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Obamacare Exchanges Months Behind In Testing IT Data Security

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the moving-at-the-speed-of-government dept.

Government 398

An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from a Reuters report: "The federal government is months behind in testing data security for the main pillar of Obamacare: allowing Americans to buy health insurance on state exchanges due to open by October 1. The missed deadlines have pushed the government's decision on whether information technology security is up to snuff to exactly one day before that crucial date, the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general said in a report. As a result, experts say, the exchanges might open with security flaws or, possibly but less likely, be delayed.'They've removed their margin for error,' said Deven McGraw, director of the health privacy project at the non-profit Center for Democracy & Technology. 'There is huge pressure to get (the exchanges) up and running on time, but if there is a security incident they are done. It would be a complete disaster from a PR viewpoint.' The most likely serious security breach would be identity theft, in which a hacker steals the social security numbers and other information people provide when signing up for insurance."

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What a clusterf**k. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44495863)

Obamacare is the biggest disaster that ever has hit the United States. You think fraud and abuse are rampant in Medicare/Medicaid? Just wait. You will see fraud and waste the likes of which have never been seen or contemplated before. Forcing successful people to pay for insurance for the dregs of society is just wrong. Vote this man out of office.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (-1, Troll)

clemdoc (624639) | about a year ago | (#44495867)

go back to your cave.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44495999)

Why's that? My brother is self employed and his insurance premiums have so far doubled under the "affordable care act". I don't know mine exactly only because I'm under a group policy through work, though with the numbers they post for what my insurance is worth, that's gone up by roughly $1000 a year and I'm single, early 30s, non-smoker, and at 5 foot 10 and 170 lbs, not exactly obese. As another data point, I'm currently working on my masters, and we are automatically enrolled in the campus health insurance plan and have to waive it. It was $798 PER SEMESTER! And it's not what I'd call great coverage. When I did my undergrad it was like 200 a semester, and I graduated in 2006. Not like it was eons ago.

I'd say calling obamacare a cluster is quite accurate so far. Seriously, can anybody come forward and say that their insurance premiums are cheaper now? I heard that the minimum coverage in cali was estimated to be something like 340 a month for a family of 4. Thats pretty much a BMW car payment. Not what I call affordable.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496139)

Seriously, can anybody come forward and say that their insurance premiums are cheaper now?

You know, the total cost of healthcare is not determined by the premium, right? That's more like your down payment. It's like "socialized healthcare sucks"... but you get sick in Britain, you go to NHS, you probably don't pay a damn thing.

Reminds me of those car insurance commercials (can't remember which one, maybe State Farm?) where after everyone and their pet dog opened an internet car insurance company bragging about their low premiums, they have a big TV campaign which basically said, "we may not have the cheapest premiums in the world, but we will be there when you need us". (Knowing people that have policies with different car insurance companies, this is accurate, too.)

Re:What a clusterf**k. (5, Insightful)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#44496209)

but you get sick in Britain, you go to NHS, you probably don't pay a damn thing

Like hell you don't pay a damned thing. Ever heard of taxes? Worse, there's a lot of corruption here hiding massive healthcare failures, including huge numbers of people who are now dead who shouldn't be due to poor care [wikipedia.org] . I wouldn't hold up the UK's socialised healthcare system as an example to follow.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44496301)

Those kinds of cover ups exist here too. Private doctors working for a private hospital killed my grandfather. They misdiagnosed him repeatedly and failed to properly treat him even for what they misdiagnosed him with.

The likely difference here is that you will never hear of that case due to NDAs and settlements. The NHS can't do that, so you eventually hear about it.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496343)

So you use a scandal at one institution, one that has little to do with socialized healthcare and more to do with negligence at Stafford. Nice try. It's not like we haven't had problem hospitals and clinics in this country.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (2, Interesting)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year ago | (#44496347)

It was so sad and funny at the same time - during the London Olympics open ceremony, while they were riding bicycles around heaping praise on their awesome National Health Service, General Electric ran a commercial about how they'd donated a bunch of neonatal incubators to a hospital in London [gereports.com] because the NHS couldn't afford it!

Awesome health care, indeed.

 

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44496403)

Because no one donates stuff to American hospitals?

That seems to contradict reality. Hospitals often get donations of money or equipment here in the USA.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496433)

It was so sad and funny at the same time - during the London Olympics open ceremony, while they were riding bicycles around heaping praise on their awesome National Health Service, General Electric ran a commercial about how they'd donated a bunch of neonatal incubators to a hospital in London [gereports.com] because the NHS couldn't afford it!

Awesome health care, indeed.

