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The Obamacare Website - How Does It Represent A Failure Of Government?


Leon Troutsky
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It's obvious that only a couple of people on this thread have ever dealt with the government procurement process and the companies that contract with them. The government usually play 2 to 3 times more for a product than a private company would. They don't really know what they want i.e. the bureaucrat ordering the stuff has zero knowledge of the product to begin with. Companies that deal with the government know they they can do as little as possible and still get paid and drag out the contract as long as they can until some government watchdog comes along to show how little they've actually done for the astronomical money they made. This is not the private system. It's the government's stupidity and inefficiency corrupting the private system that "handles" governments external needs. Private companies don't and will not act this way when dealing with each other because they'd be out of business.

Acworth stay in your classroom and lock the doors. Real world business is obviously well out of your scope of understanding and experience.

Sounds to me like government could do these things itself more efficiently and for less money.

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the IRS begs to differ

could you be more of a partisan hack at this point?

huh.png The claim - which I'm not convinced is true in most cases - is that companies take advantage of government by charging three times what they would a private customer and doing the least amount of work possible. If that's true, then government could hire people directly to provide the services in house. It means that contracting out to the private sector is less efficient.

Where am I wrong?

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How is this NOT the government's fault?

They spent 3yrs and millions of dollars on this website... but I guess it's Bush's fault.

If Amazon.com goes down during Black Friday, who do you blame?

clearly if Amazon.com crashes on Black Friday, its Dubya's fault.

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huh.png The claim - which I'm not convinced is true in most cases - is that companies take advantage of government by charging three times what they would a private customer and doing the least amount of work possible. If that's true, then government could hire people directly to provide the services in house. It means that contracting out to the private sector is less efficient.

Where am I wrong?

because federal programs are full of featherbedding and pork

and you are attempting to draw a false equivalency about the private sector. the way the government does business with the private sector is not the way corporations do. therefore, the problem is still with the government and not with the private sector

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huh.png The claim - which I'm not convinced is true in most cases - is that companies take advantage of government by charging three times what they would a private customer and doing the least amount of work possible. If that's true, then government could hire people directly to provide the services in house. It means that contracting out to the private sector is less efficient.

Where am I wrong?

you are embarrassing yourself in this thread - if I was you, I would delete the thread altogether.

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because federal programs are full of featherbedding and pork

and you are attempting to draw a false equivalency about the private sector. the way the government does business with the private sector is not the way corporations do. therefore, the problem is still with the government and not with the private sector

More assumptions on your part. It's kind of self-sustaining. "The government is full of inefficiency and pork when it does things and the private sector screws government when it contracts out." I understand you like the idea of government doing little to nothing, but it has done some good things over the years.

In this case, do you think having an exchange where insurance companies compete for customers is a good idea? If so, where is the private sector incentive to create such exchanges? And if government is the only one who can set up something like this, how is the best way for it to build the website?

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although it looks like the problems with this website are not just an Obama/Democrat problem if this is true

https://www.ijreview.com/2013/10/87150-wonder-healthcare-gov-tanking-feds-took-one-bid-web-design/

But don’t pin this just on Obama’s administration just yet; CGI was qualified in 2007 by HHS during George W. Bush’s presidency to “deliver, without public competition, a variety of hardware, software and communication products and services.”

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although it looks like the problems with this website are not just an Obama/Democrat problem if this is true

https://www.ijreview...bid-web-design/

But don’t pin this just on Obama’s administration just yet; CGI was qualified in 2007 by HHS during George W. Bush’s presidency to “deliver, without public competition, a variety of hardware, software and communication products and services.”

i knew it was Dubya's fault!!!!!!! biggrin.png - the worse this gets, the more this will be "Bush-care" (insert joke here)

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How is this NOT a failure of government? Sure, no one is claiming members of Obama's cabinet have been sitting around writing code for 3+ years, but this is a government program that we have spent untold millions of dollars on thus far, will spend billions on over the course of a decade, and we can't get a freaking website working? Are you kidding me?

Sebelius should not have any accountability for this? Yesterday she claims Obama was unaware of the website issues until Oct. 1 (though we've been aware of problems with the site for months). So either she is incompetent, he is, or more likely both. Or someone's lying. If I were heading a multi-year, multi-million dollar project that had my boss' name on it and failed to inform him that it wasn't ready until the day it was due, how in the world is that not my fault and his?

The website will be fixed. That's a given. But what does this portend? Who's in charge? This should have been the easy part.

