Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Obamacare Individual Mandate Extension

This should hardly come as a surprise given the . . . shall we call it, "less than optimal" . . . rollout of the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") website. The Associate Press reports:
With website woes ongoing, the Obama administration Monday granted a six-week extension until March 31 for Americans to sign up for coverage next year and avoid new tax penalties under the president's health care overhaul law.
The extension applies to 2014 only.

A little known Lawffice Space secret: Before I became an attorney I was an information technology consultant in the DC area for about eight years, working primarily on federal contracts. I assure you that federal contractors are perfectly capable of creating databases, designing websites, capturing data, integrating multiple systems, and collaborating with multiple contractors to bring the pieces together - especially with the hundreds of millions of dollars supposedly available here. It's disappointing, and frankly baffling, how and why something as important as healthcare.gov could go so terribly wrong.

Contractors are blaming the federal government for last-minute changes and a lack of full system testing. It sounds like they just pushed something into production before it was ready; probably because of the *ahem* firm (until the Obama administration arbitrarily changes them) deadlines. In any event, the technology will surely get fixed. Meanwhile, the policy debate will rage on.