If you think hospital wings in the US aren't stocked via philanthropy you would be pretty fucking wrong. Hospitals in the US (mostly) operate as nonprofits, so that they can ridiculously compensate all involved while jacking rates up exponentially year after year, and seek out donations from guilt-ridden capitalists. And the infant mortality numbers that were "Behind the average" at that hospital? They still beat the mortality numbers in the US, quite handily.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496333)

I haven't had health insurance since the year 2000. Since then I don't think I have ever spent more than $500 in one year on doctor and hospital visits, well except one which was a motorcycle accident. It was almost $1500. But I was able to pay it at $100 a month for 15 months.

I'm late 40's now and little more than 2 weeks ago, I slid in some mud and fell off my bicycle. I fractured my wrist and separated my shoulder. The total medical bill was $175 at an urgent care facility only because I didn't have insurance. If I did have insurance, the bill would have been $1000 or more.

My Obamacare cost every month now is going to be $370 a month. I live almost paycheck to paycheck now. I have no idea where I'm going to come up with that kind of cash every month. Go starving I guess. It will certainly cut down on the obesity problem.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44496431)

What will happen next is you will end up in the ER for a real medical condition, the hospital will write it off and I and other taxpayers will be stuck paying. If you are very lucky someone like my mother will get the hospital to transfer you from the ER to a regular bed and they will pay for your treatment as an act of charity. Then the hospital will have even more cost to write off and for the rest of us to pay.
If you are less lucky you will be treated only in the ER and released to die at home. Cheaper for the taxpayer, but clearly not the superior choice.

Where did you get these numbers? Their are low cost plans for those who cannot pay.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44496359)

Campus health care is often a scam. The University is getting a kickback for signing you up. They want the cheapest plans for the employees they care about, not some grad students.

$340 is not a BMW payment, more like a normal car payment for a normal term loan. A cheaper BMW like the base 3 series sedan goes for $32550, a 60 month term at 1% interest would result in a $556.40 monthly payment.

Minimum coverage costs have gone up now that minimum coverage actually has to cover something. Some of those very cheap plans had low lifetime cost ceilings. Meaning when you needed it most, like you had a major medical problem, you would run out of insurance coverage.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (5, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | about a year ago | (#44495971)

Forcing successful people to pay for insurance for the dregs of society is just wrong.

Exactly, that's why I love public health insurance. I don't have to buy a 3rd yacht some insurance exec whose daddy got him a cushy job. I get better health care and CHEAPER then I ever got with my garbage "high end" health insurance in the states. Yeah I may pay a bit more than a poor person(and probably pay some of their share), but not having to support worthless execs means that it is cheaper than that private garbage.

Before mouthing off about costs, how about do a little research? Like the fact that the US spends roughly 2x as much(as a % of GDP) than any other industrialized nation(who all have public health insurance) and yet the health outcomes are not any better for all that cash spent. Oh I'm sorry, did I use facts with a Republican? My mistake.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496027)

Let's face it: prevention is not profitable for the medical industrial complex. Waiting for things to be come an emergency means the costs are much higher and the hospitals (all most all owned by huge corporations) either get paid or write off the bad debt to offset taxes. Prevention just can't offer the revenue potential.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496049)

Before mouthing off about costs, how about do a little research? Like the fact that the US spends roughly 2x as much(as a % of GDP) than any other industrialized nation(who all have public health insurance) and yet the health outcomes are not any better for all that cash spent. Oh I'm sorry, did I use facts with a Republican? My mistake.

Take your own advice. One way Britain's NHS saves money is by not covering expensive anti-cancer drugs. It makes more sense, financially, to let women die from breast cancer.

Another cost savings is pushing off ophthalmology treatments and surgeries until after the patient has gone blind. Then there's no need for those expensive procedures.

What medicines and treatments does your chosen country avoid in order to save money?

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496259)

[citation needed]

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496315)

[citation needed]

Only because you have no brain to figure out how to google. How hard is it to search for "NHS Blind" and click on the links that highlight problems?

Re:What a clusterf**k. (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44496523)

The only article that even seems to come close is one from the Daily Mail. As usual they do not cite their sources nor do they get commentary from anyone but an alarmist charity.

How about some actual citations?

The Daily Mail has had people make up stories to fit their viewpoint.

http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/regret-the-error/173261/daily-mail-reporter-cant-explain-how-false-report-got-published/ [poynter.org]

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496263)

What medicines and treatments does your chosen country avoid in order to save money?

Plenty of poor people (but not poor to the point where the government will help them) in the US avoid going to the doctor at all because they simply can't afford it; some of them die from otherwise preventable problems because of that.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496317)

This. I don't see people flying from around the world to get medical care in the UK, Canada, or other places where the government pays. I do see them flying from around the world to get medical care at the Mayo, at Mass General, at Johns Hopkins, at Sloan Kettering, at MD Anderson, at the Cleveland Clinic, at Dana-Farber, at, well you get the idea. Nationalized, rationed healthcare is no problem while you are healthy. But when you get sick (and sooner or later you will), you face things like this:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/feb/24/nhs-managers-block-operations-save-money

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496545)

I don't see people flying from around the world to get medical care in the UK, Canada, or other places where the government pays.

