Former official: Admin refused to bring in outside help for ObamaCare website for fear GOP would subpoena them; Update: Ten-year-old technology? Update: No improvement in week two; Update: Wasn’t tested until days before launch?

posted at 4:41 pm on October 17, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via Lachlan Markay and Ace, who calls it “Nixonian.” This is the rare Hot Air item that might actually make liberals angrier at the White House than conservatives. If you’d staked your party’s credibility on realizing the utopian dream of universal health care only to have Obama deliver this fartburger, you’d be furious. Why anyone on either side still wants Sebelius in charge, I have no idea.

Facing such intense opposition from congressional Republicans, the administration was in a bunker mentality as it built the enrollment system, one former administration official said. Officials feared that if they called on outsiders to help with the technical details of how to run a commerce website, those companies could be subpoenaed by Hill Republicans, the former aide said. So the task fell to trusted campaign tech experts.

Very important to understand: Between this and the fact that HHS deliberately hid the price of insurance behind a reg wall on Healthcare.gov to reduce “rate shock,” the grand takeaway about the website’s failure is that O and his team made it much worse than it needed to be because they were terrified of transparency. And the reason they were terrified of transparency, both in the case of hiding the cost of the premiums from web users and hiding the site’s architectural problems from contractors who might be hauled before Congress, is because they know they’ve delivered a bad product. Put the premiums on the front page and the public, expecting “affordable care,” would recoil at the truth. Put the contractors at the witness table before Issa’s committee and the public, expecting that the government would “fix” health care, would recoil upon discovering that they can’t even build a website with three years’ lead time.

I don’t know what’s more amazing, that they’d place their own political comfort above creating a smoother user experience for the uninsured or that they somehow didn’t realize that a botched rollout on October 1 would be far more embarrassing than contractors talking to Republicans under oath. Or … would it? What was HHS so worried that outside contractors would tell the GOP that they preferred to risk total chaos on the exchanges during launch month instead?

Apropos of nothing, Reuters is now reporting that the budget for the site exploded earlier this year as the Hopenchange brain trust realized they were way, way, way off course. And by “exploded,” I mean “tripled”:

How and why the system failed, and how long it will take to fix, remains unclear. But evidence of a last-minute surge in spending suggests the needs of the project were growing well beyond the initial expectations of the contractor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Why this went from a ceiling of $93.7 million to $292 million is hard to fathom,” said Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group that analyzes government contracting.

“Something changed. It suggests they ran into problems and knew last spring that they couldn’t do it for $93.7 million. They just blew through the original ceiling. Where was the contract oversight?”…

The Obama administration was issuing regulations and changing policy regarding how the reform should be implemented late into this summer. Many required significant changes to the IT running Healthcare.gov, which kept contractors scrambling.

We’ll need congressional hearings to find out which regulations forced the IT team to scramble at the eleventh hour to rework the site, but this could be another example of the White House’s desire to hide the uglier parts of this boondoggle creating problems for the website architecture. Remember, it was only this past summer that HHS suddenly decided to eliminate income verification for subsidies for the first year. Applicants will be placed on the “honor system” in reporting their wages, which is basically an invitation to commit fraud — but which serves the end of making those subsidies nice and robust for anyone willing to lie, which encourages enrollment. Could be that they built the site with the income verification tech integrated and then had to tear it out quickly and haphazardly once HHS changed its mind, leading to bugs. Like I say, this is what congressional hearings are for.

Nancy Pelosi, by the way, thinks there’s no reason at all to delay ObamaCare if the exchanges are still a disaster come December, which also happens to be the deadline for enrollment if you want your coverage to begin in January. I’d be surprised if there’s a single manager anywhere in the insurance industry who agrees with her, given the Thunderdome-levels of chaos Glitchapalooza will be causing them next year if this persists much longer.

Update: Merry Christmas, Barack.

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…

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.”

You’ll have to read the rest to find out how clearing your cache might actually cause new errors.

Update: Icing on the cake from health-industry consultant Bob Laszewski, who says the system’s scarcely improved after another week of frantic HHS triage:

At the end of week two of the Obamacare launch, health plans were generally seeing no more enrollments per day then they saw in the first week.

As troubling, the backroom issues plaguing the connection between health insurers and the federal government had not been resolved and there is no indication from the feds when they will have these things cleared up.

My sense is that the feds, based upon the number of enrollments they have sent to the insurance companies, enrolled about 10,000 people in the first week (about 5,000 single and family contracts) and another 10,000 people in the second week in the 36 states using the federal exchange.

I guesstimated that the feds were up to 95,000 or so enrollments in my earlier post, less than 20 percent of HHS’s target for October. Laszewski thinks even that number is wildly optimistic. If he’s right and they’re only at 20,000 enrollments total, they’re at less than five percent of their goal.

Update: No one’s getting fired, huh?

The root cause of the problems was a pivotal decision by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officials to act as systems integrator, the central coordinator for the entire program. Usually this role is reserved for the prime information technology contractor.

