PapayaSF writes "The Washington Post reports that roughly 22,000 people have claimed they were charged too much, steered into the wrong insurance program, or denied coverage, but the website cannot handle appeals. They've filled out seven-page forms and mailed them to a federal contractor’s office in Kentucky, where they were scanned and entered, but workers at CMS cannot read them because that part of the system has not been built. Other missing aspects are said to have higher priorities: completing the electronic payment system for insurers, the connections with state Medicaid programs, and the ability to adjust coverage to accommodate major changes such as new babies. People with complaints about mistakes have been told to "return to the Web site and start over."
Earlier coverage of this saga includes Slashdot's discussion of the recent TheHill.com report that Accenture Faces Mid-March Healthcare.gov Deadline Or 'Disaster'."
PapayaSF writes "TheHill.com reports that Accenture has two months to fix HealthCare.gov by building a "financial management platform that tracks eligibility and enrollment transactions, accounts for subsidy payments to insurance plans, 'provides stable and predictable financial accounting and outlook for the entire program,' and that integrates with existing CMS and IRS systems." The procurement document, posted on a federal website, states that if this is not completed in time, there will be "financial harm to the government" and "the entire healthcare reform program is jeopardized." Risk mitigation (which pays insurers who enroll a higher-than-expected number of sick patients) must be accurately forecast, or it might put "the entire health insurance industry at risk.” Accenture will also have to fix the enrollment transmissions, which have been sending inaccurate and garbled data to insurance companies. Because the back-end cannot currently handle the federal subsidies, insurers will be paid estimated amounts as a stopgap measure. The document also said that officials realized in December that there was no time for a “full and open competition process” before awarding Accenture the $91 million contract. What are their odds of success?"
PapayaSF writes "The Washington Post is reporting that CGI Federal's contract will not be renewed, and that Accenture will take over HealthCare.gov. Accenture built the California exchange, and is involved in the IT project to support Universal Credit in the UK. The contract is for 12 months and $90 million."
PapayaSF writes "Proposed new rules require that funding portals register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Intermediary Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In addition, investors must have access to a business plan, use of proceeds, a valuation of the company, and financials, so CPAs may needed. The SEC estimates that for amounts under $100,000, the fees will be 12.9% to 39% of the money raised, though it may drop to under 8% for higher amounts. Is this needed regulation, or bureaucratic overreach?"Link to Original Source
PapayaSF writes "The story of the leaked (and possibly partly forged) Heartland Institute documents has taken a dramatic turn. Prominent AGW proponent Peter Gleick has just confessed to using deception to obtain them."Link to Original Source
PapayaSF writes "With Macworld San Francisco just days away, rumor sites are buzzing about a new sub-notebook, an AppleTV upgrade, and more. Cringely thinks Apple should buy Adobe. I think Apple should have a <$1K desktop minitower (think cut-down Mac Pro or souped-up Mac Mini) aimed at switchers and the enterprise market. But what do Slashdotters think Apple should announce?"
PapayaSF writes "Beginning January 1st, Germany will require payment of a license fee of 5.52 euros a month on computers and mobile phones that can access TV and radio programs over the Internet. Like the current TV and radio license fees, the money will support national and local public TV and radio stations. German companies with many computers are predictably upset."