Sarah Palin apparently did [healthbeatblog.com] :

“We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada,” she said. “And I think now, isn't that ironic?”

I do see them flying from around the world to get medical care at the Mayo, at Mass General, at Johns Hopkins, at Sloan Kettering, at MD Anderson, at the Cleveland Clinic, at Dana-Farber, at, well you get the idea. Nationalized, rationed healthcare is no problem while you are healthy. But when you get sick (and sooner or later you will), you face things like this:

This is mostly myth [aarp.org] :

The most comprehensive study I’ve seen on this topic — it employed three different methodologies, all with solid rationales behind them — was published in the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs.

The authors of the study started by surveying 136 ambulatory care facilities near the U.S.-Canada border in Michigan, New York and Washington. It makes sense that Canadians crossing the border for care would favor places close by, right? It turns out, however, that about 80 percent of such facilities saw, on average, fewer than one Canadian per month; about 40 percent had seen none in the preceding year.

Oh and old people routinely go to both Canada and Mexico to get cheaper drugs. Either way, what you "see" is hardly scientific evidence.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44496085)

Amusingly, despite the government=bureaucracy equation that many people seem to assume, one of the big benefits is how much less bureaucratic it is, too. When I moved from the US to Denmark, my health care got immensely simpler. In the US, I had to read tons of fine print to buy insurance in the first place; then fill out claim forms, separate ones for each provider (if you end up in a hospital you will be billed separately for the hospital bed, for the anesthesiologist, for the laboratory work, etc.), then lawyer about these on the phone as they were inevitably filled out incorrectly and various claims were denied until the second or third try.

Now everything Just Works and I don't have to fill out a damn piece of paper ever. Well, I had to fill out one: when I moved to the country I had to fill out an application for the health-insurance card. It took about 15 minutes, and came in the mail two days later.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496181)

Scandinavia is where things work. It does not say much for the rest of the world. The reason why it works there is because they are small and easily managebale. Also culture.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44496479)

Scandinavia is where things work.

Scandinavia is magic! Of course nothing like UHC could work in US, any more than it could work in the rest of Western Europe, or Canada, or Japan or Australia or ... uh wait, I meant it couldn't work in 'merica. Yeah, that's it, the rest of the developed world is magic. What a shame 'merica isn't.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496267)

When I moved from the US to Denmark, my health care got immensely simpler.

What a terrible comparison. I've also lived in Denmark, and though the quality is not bad, wait times can be very long in hospitals, and it can be very difficult to get care for "special" issues.
Additionally, the taxes in that country are untenable. If we didn't have a company helping to pay for our house, car, and various other unimportant tidbits we would not have been able to afford living there with our relatively large family (4 kids).
If you want healthcare that is, when it comes to serious things, worse than the US and want to deal with, among other things:

- Almost 60% income tax
- 25% VAT tax on virtually all items
- 200% tax on vehicles (200%!)

Then feel free to move there. Once the grace period for the tax help we received ran out, we left back to the US.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44496311)

The effective income tax rate (i.e. taking into account exclusions and the different brackets) is more like 35-40% for a middle-class family. You don't pass even a 50% effective rate until you're making well north of €200k/yr.

And note that this rate includes health-care, which in the U.S. is billed separately. It also includes university education, which in the U.S. is billed separately. If you add up what a typical American pays for [federal income tax + state income tax + payroll tax + student-loan payments + healthcare premiums/copays], it's higher than what most Danes pay if you're in a middle-class bracket. The comparison is even more favorable to Denmark if you're an entrepreneur: once you add in that self-employed Americans have to pay double payroll taxes (15.3%) and have to buy individual health insurance, Denmark starts to look a lot cheaper!

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44496421)

the taxes in that country are untenable

That may be, but taxes pay for a lot more than healthcare. Total healthcare expenses in Denmark are less than 2/3 of what they are in the US (%/GDP). They also have universal coverage and few to no people going broke due to medical bills. Any way you slice it, it's we 'muricans who are getting ripped off. I'm in favor of "socialism" for health insurance not because of any ideological leanings, but because I'm a cheap bastard.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496119)

I don't follow your logic.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496133)

I don't follow your logic either. What does insurance exec's 3rd yacht has to do with my health insurance payment for billy-bob-joe who's 35 years old and whose only skill is flippin' burgers? Your logic has two disconnected points of thoughts. You are either deliberately trolling or plain stupid.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496215)

...and yet the health outcomes are not any better for all that cash spent.

