Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bumblebees and Insurance Exchanges

Helicopters and bumblebees have two things in common.

According to aerodynamic experts, they are not supposed to fly, yet somehow they do.

Come October 1, 2013 the Obamacare health insurance exchange is supposed to fly but there are folks who understand these things that say it will never get off the ground. 

I am neither an engineer nor an IT specialist, but I do know a thing or three about computer systems, carriers and the government. Enough to know that most folks in the government won't sit at the same table in the cafeteria if they are from different divisions. Yet somehow we are supposed to believe that the IRS, HHS, DOL, DHS and a few other TLE's are probably not really on the same page when it comes to Obamacare.

Plus we are supposed to believe this massive computer database that cross-checks tax records, citizenship status, terrorist lists and employment status is going to be ready to roll in a little over 160 days.

As if that isn't enough, not only is this "big brother" dossier supposed to exist, but it will actually have the ability to assimilate, evaluate and transmit this data to insurance carriers once you have been blessed with a taxpayer subsidy designed to make your health insurance affordable.
Not that I am skeptical of anything Washington tells me, but let's pretend I am from the Show Me state.
Prove it.

Knowing full well that DC is not the epitome of efficiency, we know they farmed out a lot of this work. For instance . . .
CGI Group will also be part of the build-out of exchanges in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Colorado, and the 30 health exchanges that will be built by the federal government in the states that have opted against building their own platforms.

So who is CGI group?

Canadian information technology firm . . .

We have to send jobs outside of the US? Can't find anyone here who can do this work?

In case you were wondering, the unemployment rate in Canada is a tad better than in the US and as far as we know no one up there is massaging the numbers.

This may not qualify as a "green" job but seems it would be a better investment in the US economy than the $1 trillion in "stimulus" that has been pissed away.

The folks at Yahoo had this observation about expectations for CGI's work.
"Of all the things that are being done in the exchanges that move to simplified eligibility is probably the most sweeping change because it allows states to move to an administration simplification that wasn't ever possible before," Boudreault said.
Until 1969 most folks thought we would never put a man on the moon but we did.

Of course that took nearly 10 years.

This project is less than 3 years old.

But then, the world was made in 7 days, so . . . .

But now we have another firm with dubious ties to the health insurance industry . . . and HHS Sebelius.
 HHS has contracted with a subsidiary of a private health care company to help build and police the very exchanges in which that company will be competing for business. The person who ran the government entity that awarded that contract has since accepted a position with a different subsidiary of that same company. An insurance industry insider (speaking on the condition of anonymity) says that HHS, in an attempt to hide this unseemly contract from public view until after the election, encouraged the company to hide the transaction from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to my source (the basis for most of this account), in January, HHS awarded Quality Software Services, Inc. (QSSI) what the Hill describes as “a large contract to build a federal data services hub to help run the complex federal health insurance exchange.” At that time, the director of Obamacare’s newly established Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) — which the Hilldescribes as “the office tasked with crafting rules for the national exchange” — was Steve Larsen. Larsen had been the insurance commissioner for Maryland when Obama’s HHS secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, was the insurance commissioner for Kansas, and the two are reportedly close.
The Weekly Standard 

Of course Jerry Seinfeld might say "Not that there is anything wrong with that" . . .

But you gotta admit, it sure has a distinct odor of fish.

OK, I have already admitted most of this is WAY over my head, so I ran this by a good friend who really DOES know how to spell I.T.

Her take . . .

A nationally recognized IT infrastructure Project Manager was surprised to even learn about this program.  

This is a fairly small community, and many of them are connected on forums such as LinkedIn. This was not only never on her radar, but no one else with whom she was connected mentioned it, either. 

Now, it seems, we know why. 

The problem is that there are qualified Americans who can do this job, and (by the way) pay income taxes here for doing it. But one supposes that we've got more than enough jobs here right now, no need to be greedy.

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