ObamaCare Website A Literal Headache
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
Last comment by sebekm 1 year ago.

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Here's an article from USATODAY.com which attempts to coherently describe what's wrong with the ObamaCare online "health exchange site." You might want to take two aspirin BEFORE you read it:

"Tech experts: Health exchange site needs total overhaul

Kelly Kennedy, USA TODAY 1:36 p.m. EDT October 17, 2013

WASHINGTON — The federal health care exchange was built using 10-year-old technology that may require constant fixes and updates for the next six months and the eventual overhaul of the entire system, technology experts told USA TODAY.

"The application is fundamentally flawed," said Jeff Kim, president of CDNetworks, a content-delivery network. "They're probably using 1990s technology in 7.0 world."

Recent changes have made the exchanges easier to use, but they still require clearing the computer's cache several times, stopping a pop-up blocker, talking to people via Web chat who suggest waiting until the server is not busy, opening links in new windows and clicking on every available possibility on a page in the hopes of not receiving an error message. With those changes, it took one hour to navigate the HealthCare.gov enrollment process Wednesday.

Those steps shouldn't be necessary, experts said.

I have never seen a website — in the last five years — require you to delete the cache in an effort to resolve errors," said Dan Schuyler, a director at Leavitt Partners, a health care group by former Health and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt. "This is a very early Web 1.0 type of fix."

The site could be perfect, but if the systems from which it draws data are not up to speed, it doesn't matter, said John Engates, chief technology officer at Rackspace, a cloud computer service provider.

"It is a core problem in the sense of it's fundamental to this thing actually working, but it's not necessarily a problem that the people who wrote HealthCare.gov can get to," Engates said. "Even if they had a perfect system, it still won't work."

Outsiders acknowledged they can't see the whole system, but they said they feared HHS built a system that will need an expensive overhaul that would cause more headaches for people trying to buy insurance.

HHS officials did not respond to a request about the nature of the problems. However, they reiterated that wait times have been reduced or even eliminated as they continue to work to fix the system. They have added capacity so more people may use the site at the same time, and they moved one component from virtual space to actual hardware to reduce bugs. As of Wednesday, they did not have an update on numbers.

"I will be the first to tell you that the website launch was rockier than we wanted it to be,'' HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, adding that people have until Dec. 15 to enroll to ensure coverage beginning Jan. 1.

Engates said HHS has been opaque about the problems, and the tech industry doesn't know the extent of the issues. "There's no secrets leaking out," he said. "I'm sure everyone's looking for something to change the direction of the conversation, but it's just not there."

"I think it's a data problem," Kim said. "It always comes down to that."

And if that's the case, the problems are beyond "rocky," he said. Instead, it would require a "fundamental re-architecture." In the meantime, "I think they're just trying to shore up as quickly as possible. They don't have time to start from scratch."

"If I was them, and I'm just conjecturing, I would probably come up with some manual way of saying, 'Only people with the last name starting with 'A' can sign up today," he said.

But come March 31, when the first enrollment period ends, the "shore up" period may become a "re-architecting" period, Kim said.

On a good note, he said, after looking at available code, the site is "very secure."

Clearing the cache, which has helped make it easier for some people to enroll, could ultimately strain the system more, Kim said. That's because a "cookie" is stored on a person's computer that contains data, such as the person's name and address, that can then be quickly accessed when that person gets on the website again instead of having to be retrieved from the government's server.

But as HHS fixes errors, the cookies may not correspond with the updated website, so rather than allowing someone to quickly log in, they instead cause an error message. And every time a person clears his computer's cache, the government's website has to work that much harder to grab more data.

Requiring people who may not be Web savvy to use the site in any way other than a step-by-step easy process defeats the point of the whole system, Schuyler said. That includes laws mandating that insurers provide clear explanations about policies to people may make sound decisions and understand what they're buying.

"Most consumers will have no idea what 'clearing the cache' is and this will just cause more confusion and frustration," he said.