It's because most Americans are staggeringly fat and out-of-shape to begin with. Even the best doctors in the world can't save them once their bodies simply fail under the crushing load of accumulated fat and generally poor health.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (-1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a year ago | (#44496229)

Dear Slashdot,
How about giving me those mod points when there's something worth modding up like this?

Re:What a clusterf**k. (3, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#44495991)

Please explain what is so different about the USA that Obamacare-like systems work in pretty much the entire civilized world except the USA.
Is the rest of the civilized world so incredibly brilliant, is the USA so incredibly retarted, or is it just you?

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year ago | (#44496087)

For one thing because we effectively subsides the rest of those systems and Obummer care is going to make the subsidy bigger; especially when they start to pull things like the tax on device makers out of it.

All of those systems effectively impose price controls on device vendors and drug producers. This keeps costs to the system down; meanwhile those companies extract super premium margins from American consumers (because demand for healthcare products is inelastic) which they turn around and fund their R&D with.

Essentially its the same free rider problem the individual mandate is designed to fix; except that the bill deliberately worsens it because it lines the pockets to the healthcare industry whom the statists needed to support their monstrous corruption of our formerly free society.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496205)

For one thing because we effectively subsides the rest of those systems and Obummer care is going to make the subsidy bigger

Obummer. Hahaha. That's as hilarious and original as Micro$oft.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44496163)

Please explain what is so different about the USA that Obamacare-like systems work in pretty much the entire civilized world except the USA.

The only thing wrong here is your assumption that there are other Obamacare-like systems elsewhere in the world.

is the USA so incredibly retarded

This. Due to the massive cost increases in health care that Obamacare encourages, I'm not even sure it'll succeed in its alleged primary goal, improving health care coverage.

And the law is so bad that allies of the people who passed the law are trying hard to get out from being covered by the law. There's been a series of waivers of various provisions of Obamacare that went to allies of the President and certain congresspeople. I'm sure we all appreciate the passage of laws which are supposed to be for our own good and for which the allies of the people who advocated the laws are at least partially exempt.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496239)

Please explain what is so different about the USA that Obamacare-like systems work in pretty much the entire civilized world except the USA.
Is the rest of the civilized world so incredibly brilliant, is the USA so incredibly retarted, or is it just you?

Why do you think the USA is civilized? Most of the evidence doesn't support that assumption.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about a year ago | (#44496471)

You assume that the single-payer systems in the "entire civilized world except the USA" are even remotely close to what the Affordable Care Act established.

They aren't. The Affordable Care Act (panned as Obamacare) requires individuals to purchase private health insurance or pay fines (Sorry, a "tax" according to the Supreme Court) to the Federal Government.

If we wanted to do what other countries had, we would have erased the language "65 or older" from the existing Medicare statute; but there's no way that the health insurance corporations would have allowed that to get through the House of Representatives.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496099)

Forcing successful people to pay for insurance for the dregs of society is just wrong.

That's the _only_ way society works.

Vote this man out of office.

He's in his second term... he cannot run for the office of the president again.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496103)

Forcing successful people to pay for insurance for the dregs of society is just wrong.

I'm pretty sure our definitions of "successful people" are pretty different. Statistically, it would be me who'd end up paying for trash like you.

Just as I'm most probably paying more taxes per trimester than your net worth so that you can live in a nice country.

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496241)

Obamacare is the biggest disaster that ever has hit the United States.

Jesus, and neocons wonder why everybody scoffs at them. Ever heard of the Civil War, moron? Ever heard of the Great Depression, fool? Personally, I have my doubts that this will make my insurance or doctor bills cheaper but you guys are WAY over the top. I'd like to see the health insurance companies GONE and want a system like Canada or Europe. Of course, you neonuts would never allow that which is why we have this Obamacare clusterfuck.

As to fraud and abuse, you don't think it's happening with private insurance as well?

You know, I can't log in on this computer but I wouldn't mind if ACs couldn't post. So many fools...

Re:What a clusterf**k. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44496253)

Damn right, I think people should have the freedom to choose whether they want to eat or whether they want to keep the tooth to do that.

Is anyone really surprised? (4, Informative)

rcoxdav (648172) | about a year ago | (#44495885)

By the history of large government IT projects, this is pretty well normal. The DOD, IRS, and just about every large department has had anything from minor to major disasters when setting up or updating systems.

I think too much of this is due to government bidding requirements that put too much emphasis on who you know more than what you know. I have seen too many stories where competence is the last thing looked at for contractors.

Re:Is anyone really surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44495967)

At least they are testing security. Not that I think it will be completely safe as it will be the target of hackers the world over, but at least the NSA won't need to try to break in if their given full access from the start.

Re:Is anyone really surprised? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496393)

I work in the "government IT security world" for most of the projects the process is about 1% testing and 99% paperwork. (And most of the time the testing just means an certified amateur runs an off-the-shelf tool (Retina/Nessus).)

