As a UHIP skeptic from the very first time it was mentioned as a possibility, I continue to think that everybody is following the wrong storyline. However, increased scrutiny is starting to bring people around to the right questions… the correct angle. Consider:
As to why so many things went wrong, [Deloitte manager Deborah] Sills said: “Simply put, the system is very complex … the only eligibility system in the country that integrates more than 10 state and federal health and human services programs and a state based health insurance exchange … As the state’s comprehensive analysis last year made clear, Deloitte and the state needed ‘more time, more people and more training.'”
GoLocalProv has posted the entire 40-page, paper-and-pen application that goes along with the half-billion-dollar computer system, and what’s becoming clearer is that the state simply expected too much from software, hoping to avoid the hard work of reconceptualizing how benefits programs are done. In this light, the fundamental error of Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo was her failure to understand the nature of the Unified Health Infrastructure Project (UHIP). It was never really intended to be a cost-savings and efficiency tool, but rather a dependency portal, drawing people into government programs and maximizing the amount of “services” that the state could hire people to provide.
Look at the application. The complexity comes in because each program requires different information. That’s not a terrible problem if the applicant knows which one he or she wants, but the entire point of UHIP is to give people things they aren’t applying for, so the application asks for all of the possible information. Streamlining that would require regulatory and legislative changes, some of it at the federal level.
In order to effectuate those changes, advocates would have to make clearer the underlying objective, and that would run contrary to the plan. The dependency portal is meant to insinuate itself into reality under the banner of efficiency, which the public would actually support. Less popular would be a banner proclaiming, “We want to ensure that everybody gets every penny of taxpayer money possible, even without looking for it.” Even less popular would be, “We want to track everybody’s personal and financial information so that we can adjust their benefits automatically.”