Engates said he believes most of the problems are caused by systems integration with other sites, such as the IRS. And that could be causing some of the problems people see as they make it past the initial application process. It's a series of questions meant to verify a person's identity and income. But after that questionnaire, visitors often encounter a series of error messages, or the page a person tries to click to doesn't come up. The data requests to other sites could be causing those problems, Engates said, which would mean the problem isn't with the HHS site itself.

"Maybe the site is submitting a request for more data, and that puts you in that trap again," he said. "It's a giant integration problem that they have to solve."

And as they try to fix those problems, there's another issue lurking in the background: Some HHS personnel were named essential, and not subject to furloughs because of the government shutdown. But that didn't apply to the other organizations they were working with, Engates said. So as HHS techs work around the clock to fix the problems, IRS techs may be prohibited from working at all.

In the meantime, HHS personnel can't say anything about the situation, it can be played politically as "bad," he said. If they say it will take two weeks to fix, they will be criticized because it's taking too long. But he expects that it's a problem that will be resolved soon, especially as the volume of visitors goes down.

"If you can get the system below some sort of threshold, it will perform as it's supposed to," Engates said. "It won't get any worse. It's going to get better little by little by little."

See: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/17/health-exchange-week-three-start-over/2995989/

I especially like the part which goes:

"Even if they had a perfect system, it still won't work."

Did we REALLY expect more from the government? So what we have here is bad legislation being implemented by outdated technology which has to be integrated with other systems and technology across the entire government in order for it to work. And it is all being RUN by the government. Based on our recent experience with government (i.e., the shutdown fiasco, the debt ceiling crisis), does anybody actually believe the government will ever get it right? I don't.

The news this morning is that more than two weeks after ObamaCare was "launched" (some would say "foisted on the American people"), nobody knows how many have been able to successfully sign up online nationwide. But it does appear that there have been TWO confirmed sign-ups in the State of Alaska. Two whole people signed up in two weeks. So Alaska is on track to sign up FIFTY more over the next 12 months.

Don't expect the Democrats or the leftstream media to be touting those stats.

Latest Activity: Oct 17, 2013 at 2:07 PM

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Sheran commented on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 16:20 PM

This makes me wonder, did PN really sign up? I think I hit the nail on the head... PN is a navigator.

timeontarget commented on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 16:38 PM

"PN is a navigator"

Please explain.

Sheran commented on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 16:55 PM
Sheran commented on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 17:28 PM

Here's the cost so far for ACA.


JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 18:26 PM

They just got to tweak it all, that's all, then all will be good again.

We got our insurance already.

You guys wanna change legislative law?

Win an election!!

Sheran commented on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 20:24 PM

It was never good to begin with! As far as "Win an election" I'd rather pick winners.

sebekm commented on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 22:04 PM

Despite the dumping on the GOP now, don't be surprised if they make gains in 2014.

Sheran commented on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 22:43 PM

Young people are starting to speak up now for their future...


sebekm commented on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 23:51 PM

Once the kids discover the Dems philosophy that results in young people being stuck with the tab, they will demand CHANGE THEY CAN BELIEVE IN.

Graeme245 commented on Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 06:28 AM

Hmmmm.... perhaps there's a Texas-sized fly in the ointment;


(would be surprised to see other states jump on this bandwagon in a hurry)

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 09:24 AM

Great post Graeme245. It's great to see a Republican with an ounce of common sense these days. Of course the Tea Partiers will try to barbeque him for endorsing ACA.

sebekm commented on Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 09:25 AM

I would be surprised to see it , too. Looks like Texas' situation may have Texas-unique circumstances which - absent them in other states - won't provide the same motivation to do likewise.

sebekm commented on Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 11:20 AM

....and now comes these new revelations:

"Insurers say the federal health-care marketplace is generating flawed data that is straining their ability to handle even the trickle of enrollees who have gotten through so far, in a sign that technological problems extend further than the website traffic and software issues already identified.