I did have one recent project where we were able to get them to spring for a professional pen test, but in the end the government-approved rules of engagement killed most of the value. Most importantly, they would not allow any "client-side" attacks, but that is most of the modern, real-world threat.

Re:Is anyone really surprised? (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#44495993)

Colour me shocked.
On top of the usual delays they find it hard to guarantee that their IT system is completely free of any security flaws whatsoever. If they manage to scientifically show the system is reasonably secure then I will hope to read the book and the acceptance speech for the Turing Prize. I will not however read the requirement documents. These will be absolute shambles and as thick as a couple of phonebooks.

Best of luck to our fellow geeks in the trenches of this ruddy mess. I've been there before and feel your pain. Here's a life lesson: try not to be a single cog in a 1000+ person project if you want to preserve your passion or indeed you will to live.
They ought to hand out something like Purple Hearts for projects like these.

Re:Is anyone really surprised? (5, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | about a year ago | (#44496001)

Do you have any data that says they have more issues than private companies who undertake IT systems of a similar size? You are probably just more aware of the failures of the government systems because they are by nature public(obviously excluding NSA CIA etc....). Any sort of large IT system has plenty of places it can fail, slipping deadlines aren't exactly solely a "government" thing.

Re:Is anyone really surprised? (2)

Motard (1553251) | about a year ago | (#44496025)

They should enlist the aid of the National Security Agency. Nobody can steal data from that place.

Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44495895)

Obama health care plan is less ambitious than the health care plan propose by Richard M Nixon in 1974. The political spectrum in the US is nowadays so far to the right that Richard Nixon looks like a communist compared to the 21st century democratic party.

Re:Ironic (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44495931)

Obama health care plan is less ambitious than the health care plan propose by Richard M Nixon in 1974.

Health care was a lot less ambitious in 1974. That predates open heart surgery, organ transplants, joint replacements, most cancer treatments, MRI, CAT scan, and even the discovery that ulcers were caused by H. pylori.

Re:Ironic (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44495947)

Obama health care plan is less ambitious than the health care plan propose by Richard M Nixon in 1974.

Health care was a lot less ambitious in 1974. That predates open heart surgery, organ transplants, joint replacements, most cancer treatments, MRI, CAT scan, and even the discovery that ulcers were caused by H. pylori.

And your point is? If your point is that we'd have been much better off if we'd started UHC in 1974 I completely agree, but it's hard to change the past.

Re:Ironic (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44496017)

My point is it may have been more "ambitious" in terms of coverage of available care, but a _LOT_ less ambitious in terms of cost.

Re:Ironic (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44496273)

Odd. One has to wonder how does pretty much all of Europe manage to finance that. Is Europe a so much more powerful economy that they can throw such incredible amounts of money into their "socialist" healthcare, or how do they do it? And most of all, can the US copy it?

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496175)

Health care was a lot less ambitious in 1974. That predates open heart surgery

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiac_surgery#Open_heart_surgery

1974 is before 1952? Wow, Americans do suck at math.

Re:Ironic (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496237)

And...

First successful organ transplant not counting skin as 1954... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_transplantation

Hip replacement in 1940... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_replacement#History

MRI for medical uses 1972... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_resonance_imaging#History

First commercial CT scan done in 1971... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-ray_computed_tomography#History

MightyYar, do you know _anything_ about what comes out of your mouth?

Re:Ironic (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44496221)

Heart surgery was first done in the 50s.
Organ transplants started in the 1900s, but major organs like kidneys in the 1950s.
Joint replacement was a little earlier in the we were replacing hips by 1948.

They were less common, but by 1974 all those were happening.

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496399)

Health care was a lot less ambitious in 1974. That predates open heart surgery, organ transplants, joint replacements, most cancer treatments, MRI, CAT scan, and even the discovery that ulcers were caused by H. pylori.

Uhh....really? The first heart surgery was done successfully in the late 1800s, and open heart surgery has been done successfully since the 1950s. Organ transplants also date back to the 1800s (thyroid transplant), and heart transplants have been done since the 60s also. Joint replacements have been done since 1948. Chemotherapy has been successfully done since the 50's. Although the CAT scan didn't reach the US until the late 70s, they were in England back in the early 70s.

But hey, at least you are right about the MRI and ulcers, so your post wasn't TOTAL shit.

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496475)

No, he was wrong about MRI too.

Social security numbers? (2, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | about a year ago | (#44495911)

"hacker steals the social security numbers and other information people provide when signing up for insurance."

Why would anyone provide a social security number to be used for medical purposes?

social security number = ID and citizenship check (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44495963)

social security number = ID and citizenship check

Re:Social security numbers? (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44495997)

Fear that you'll be denied care if you fail to provide it.

