Florida Obamacare Navigator: Rollout Is “Dead as a Doornail”
An Obamacare Florida navigator called Monday’s planned insurance exchange rollout “dead as a doornail” after widespread problems prevented Floridians from accessing the Obamacare insurance exchanges.
Despite federal officials having three years after passage of the Affordable Care Act to plan for the launching of healthcare insurance exchanges, the federal website crashed on its first day of operation, preventing Floridians from accessing the health insurance exchange system.
“It’s dead as a doornail. It’s not working,” John Foley, a paid Obamacare navigator, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Foley is an attorney with the government-funded Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County.
Foley’s assessment was particularly troubling for Obamacare supporters given Foley’s role in implementing Obamacare and the Legal Aid Society’s ongoing cooperation with the Obama administration.
“It’s a mess. It’s terribly disappointing,” Foley added. “They [federal officials] have been pushing it for so long, and people have been excited to see it, but apparently it’s not coming.”
The Sun Sentinel noted that despite the entire system being shut down and Floridians having no access to the taxpayer-funded system, Obama administration officials said the rollout was “off to a good start.” They did not provide any examples of what a “bad start” might have looked like.
Other Florida Obamacare navigators were similarly unable to guide people through the Obamacare insurance exchanges. Lynne Thorp, project manager for Obamacare navigators in three southwest Florida counties, began attempting to access the system at 5:30 a.m. Monday but could not connect to the system.
One of the many concerns Floridians expressed regarding Obamacare was giving the federal government, the IRS, and others access to their most personal medical information. The federal Obamacare website reinforced those fears when the website’s security system failed to properly assign user IDs and passwords to people attempting to sign up for healthcare insurance.
“The Health and Human Services Department did not begin testing the chief pieces of this IT system until August,” noted the Wall Street Journal. “The testing found that states couldn’t consistently link to the federal portal (a problem that persists in some states), and that the hub couldn’t reliably verify if a person is eligible for a subsidy, or accurately calculate how much the applicant is eligible to receive.”