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How is this NOT a failure of government? Sure, no one is claiming members of Obama's cabinet have been sitting around writing code for 3+ years, but this is a government program that we have spent untold millions of dollars on thus far, will spend billions on over the course of a decade, and we can't get a freaking website working? Are you kidding me?

Sebelius should not have any accountability for this? Yesterday she claims Obama was unaware of the website issues until Oct. 1 (though we've been aware of problems with the site for months). So either she is incompetent, he is, or more likely both. Or someone's lying. If I were heading a multi-year, multi-million dollar project that had my boss' name on it and failed to inform him that it wasn't ready until the day it was due, how in the world is that not my fault and his?

The website will be fixed. That's a given. But what does this portend? Who's in charge? This should have been the easy part.

This is the MOST TRANSPARENT administration that is NOT ACCOUNTABLE for anything ;)

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How is this NOT a failure of government? Sure, no one is claiming members of Obama's cabinet have been sitting around writing code for 3+ years, but this is a government program that we have spent untold millions of dollars on thus far, will spend billions on over the course of a decade, and we can't get a freaking website working? Are you kidding me?

Sebelius should not have any accountability for this? Yesterday she claims Obama was unaware of the website issues until Oct. 1 (though we've been aware of problems with the site for months). So either she is incompetent, he is, or more likely both. Or someone's lying. If I were heading a multi-year, multi-million dollar project that had my boss' name on it and failed to inform him that it wasn't ready until the day it was due, how in the world is that not my fault and his?

The website will be fixed. That's a given. But what does this portend? Who's in charge? This should have been the easy part.

Hold the decisions-makers accountable, by all means. But this appears to be a failure on the part of Oracle, a pretty well-known private company. The notion that the private sector can do everything better than government isn't bolstered by this particular case. It doesn't appear to be a failure of government, at least not in the sense that people are claiming.

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I knew someone could somehow find a way to blame Bush.

i knew it was Dubya's fault!!!!!!! biggrin.png - the worse this gets, the more this will be "Bush-care" (insert joke here)

so you are saying that Bush establishing a precedent that this company could get large government contracts without competition didn't contribute to this?

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In your world does government do everything better. Is there one thing that government does not do well?

there is and has been a lot of bragging about what a success Social Security has been - yet, the baby boom and then baby dearth and simple economics has shown for decades that Social Security and Medicare are running out of money and these entitlements are about to explode the debt/deficit. Yet NOTHING is being done about it.

How can Medicare/Soc. Security be deemed successes when they are about to go under without major changes - and the Dems just want to bury their head in the sand, stick their fingers in their ears, and scream as loud as they can - "this is not happening, this is not happening, this is not happening - we are not changing it".

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Hold the decisions-makers accountable, by all means. But this appears to be a failure on the part of Oracle, a pretty well-known private company. The notion that the private sector can do everything better than government isn't bolstered by this particular case. It doesn't appear to be a failure of government, at least not in the sense that people are claiming.

yes it is a failure by the government. had anybody involved with this done some basic research on the internet they would have seen that this company has a history of problems.

however, the million dollars their lobbyists gave to politicians was probably more important to them

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So, you don't know who built the web site?

http://www.businessi...roblems-2013-10

The Coders Who Built The Obamacare Website Knew It Had Huge Problems

Insiders who worked on US health website describe high stress, complaints about major problems

WASHINGTON (AP) — Crammed into conference rooms with pizza for dinner, some programmers building the Obama administration's showcase health insurance website were growing increasingly stressed. Some worked past 10 p.m., energy drinks in hand. Others rewrote computer code over and over to meet what they considered last-minute requests for changes from the government or other contractors.

As questions mount over the website's failure, insider interviews and a review of technical specifications by The Associated Press found a mind-numbingly complex system put together by harried programmers who pushed out a final product that congressional investigators said was tested by the government and not private developers with more expertise.

Project developers who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity — because they feared they would otherwise be fired — said they raised doubts among themselves whether the website could be ready in time. They complained openly to each other about what they considered tight and unrealistic deadlines. One was nearly brought to tears over the stress of finishing on time, one developer said. Website builders saw red flags for months.

A review of internal architectural diagrams obtained by the AP revealed the system's complexity. Insurance applicants have a host of personal information verified, including income and immigration status. The system connects to other federal computer networks, including ones at the Social Security Administration, IRS, Veterans Administration, Office of Personnel Management and the Peace Corps.

President Barack Obama on Monday acknowledged technical problems that he described as "kinks in the system." He also promised a "tech surge" by leading technology talent to repair the painfully slow and often unresponsive website that has frustrated Americans trying to enroll online for insurance plans at the center of Obama's health care law.

