Author Topic: Key part of passed test, but Anonymous Shopper shelved anyway  (Read 206 times)

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Offline Cincinnatus

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Now why in the heck would they remove this feature when it was the one part of the site which actually worked?

When the troubled federal health care website came online, the key "Anonymous Shopper" function was nowhere to be found -- even though it passed a key test almost two weeks before launched.

That successful test, noted in documents obtained by CNN and confirmed by a source close to the project, contradicts testimony from an Obama administration official overseeing, who told lawmakers earlier this month the function was scrapped because it "failed miserably" before the October 1 launch.

Like much of the rollout, the subject has become political fodder for Republicans, who claim the decision to nix the anonymous shopper was made by administration officials worried it would produce rate estimates so high they would deter potential enrollees.
What is 'Anonymous Shopper?'

The window shopping feature allows website visitors to compare health insurance plans without opening an account, verifying their identity or determining whether they qualify for a federal subsidy. The tool was turned off before launched and is still unavailable to users.

Using anonymous shopping, visitors would have been able to enter their age, ZIP code, county, number of people in their household and whether they use tobacco, to obtain an array of almost instant quotes and detailed comparisons for various health insurance plans available to them.

It's the website feature that best resembles President Barack Obama's frequently stated vision for the website -- that it operates as the most popular e-retail sites millions of Americans use every day.

"Just visit, and there you can compare insurance plans, side by side, the same way you'd shop for a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon," Obama said on October 1, the day the website went live. "You enter some basic information, you'll be presented with a list of quality, affordable plans that are available in your area, with clear descriptions of what each plan covers, and what it will cost."

Yet on that day, and even now, that's not really possible.
We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid ~~ Samuel Adams

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