa Parks.Thank you GOP (and Rosa Parks, I suppose) for ending racism with a Tweet, and thus making this nation truly post-racial!
Of course, the RNC also gave its political opponents a chance to mock the GOP with its poorly worded tweet Saturday marking the 58th anniversary of the African-American civil rights activist's refusal to give up her bus seat to a white person, an event that sparked the Montgomery bus boycott.
"Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in ending racism," read the tweet that caused Twitter rage, triggering a snark avalanche on the RNC's alleged cluelessness about racism's continued existence.
The RNC acknowledged the problem hours later: "Previous tweet should have read 'Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in fighting to end racism.'"
In other words, we get it, was the RNC's message.
Orlando Watson, RNC communications director for black media, told me that the flawed tweet was preceded by a longer statement. That statement accurately reflected the reality of race relations since 1955.
While the gaffe was relatively minor, it plays into the damaging narrative about the Republican Party — that it only pays lip service to the notion of increasing its appeal to minority voters. Indeed, from voter ID to immigration, the party is widely viewed as hostile to minority voters. So the tweet fit a stereotype about the party.
It's the same weakness the GOP's "Growth and Opportunity Project" — also known as its post-2012 general election "autopsy" — spoke to. Even some high-profile African-Americans like J.C. Watts, the former congressman from Oklahoma, have conceded that the party's efforts, including the GOP project on the minority outreach front, have so far been more rhetoric than reality.
It may be a long time, if ever, before the GOP reaches the point where a misstep like the Rosa Parks tweet isn't read by the left like a Freudian slip. But it's probably more doable than, say, ending racism.
Three high school teens in Rochester, N.Y., were arrested while they waited for a bus, but authorities claimed the trio was obstructing the flow of other pedestrians on the sidewalk.Seriously... I... just....
On Wednesday morning, Raliek Redd, 16, Wan'Tauhjs Weathers 17, and Daequon Carelock, 16, said they were cuffed before they could board a school bus to a basketball game, according to WHEC.
"We tried to tell them that we were waiting for the bus," Weathers told the station. "We weren't catching a city bus, we were catching a yellow bus. He didn't care. He arrested us anyways."
The Rochester Police did not immediately return a call for comment from The Huffington Post. But a police report obtained by Rochester Homepage said the teens, who attend Edison Tech, were obstructing "pedestrian traffic while standing on a public sidewalk...preventing free passage of citizens walking by and attempting to enter and exit a store."
The report also said the officer who arrested the teens made "clear and concise orders for the group to disperse and leave the area without compliance."
The teens were apprehended in a part of downtown Rochester where business owners have complained about teens loitering and fighting near their stores.
The boys' coach, Jacob Scott unsuccessfully tried to convince the officers to let the players off the hook.
He said an officer told him, "If you don't disperse, you're going to get booked as well,'" Scott said. "I said, 'Sir, I'm the adult. I'm their varsity basketball coach. How can you book me? What am I doing wrong? Matter of fact, what are these guys doing wrong?'"
The teens face disorderly conduct charges, according to a previous report by Rochester Homepage.