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Web Site Problems May Imperil Finances of Insurance Market

From the start, signs of trouble at health portal: Many deadlines missed – NYT, by Robert Pear, Sharon LaFraniere and Ian Austen:

“For the past 12 days, a system costing more than $400 million and billed as a one-stop click-and-go hub for citizens seeking health insurance has thwarted the efforts of millions to simply log in. The growing national outcry has deeply embarrassed the White House, which has refused to say how many people have enrolled through the federal exchange. Even some supporters … worry that the flaws in the system, if not quickly fixed, could threaten the fiscal health of the insurance initiative, which depends on throngs of customers to spread the risk and keep prices low… Interviews with two dozen contractors , current and former government officials, insurance executives and consumer advocates, as well as an examination of confidential administration documents, point to a series of missteps – financial, technical and managerial – that led to the troubles. Politics made things worse. To avoid giving ammunition to Republicans opposed to the project, the administration put off issuing several major rules until after last November’s elections. The Republican-controlled House blocked funds. More than 30 states refused to set up their own exchanges, requiring the federal government to vastly expand its project in unexpected ways…”

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