The following paragraph is one of the biggest howlers in the history of Ever:
Unless you’ve been bamboozled by the frantic fictions of the right wing, you know that the Affordable Care Act, familiarly known as Obamacare, has begun to accomplish its first goal: enrolling millions of uninsured Americans, many of whom have been living one medical emergency away from the poorhouse. You realize those computer failures that have hampered sign-ups in the early days — to the smug delight of the critics — confirm that there is enormous popular demand. You have probably figured out that the real mission of the Republican extortionists and their big-money backers was to scuttle the law before most Americans recognized it as a godsend and rendered it politically untouchable.
So presumably, this is one of the "frantic fictions of the right wing":
The federal health-care exchange that opened a dozen days ago is marred by snags beyond the widely publicized computer gridlock that has thwarted Americans trying to buy a health plan. Even when consumers have been able to sign up, insurers sometimes can’t tell who their new customers are because of a separate set of computer defects.
The problems stem from a feature of the online marketplace’s computer system that is designed to send each insurer a daily report listing people who have just enrolled. According to several insurance industry officials, the reports are sometimes confusing and duplicative. In some cases, they show — correctly or not — that the same person enrolled and canceled several times on a single day.
As, presumably, is this:
It's a batting average that won't land the federal marketplace for Obamacare into the Healthcare Hall of Fame.
As few as 1 in 100 applications on the federal exchange contains enough information to enroll the applicant in a plan, several insurance industry sources told CNBC on Friday. Some of the problems involve how the exchange's software collects and verifies an applicant's data.
"It is extraordinary that these systems weren't ready," said Sumit Nijhawan, CEO of Infogix, which handles data integrity issues for major insurers including WellPoint and Cigna, as well as multiple Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates.
Experts said that if Healthcare.gov's success rate doesn't improve within the next month or so, federal officials could face a situation in January in which relatively large numbers of people believe they have coverage starting that month, but whose enrollment applications are have not been processed.
"It could be public relations nightmare," said Nijhawan. Insurers have told his company that just "1 in 100" enrollment applicants being sent from the federal marketplace have provided sufficient, verified information.
[. . .]
"It doesn't surprise me—I've heard similar numbers," said Dan Mendelson, CEO of consulting firm Avalere Health, when asked about the 1-in-100 rate that Infogix cited.
"This is not a traffic issue," Mendelson said. "Right now, the systems aren't working."
No one knows how many people have managed to enroll because the administration refuses to release those numbers, but the website's launch has been rocky.
Media outlets have struggled to find anyone who's actually been successful. The Washington Post even illustrated that sought-after person as a unicorn, and USA Today called the launch an "inexcusable mess" and a "nightmare."
White House officials initially blamed the problem on an unexpectedly high volume as they had more than 8 million hits in the first week, but after it went offline over the weekend for repairs, officials now acknowledge other problems.
"We've identified the glitches, we've added hardware, we're recoding software, and I can tell you today is better than yesterday, and we are hoping in the very near future to have a seamless process that's what we are aiming for," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.
However, computer experts say the website has major flaws.
"It wasn't designed well, it wasn't implemented well, and it looks like nobody tested it," said Luke Chung, an online database programmer.
Chung supports the new health care law but said it was not the demand that is crashing the site. He thinks the entire website needs a complete overhaul.
"It's not even close. It's not even ready for beta testing for my book. I would be ashamed and embarrassed if my organization delivered something like that," he said.
The glitch-plagued rollout of President Barack Obama's signature health care law has been dogged by one big question: How many people have enrolled in an insurance plan?
The White House refuses to release the numbers, leading many to assume they are embarrassingly low. But insurance industry insiders point to another reason: Nobody knows if the numbers they do have are even accurate.
Turns out, some insurance companies say they are receiving data from the administration that is incomplete, duplicative or contradictory, making it difficult to get an accurate count of new enrollment.
[. . .]
So far, the buzz in the insurance industry is that enrollment numbers are falling short of projections. One insurance company executive put it this way, "The numbers aren't as bad as the doomsday people would say. But so far, they're low and they have people worried."
Avik Roy has a theory for why the Obamacare website is crashing: He believes that it is because Team Obama doesn't want you to suffer sticker shock. I am sure that people like Bill Keller will try desperately to dismiss this as yet another "frantic fiction of the right wing," but given just how divorced Keller is from the facts, why should we take anything he has to say regarding this issue seriously? Either Bill Keller is one of the laziest and most inept intellects ever to try to find out and explain facts on Obamacare, or he is congenitally dishonest. He--and other Obamacare defenders--can feel free to take their pick as to which is the case.