Re:Social security numbers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496005)

What types of fraud can you commit using a social security number anyway?

Re:Social security numbers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496183)

What types of fraud can you commit using a social security number anyway?

You can get some free fucking commie health insurance, that's what. There will be hacker gangs of insurance-card waving trolls clogging up doctors offices, complaining about "teh sux".

Re:Social security numbers? (4, Insightful)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#44496073)

How else will the IRS verify we are legally enrolled in a plan, and don't have to pay the fine/tax/fine/tax?

Re:Social security numbers? (1)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | about a year ago | (#44496429)

They could simply ask--yes or no--on the tax return, then require people who are audited to bring paperwork backing it up (just like any other claim on a tax return).

Even supporters should want to kill this thing (5, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about a year ago | (#44495927)

Obamacare failing doesn't serve anyone's interests. And it won't succeed. Its too poorly set up to do anything but fail.

So if you want socialized medicine... this will only make your idea appear stupid or your political allies too inept to execute such a plan.

If you don't want socialized medical care this will effectively give it to you anyway... but it will be even more expensive... badly run... and generally all the negatives will be more negative.

So lets not do this... kill it and restart the debate on it. Does that mean the supporters will have to ACTUALLY get support for their program this time instead of sneaking it through? Yes. But they should have done that in the first place and this is so screwed up in large part because they broke the rules.

I know what the supporters are going to say... that they followed the letter of the law. Possibly by the narrowest possible definition. But you know damn well that you broke the spirit of the law in half getting there.

That said, that isn't the point of my post. My point is that indifferent to all that, Obamacare is unfixable. It needs to be put down like a rabid dog and THEN we can evaluate what our options are after that. But causing American insurance premiums to double is not in any one's interest. Stop it.

If you care about the poor. Stop it.
If you care about jobs. Stop it.
If you care about the country. Stop it.

At this point, the only reason to support it is ego... aka fear of looking like a fool after investing so much political capital into the issue... or ignorance.

That's all that's left.

kill the bill with no replacement and sick kids (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44495989)

kill the bill with no replacement and sick kids may get cut off. AS well as others with Pre-Existing Conditions

Re:kill the bill with no replacement and sick kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496151)

No. Fix the problems of providing coverage to people who can't afford a plan or have a pre-existing condition. Don't force socialized medicine on people who already have good plans. Even premium plans are changing because of this socialized push. The quality is going down, doctors are worried, and co-pays are more the quadrupling.

We should be fixing the problems of people who can't get coverage. What we're doing now is downgrading health care to the lowest common denominator.

Re:kill the bill with no replacement and sick kids (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44496249)

Why can't I at least opt for it if I have a "good plan". I have had this "good plan" and actual socialised medicine. I would love to go back to that system. Instead of finding out if my treatment will be covered or not only after it has happened.

A public option should have been made available.

some people think they have good plans. (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44496329)

some people think they have good plans and when they get sick they find out how bad they can be or they hit the cap and get kicked out.

Re:kill the bill with no replacement and sick kids (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44496191)

So what? How's that worse than the ongoing crippling of the US health care system and economy?

Re:kill the bill with no replacement and sick kids (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496563)

So what? How's that worse than the ongoing crippling of the US health care system and economy?

How is it not worse? It's a GOOD thing to cripple the US health care system and economy. It weakens the hegemony of the first world, so the rest of the world can develop without first world sticking its neck in (they already have enough problems without the first world)

By crippling health care, more old people and weak children will die
By crippling the economy, more young people and working adults will be poor

So this covers most of the population, and it has to cover most of the population. If only the old people died, the entitled children would take over. If all the children went broke, the old rich would retain power. Put it another way: most of America is divided between Ds and Rs. If you kill one off, the other will gain power. The solution is to kill both of them.

Killing off Obamacare would save the US, but that's not a good thing, because saving the US means you'll save the US government, which has demonstrated itself repeatedly to be a menace to the world.

I'm sorry if you think you're one of those Americans who "didn't vote for this government" or "had nothing to do with what my government is doing", but you're not off the hook. When the master dies, his slaves suffer too. Hey, if you really had nothing to do with your government's actions, that's what you are - an unwitting servant. You're the janitor on the Death Star.

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (0)

jeauxkewl (1465425) | about a year ago | (#44496009)

This. A thousand times this. Since the mere passage of Obamacare without any actual introduction of features aside from kids on parents insurance through age 26, premiums have risen annually by double digit percentages, co-pays and prescription drug costs continue to rise while pay remains stagnant and all this happened when the risk pool should be better by having more (presumably young, healthy) people insured. I doubt you'll find anyone arguing against healthcare reform, but this is not the solution. The solution needs to be hammered out in the open instead of a fly-by-night bill that had to be passed before anyone could figure out what was in it.

