- Health Care, Drugs & Insurance
Technological Flaws with the ObamaCare Affordable Care Act
America's debut of the Affordable Care Act under President Obama has begun. Despite all the rhetoric from paranoid Republicans and the Tea Party, the basic premise is good- provide national health care to all, especially those who cannot afford the expense. This runs into millions of people. The only problem I personally have with this is its mandatory aspect of it. People who earn less than $20K a year should be exempt or allowed to have it or not because of their economic situation. Fining these people increasing amounts for every year they are rejecting it simply makes their lives harder.
The first tech flaw with the Act is the hub that software links servers to at the Treasury, IRS, Homeland Security and state agencies that will verify the income and health insurance status of a person and to ensure any subsidies due. The other tech flaw is the portal. This is a federally run IT platform that allows people to compare and select health plans. Both can be hacked and expose Americans to lost data, fraud and overload. Think of the millions of people just trying to access and think of the nefarious people trying to hack the system or corrupt it in cyberwarfare. Just wait until China or Iran does this.
Much of the ramp up for this national online system was not completed and testing done until August. The tests showed states failed to link up with the portal and the hub failed to verify if the person was eligible for a subsidy or accurately determine how much of one they could get. The government did not allow an independent watchdog or its own inspector general to examine the IT infrastructure until Oct. 1.
Beware of the person called a "navigator", a helper who will assist those input information, income, SSN and other confidential information. These people were poorly trained, still being hired, and were not given extensive background checks, just cursory ones. The personal information entrusted to these creates even more danger of fraud and lost data. Would you want your navigator to know bank accounts, SSN, and other personal info?
The other issue that some states have said that will not offer full online enrollment through exchanges because of the federal IT hub security issues. Linking to Medicaid may or may not work, a critical element when determining health subsidy. If the system cannot access, the person is rejected and you have to call a Obamacare agent who handle this and complaints. There will be problems when some will get a subsidy when they should not and vice versa. If that happens, the state will have to go after them to get repayment.
Because of the sequester budget, a person's out of pocket expenses can change without them knowing about it until they are at the doctor's or getting a prescription. The current website does not allow one to match health plans on exchanges with specific medical needs or their providers. Already, Minnesota mistakenly disclosed thousands of SSN's to public entities and you just know more fraud and mistakes are going to happen with an IT brittle system for all of America. You just know that whatever information you must provide because it is law, has a good chance of being compromised or stolen to criminals or those with that in mind. Even the navigator could be a person with criminal intent working by themselves or with others to target others. Already, some navigators are asking for a fee for their services, which they are not suppose to do because they are getting paid!
My advice is to wait until at least December or whatever deadline is set to enroll. Hopefully, some of the security issues will be addressed. If you do not want insurance, just pay the $100 fine and wait another year to see how it all unfolds.