Part of Obamacare rollout shelved because of fear of sticker shock
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 HealthCare.gov launched.This is more of the administrations attempt to manipulate the process because of fear of the truth. If people actually saw the cost of the policy they likely would have not been interested in signing up at all.
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 HealthCare.gov, who told lawmakers earlier this month the function was scrapped because it "failed miserably" before the October 1 launch.
Like much of the HealthCare.gov 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.
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 HealthCare.gov 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.