• The shutdown could have bought healthcare.gov 40 times over

    High-end cost estimate of healthcare.gov infrastructure: $600 million*. Estimated economic losses from 15 days of shutdown: $24 billion. That’s forty-fold more, and I’m being conservative.

    The exchange rollout has been ugly, and with the inanity of government shutdown (finally!) wrapped up, it’ll be commanding more headlines. It should: the system appears to be having problems on the front end and back, creating issues for consumers and insurers alike. It’s totally unclear how many have enrolled through the federal exchanges, though some information is available for the state-based marketplaces. HHS has a pretty narrow window to correct course—unless they make some administrative tweak, people need to enroll in plans by mid-February to avoid the penalty.

    But when furor over exchange glitches starts to fester in the media void that Ted Cruz left behind, remember that the last two weeks of  political histrionics—which achieved nothing of consequence in health policy land, despite being premised on an effort to defund Obamacare—racked up a price tag that makes the exchange infrastructure’s budget look like a pittance.

    *Manjoo makes a good argument that the site shouldn’t have cost as much as it did (even with lower estimates around $360 million) and that government contracting and procurement practices might be the culprit. His piece is worth reading in full.

    Adrianna (@onceuponA)

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    • betcha didnt know this:

      A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing.

      Obamacare’s Website Is Crashing Because It Doesn’t Want You To Know How Costly Its Plans Are

    • Yes, good points are made in this article. Unfortunately, Obama could not, and still cannot, be the one who tries to implement anything suggested here, or in the 7-point manifesto. This is due to the fact that republicans will allow this president no victories. Their mission is to make his presidency a failure. They will fight against anything good that might be done, like reforming procurement, lest Obama the dark-skinned White House trespasser get any credit for it.
      Examples? First, the republicans said as much after Obama was elected. Second, the individual mandate to purchase medical insurance was originally a Heritage Foundation proposal from 1989. But, now that idea is communism.
      The thing that needs reformed is to federalize voting registration requirements down to the local level, and a federal law requiring non-partisan redistricting. Job one is to relegate the Tea Party to the proverbial dust bin.