But in remarks at a Rose Garden event, Obama offered no explanation for the failure except to note that high traffic to the website caused some of the slowdowns. He said it had been visited nearly 20 million times — fewer monthly visits so far than many commercial websites, such as PayPal, AOL, Wikipedia or Pinterest.

"The problem has been that the website that's supposed to make it easy to apply for and purchase the insurance is not working the way it should for everybody," Obama said. "There's no sugarcoating it. The website has been too slow. People have been getting stuck during the application process. And I think it's fair to say that nobody is more frustrated by that than I am."

The online system was envisioned as a simple way for people without health insurance to comparison-shop among competing plans offered in their state, pick their preferred level of coverage and cost and sign up. For many, it's not worked out that way so far.

Just weeks before the launch of HealthCare.gov on Oct. 1, one programmer said, colleagues huddled in conference rooms trying to patch "bugs," or deficiencies in computer code. Unresolved problems led to visitors experiencing cryptic error messages or enduring long waits trying to sign up.

Congressional investigators have concluded that the government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, not private software developers, tested the exchange's computer systems during the final weeks. That task, known as integration testing, is usually handled by software companies because it ferrets out problems before the public sees the final product.

The government spent at least $394 million in contracts to build the federal health care exchange and the data hub. Those contracts included major awards to Virginia-based CGI Federal Inc., Maryland-based Quality Software Services Inc. and Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

CGI Federal said in a statement Monday it was working with the government and other contractors "around the clock" to improve the system, which it called "complex, ambitious and unprecedented."

The schematics from late 2012 show how officials designated a "data services hub" — a traffic cop for managing information — in lieu of a design that would have allowed state exchanges to connect directly to government servers when verifying an applicant's information. On Sunday, the Health and Human Services Department said the data hub was working but not meeting public expectations: "We are committed to doing better."

Administration officials so far have refused to say how many people actually have managed to enroll in insurance during the three weeks since the new marketplaces became available. Without enrollment numbers, it's impossible to know whether the program is on track to reach projections from the Congressional Budget Office that 7 million people would gain coverage during the first year the exchanges were available.

Instead, officials have selectively cited figures that put the insurance exchanges in a positive light. They say more than 19 million people have logged on to the federal website and nearly 500,000 have filled out applications for insurance through both the federal and state-run sites.

The flood of computer problems since the website went online has been deeply embarrassing for the White House. The snags have called into question whether the administration is capable of implementing the complex policy and why senior administration officials — including the president — appear to have been unaware of the scope of the problems when the exchange sites opened.

Even as the president spoke at the Rose Garden, more problems were coming to light. The administration acknowledged that a planned upgrade to the website had been postponed indefinitely and that online Spanish-language signups would remain unavailable, despite a promise to Hispanic groups that the capability would start this week. And the government tweaked the website's home page so visitors can now view phone numbers to apply the old-fashioned way or window-shop for insurance rates without registering first.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee was expected to conduct an oversight hearing Thursday, probably without Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifying. She could testify on Capitol Hill on the subject as early as next week.

Uninsured Americans have until about mid-February to sign up for coverage if they are to meet the law's requirement that they be insured by the end of March. If they don't, they will face a penalty.

On Monday, the White House advised people frustrated by the online tangle that they can enroll by calling 1-800-318-2596 in a process that should take 25 minutes for an individual or 45 minutes for a family. Assistance is also available in communities from helpers who can be found at LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov.

Read more: http://www.businessi...0#ixzz2ieOkvdSh

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Hold the decisions-makers accountable, by all means. But this appears to be a failure on the part of Oracle, a pretty well-known private company. The notion that the private sector can do everything better than government isn't bolstered by this particular case. It doesn't appear to be a failure of government, at least not in the sense that people are claiming.

Did Oracle have anything to do with this? I thought until recently it had been entirely handled by CGI.

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Hold the decisions-makers accountable, by all means. But this appears to be a failure on the part of Oracle, a pretty well-known private company. The notion that the private sector can do everything better than government isn't bolstered by this particular case. It doesn't appear to be a failure of government, at least not in the sense that people are claiming.

LOL, it was well-known this summer that the website was not ready for prime-time. It was the political people and white house that was determined to roll it out on October 1st no matter what. You can crap on the contractors and they are certainly culpable - but the white house could have delayed this.

The Republican asked for a delay in the individual mandate - if Obama would have conceded there would have been no government shutdown.

Now, Obama is feeling the pressure from Dems to delay the individual mandate - do you see the irony here?

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