A $267-million dollar super-computer system dubbed the "Hub" is finding it hard to incorporate all its Affordable Health Care (ACA) mandates by the time the Health Insurance Marketplaces begin selling policies on Oct. 1.

Research by Benz Communications confirms that the "Hub," designed to pull data from seven federal agencies (from the IRS to the Peace Corps), will be unable by Oct. 1 to verify if people applying for insurance at the marketplaces are eligible for subsidies. Federal officials have yet to give a date when the system will be able to perform that chore.

In addition, the "Hub" can't walk and chew gum at the same time when it comes to enforcing the insurers' penalty cap and the smokers' penalty simultaneously. The penalty cap is for insurers that charge older persons more than three times what they charge the young and healthy.  The smokers' penalty allows insurers to increase rates for smokers by 50 percent. The computing system can't yet figure how to reconcile the two (for example, how to charge an older person three times what a younger person pays and then tacking on another 50 percent for smoking).

Federal computer woes are in addition to state challenges. Oregon has already thrown in the towel on computerized purchases for at least the first two weeks of the marketplaces. California is right there but not yet quite ready to admit defeat.