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496063)

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/16/opinion/behind-double-digit-premium-increases-for-health-insurance.html?_r=0

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44496261)

Where did that money go?
What are the odds that 26 year olds were the cause?

Someone is pocketing it and telling you that Obamacare is the reason instead of a good excuse.

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (2, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44496035)

Obamacare failing doesn't serve anyone's interests.

Sure it does. The insurance companies love it. Why do you think their stocks went up immediately after it was passed? Who could complain about guaranteed customers?

So if you want socialized medicine...

Who wants socialized medicine? Socialized medical insurance would be nice though. Maybe it's why Canadians seem happy and friendly all the time (or maybe that's the effect of too much maple syrup).

Does that mean the supporters will have to ACTUALLY get support for their program this time instead of sneaking it through?

Sneak it through? The biggest political debate of that year, months and months of continual coverage and debate in the media, followed by votes in congress, is "sneaking it through"?

Obamacare is unfixable

In other words, you want to kill any type of UHC. Here's a better idea: put in the public option. If this kills medical insurers they won't be missed. As for the state exchanges, fix the problem by killing them. They won't do jack anyway.

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44496117)

Oops, misread "Obamacare failing doesn't serve anyone's interests" as "Obamacare doesn't serve anyone's interests". That rather changes the GP. Must remember not to post before second cup of coffee.

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (1)

shentino (1139071) | about a year ago | (#44496161)

At least their maple syrup is probably pure and not that HFCS filled crap we eat down here in the states.

Gee, I wonder if that's one reason Americans are so unhealthy in the first place...

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496445)

Obama care is far from UHC man. As a student who pays about $900 a year for my student health coverage, which isn't fancy but does provide some benefits and access to the student clinic on campus I can tell you this piece of crap legislation will F me in the A. College is already about $14000 a year for me, living off-campus, care to wager how much it will be when I have to spend few thousands a year for a health plan?

some reading [forbes.com]

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496037)

So lets not do this... kill it and restart the debate on it.

How about letting it go ahead, restart the debate pending it's outcome (you know, real data), keep the good and correct the bad ?

You are saying that healthcare reform is such a complex hard to tackle that we need to get it right from the start. We won't settle for anything better than the current situation if it's less than perfect.

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44496299)

keep the good and correct the bad ?

Here's the thing I don't get. What's supposed to be good about Obamacare?

You are saying that healthcare reform is such a complex hard to tackle that we need to get it right from the start. We won't settle for anything better than the current situation if it's less than perfect.

Keep in mind that the earlier pre-Obamacare state worked better. So we have a known state that we can revert to rather than more unknown states starting from a mess. My take is that if the President and Congress had been serious about health care reform, they could have tackled it in incremental bits. For example, dropping tax incentives for health care benefits doesn't need to be done in conjunction with anything else. Reducing what's covered by minimal health insurance or increasing maximum deductibles (something which they haven't even been inclined to do) doesn't require anything else. Lowering the obstructions to new hospital and medical center construction and encouraging increased competition doesn't require anything else (and again, it's something they haven't been inclined to do).

As I see it, they made a huge gift to the insurance industry in the name of universal health care coverage while ignoring the real problem, the increasing cost of health care coverage. Thus, they made the worst of the health care problems worse.

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44496389)

The pre-Obamacare was better how?
You liked them retroactively canceling coverage? Maybe you thought it fun that many folks could not get coverage at all or not at a price lower than their income?

Reducing what is covered by minimal health insurance?
Are you high? They had to increase it since many of those plans took your money and gave you nearly nothing. How would you like to hit a ceiling on lifetime costs when you get cancer?

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496071)

The insurance mandate is the band-aid. The expansion of Medicaid (which is part of the plan) to cover all the population is the achievable route to a universal health care system.

Note that since Obamacare was announced, the inflation rate of health care services has dropped to record lows.

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#44496095)

The insurance mandate is the band-aid. The expansion of Medicaid (which is part of the plan) to cover all the population is the achievable route to a universal health care system.

Which is the real intent in the first place.

Note that since Obamacare was announced, the inflation rate of health care services has dropped to record lows.

How much of that is explained by the economy not having recovered after more than 6 years? If no one has extra money for doctor visits, the price isn't going to go up much.

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44496171)

Which is the real intent in the first place.

I wish. Obama bent over backwards to kill a public option.

P.S. The GP said Medicaid, but it expanding Medicare is a better approach..

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#44496277)

Obama bent over backwards to keep you from realizing that the intent is universal health care, which Americans do not want. He was very successful.

Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (2, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44496105)

So if you want socialized medicine... this will only make your idea appear stupid or your political allies too inept to execute such a plan.

