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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: General Dynamics subsidiary Vangent awarded Federal Health Exchange call center contract

I am so looking forward to this.* Kaiser Health News:

The federal government has awarded a $28.2 million contract to a General Dynamics subsidiary to run a call center to handle consumer questions about the new online insurance marketplaces that are slated to begin selling insurance policies Oct. 1.

Note the change in vocabulary: These have been called "Health Insurance Exhanges" but they are not being called "marketplaces" (I think this terminology originated from inside CMS).

The call center will be responsible for all inquiries related to the insurance marketplaces in at least 34 states that will be run wholly or partly by the federal government. Sixteen states are setting up their own online insurance marketplaces. The call center will also communicate via e-mail, Web chat, fax and the U.S. mail system.

The call center for the new insurance marketplaces is expected to be in operation by June.

That's well before the actual roll-out of the system. How can it possibly deliver accurate information?

Vangent, which was bought by General Dynamics in 2011, does work for numerous federal agencies including the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Commerce, Education, Justice Labor , State, Veterans Affairs and Military Health Systems. A report which the company filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission in 2010 said that almost half its revenue came from HHS contracts.

The call center must be located in the continental United States and have at least 300 call center representatives, according to bid documents from CMS. The call center representatives will respond to all inquiries using CMS-approved scripted language.

Hmm. IIRC, CMS has had only a temporary administrator for several years. It also seems to view its mission as maximizing sign-ups, and not delivering care. What I wonder is if it too has been captured by the insurance industry. Just a thought. Readers?

NOTE I wish a whisteblower would send me a draft of those scripts.

NOTE * Of course, that could be too cynical. Vangent is apparently running the existing Medicare call center. Do any readers have real life experiences to share, or knowledge of how well Medicare's call center system is doing?

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Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

Any word on whether Vangent has a call center up and running to field questions about ObamaCare?

Only asking because the article said: "The call center for the new insurance marketplaces is expected to be in operation by June." Granted, "is expected to be" is not the same as "will be." But with all of the disasters piling up in the last 2 months including, now, how businesses aren't going to be reporting, etc., it's an interesting question what the scripts would look like!

Submitted by hipparchia on

  • A new 800 number you can call to get your Marketplace questions answered by a customer service representative, available 24/7: 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325)
  • Online chat, also available 24/7. Just look for the blue box on the lower right hand corner on most pages of our site. You’ll be connected to a customer service representative who can answer your questions in an online conversation

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

We should do a test with a few of us all going there and asking the same question, then reporting back the transcript of the conversation or online chat ...

katiebird's picture
Submitted by katiebird on

But, didn't have time to read their terms of service first. .... "What," I asked myself, "If they have perjury restrictions on questions."

I don't want to be committing myself to anything just by asking a couple of questions.

Submitted by cg.eye on

and the available, non-hypothetical information for potential buyers, low, then it's a perfect system to feed everyone else into prison, debtors' or otherwise.

And, with the panopticon, even if you didn't commit a crime, they'll have enough evidence to claim you were about to, through conspiracy with those who've been busted for pot or a DUI or tax problems or participation in the black market. It doesn't matter that the evidence can't be admitted in court; it can be used as leverage the same way it was in the Commie witch trials. Association, alone, can condemn.

Y'know how we tried to get people to understand that the administration doesn't have to come out and say it's doing evil, to be doing evil -- that letting evil happen by accident can be as bad as evil made by design? I think the ultimate goal of this system is to own us, as sellable, manipulable bits of data, and that the meaningful, necessary parts of our lives will have to be procured through the black market -- where force rules even more openly, to greater profit.