Emerging errors include duplicate enrollments, spouses reported as children, missing data fields and suspect eligibility determinations, say executives at more than a dozen health plans. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska said it had to hire temporary workers to contact new customers directly to resolve inaccuracies in submissions. Medical Mutual of Ohio said one customer had successfully signed up for three of its plans.

The flaws could do lasting damage to the law if customers are deterred from signing up or mistakenly believe they have obtained coverage."

For the entire article, see: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/obam...

But in this article there may be an underlying nugget of truth. I'm talking about this:

"Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska said it had to hire temporary workers to contact new customers directly to resolve inaccuracies in submissions."

AHA! Now perhaps we see that the Dems are actually doing something for the economy and jobs after all! Maybe they intentionally bungled the ObamaCare implementation so that companies would have to HIRE MORE WORKERS to compensate for it! Then they could claim rising employment numbers were actually generated BY OBAMACARE.

Sneaky, Mr. President....very sneaky....

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 17:37 PM

All is fair in love and war (politics).

sebekm commented on Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 18:02 PM

It is, but you don't fool with Mother Nature, and when you foist a stinker on the American people, eventually you have to pay. They (the 87%) will remember at the ballot box sooner or later.

Sheran commented on Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 18:59 PM

Why is Sebelius refusing to talk to congress on Obamacare?


sebekm commented on Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 20:39 PM

Because she'd probably have to invoke the 5th Amendment. She can't give a straight answer to Jon Stewart - she'd be a DISASTER under congressional cross-examination.

Sheran commented on Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 21:28 PM

This crap is only getting worse...


Funkentelecky commented on Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 22:37 PM

Here I go again. The main reason Obamacare is a failing and will be a failure is because (1), they didn’t triangulate the best ideas of both parties and forced the legislation through with backdoor deals and demonization of anyone who opposed them. Most polls at the time were against this legislation and even the people of Massachusetts spoke out and killed it in the Senate by electing Scott Brown as the 41st vote to kill it by winning Ted Kennedy’s seat in January 2010 (2) Obama and the Democrats don’t really care about the constitution so he instructed his #3 Minion, Nancy Pelosi to Deem and Pass the Senate bill from December 24th 2009 that was the initial vote that’s required to send it to the floor for passage into law (Never happened) Scott Brown was going to kill it and it shouldn’t and even wouldn’t be law according to the messiah and candidate himself, now President Obama.

Remember when Obama said this, awww I know you don’t if you’re a Democrat because your sources won’t tell you the truth. And then you call Republicans names and demonizing them because Barack Hussein Obama can’t govern even though he told ya he couldn’t if he did what he did?


Here’s the initial house bill that passed on 11/07/09 220-215 with 1 Republican vote and not a majority even though the Democrats had 255 seats in the House in 2009. Why didn’t this pass 255-180, over 30 Democrats voted against it?


Here’s Harry Reid announcing the initial Senate bill that passed 60-39 on 12/24/09.


Now here is the House reconciliation bill that passed on a partisan line 219-212 on 03/21/13; this is not the “Change that we can believe in” This is total corruption by the Democrats because the people spoke and elected Scott Brown in the Senate so Obama and his #3 Minion bypassed the 2nd vote in the Senate for passage into law which is required by the constitution.

My question to Jimmy, since Republicans did when elections to counter or stop Obamacare why is it now law?

And here I go again; if Obama and his #3 Minion had compromised some of these wonderful free market ideas would have at least been implemented into the bill and we would have had a bipartisan passage like we did with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I was warning the blogosphere back on 10/16/09, see:


sebekm commented on Saturday, Oct 19, 2013 at 11:49 AM

I saw a "navigator" article the other day which said one had an outstanding bench warrant out for her arrest. It really is amazing. The government is going to futz this up big-time.

Here's the latest on Sebelius - time to attend parties but no time to testify before Congress:


Remember - Pelosi was the one who said they'd have to pass ObamaCare before anybody really knew what was in it. We are now getting a clear picture of what is in it, and it's the same old government tune: incompetent legislation, poor design, flawed execution and WE THE PEOPLE get screwed.

But with this administration, did we really expect anything else?

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