If you don't want socialized medical care this will effectively give it to you anyway... but it will be even more expensive... badly run... and generally all the negatives will be more negative.

Too bad RomneyObamacare (the Romney MA plan and Obama's plan are basically identical) isn't actually socialized medicine, eh? I wonder what would have happened had Obama created a National Health Service like other civilized countries.

My overall take is that it will suck, but it will suck somewhat less than if it hadn't been created. There is every indication that there will be fewer people without insurance, fewer medical bankruptcies, and less insurance company shenanigans. It's far from perfect, but shouldn't we at least try it to find out?

Does that mean the supporters will have to ACTUALLY get support for their program this time instead of sneaking it through?

Please explain how a measure that was front-page news for months, was discussed in a presidential election, and had massive ad campaigns about it was in any way snuck through. Unless you're complaining about the process in the Senate that allowed 58 of 100 votes to constitute a majority.

But causing American insurance premiums to double is not in any one's interest.

RomneyObamacare doesn't cause insurance premiums to double for everybody, it causes insurance premiums to go up for richer and younger and healthier people to pay for the health care of poorer and older and sicker people. That's definitely in the interests of poorer and older and sicker people, and is better for them than no health insurance at all, which is what they have now.

My point is that indifferent to all that, Obamacare is unfixable. It needs to be put down like a rabid dog and THEN we can evaluate what our options are after that.

Again, the counterargument here is not "RomneyObamacare is great, it solves everything". It's "It sucks less than pre-RomneyObamacare, so we should try living with it while we come up with something better." The something better may well be completely different from RomneyObamacare, but in the meantime you'll have fewer people refusing transportation to a hospital after a heart attack (yes, this really happens).

Penalties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44495933)

Hmm. I wonder who would pay the penalties for any security breaches. Hmm.

Drudge much? (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#44495935)

Why is it that I'm seeing half the stories on Slashdot, after they spent a day or two on Drudge Report? Especially ones that are only slightly "News for nerds" material?

Are that many /.ers closet Drudge readers?

Zoopedia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44495951)

http://zoopedia.info/

Re:Zoopedia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44495965)


ZOOpedia

Just locks-in the current system (5, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year ago | (#44496043)

What's even dumber is the concept of state-level exchanges.
A primary driver of high health-care costs is the balkanization of healthcare across states.

Allow the voluntary harmonization of various states' health care codes, which would in turn allow insurance providers to offer the same plan in several states. The 'health care exchanges' offered in the Obamacare bill would have been a perfect opportunity to allow capitalism to work to lower costs and increase competitive pressures - this plan merely ossifies the state-level segmentation of the marketplace.

Re:Just locks-in the current system (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44496289)

Why voluntary?

Interstate commerce is something the feds are supposed to regulate. If a state has a health care code being used to prevent Interstate commerce make them fix it.

Re:Just locks-in the current system (1)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#44496385)

Capitalism doesn't fix everything.

Re:Just locks-in the current system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496507)

You cannot offer the same plan in different states... That is just ridiculous notion. So I can buy a plan from Louisiana and when I get sick the ambulance will take me to Baton Rouge? Nope... They will take me to the closest hospital in the state of N.J. with cost of living more than twice that of L.A. That's right, everything costs about double here, so tell me how can paying price for health insurance of L.A. work when the health plan will have to cover high costs of receiving care in N.J?

Make more than $48k, pay same as Bill Gates (1)

theodp (442580) | about a year ago | (#44496097)

Affordable health care, as the fine print in the approved rate sheet linked to from NY Governor Cuomo's press release reveals, can mean annual premium of as much as $35k for a family of 3 (for a 'platinum' plan). So, Congress was no doubt relieved to learn last week that they won't be eating their own health care dogfood after all â" the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has decided to allow the government to subsidize coverage for its employees on the exchanges. If you're curious, plug your numbers into California's insurance cost calculator [coveredca.com] to get an idea of how you might fare!"

Re:Make more than $48k, pay same as Bill Gates (1)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | about a year ago | (#44496509)

How is the government subsidizing coverage for its employees any different from private sector employers paying some or all of their employees' premiums as a job benefit?

A bad plan poorly executed (0)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44496265)

I'm glad to see it's not working, but I'm disappointed to see that the end result will be the government continuing to implement something that doesn't really work. Being disappointed, though, is far from being surprised. That is something I definitely am not.

Re:A bad plan poorly executed (1)

Korruptionen (2647747) | about a year ago | (#44496455)

I think it's perception. They {the government} seem to be quite good at implementing programs that we believe continue not to work... but to them, I think their continued failed implementation is exactly what they intended on in the first place.

Why is this a federal duty? (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year ago | (#44496387)

If the exchanges are to be run by the states, why is the federal government responsible for their IT data security? The states want more flexibility and responsibility, let them manage that aspect on their own.
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