As a result, full testing of the site was delayed until four to six days before the fateful Oct. 1 launch of the health care exchanges, the individual said…

“Normally a system this size would need 4-6 months of testing and performance tuning, not 4-6 days,” the individual said.

The source said there were “ever-changing, conflicting and exceedingly late project directions. The actual system requirements for Oct. 1 were changing up until the week before,” the individual said.

How could they have done a worse job?


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What a real clusterfcuk…

OmahaConservative on October 17, 2013 at 4:42 PM

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…

But at least all the Myspace links and connections to help via AIM are running now.

Gingotts on October 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Let’s see our trolls try to defend this.

22044 on October 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

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.

If you are using the web, you are using technology developed a half century ago and more. Ten years has nothing to do with it. All the above is just bad design.

“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.”

A really pointless thing to say.

Axe on October 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

You wait. When they get it working, then the real fireworks begin.

How many millions will pay much more and get much less?

S. Weasel on October 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

I guessed correctly.

They are using Geocities servers for the website.

sentinelrules on October 17, 2013 at 4:48 PM

If you gave me 3 years and 2 programmers I could have built a site that worked wildy better than the current HC.gov. You may think that is an overstatement but it’s really not. Come up with the core specification and do the bare minimum of what needs to be done to achieve the stated goal (such as registering users for health plans). Give me $300mil and I could have built the system 10 times over in 3 years.

There’s only one place in existence that could take $300,000,000 and only manage to register a domain name for that mornings bowel movement: Government.

preallocated on October 17, 2013 at 4:48 PM

See, I just KNEW it was the Republicans fault!

Seriously, I can see Obama using this spin, saying the manipulating GOP held the process hostage and now poor people who need health care can’t get it.

Sadly, this may come true and you know the msm will run with it…

gopsteve on October 17, 2013 at 4:49 PM

those companies could be subpoenaed by Hill Republicans

Which is how the press will spin this.

The administration was forced to create andn release an unchecked system because of a very real fear of “over zealous TEA Party Republicans” etc.

mankai on October 17, 2013 at 4:49 PM

‘It’s like Apple!’

- Barack Obama

Sure it is, champ. Sure it is…

Obamacare’s Train Wreck Exchange Website Cost More Than Apple’s Original iPhone…

The original iPhone actually worked.

Resist We Much on October 17, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Officials feared that if they called on outsiders to help with the technical details of how to run a commerce website, those companies could be subpoenaed by Hill Republicans, the former aide said.

There are only two ways to look at this:

1 They fear the house (I have a .00000001% bet on that).

2 The admin is so utterly stupid to think that Rs would actually do anything (see F&F, Solyndra, etc).

nobar on October 17, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Let’s see our trolls try to defend this.

22044 on October 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Sequester!

mankai on October 17, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Let’s see our trolls try to defend this.

22044 on October 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Unicorns and rainbows! /liberal

Shut up! /moonbat

NoFanofLibs on October 17, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Obamacare…bringing back the Commodore 64 as the technology of choice.

Bonus: if users cannot create an account, at least they will be able to play DonkeyKong.

SmallGovtGuy on October 17, 2013 at 4:51 PM

I work in software development for a living and can’t even imagine how the hell this thing is this bad? 6-12 months to create this, maybe. 3 years to create this site? And this is what we get? Were they coding on one screen and watching “How to write a script” on YouTube on the other screen?

Did they even come up with use cases, standard process workflows, standard web services for integration with external sites, standard formatting for sending over rates/info to the system, decent database schema, stress testing, unit testing, end to end user experience, regression testing when pieces were ripped out (like verification), edge case tests…of course I already know the answers to those questions…

nextgen_repub on October 17, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Very important to understand: Between this and the fact that HHS deliberately hid the price of insurance behind a reg wall on Healthcare.gov to reduce “rate shock,” the grand takeaway about the website’s failure is that O and his team made it much worse than it needed to be because they were terrified of transparency. And the reason they were terrified of transparency, both in the case of hiding the cost of the premiums from web users and hiding the site’s architectural problems from contractors who might be hauled before Congress, is because they know they’ve delivered a bad product. Put the premiums on the front page and the public, expecting “affordable care,” would recoil at the truth. Put the contractors at the witness table before Issa’s committee and the public, expecting that the government would “fix” health care, would recoil upon discovering that they can’t even build a website with three years’ lead time.

Remember, this is the most transparent and open administration ever in the history of this nation…

What this is coming down to, is a pattern that we’ve seen already in the past 5 years from this Administration….

…Here’s a burger we’re giving you to eat. It’s made of human feces, but we will not tell you that it’s a sh*tburger. We will tell you that it’s ‘all natural’, it’s good for you, and force you, on the penalty of a financial fine, to eat it even if you don’t want to eat it.

If you still refuse to eat it, we will use every power we have (and we’re the government so we have a lot of power), to force you to eat our delicious Obama-burger….even if we end up breaking (or ignoring) laws and abuse our power.

Oh, and if you try to get Congress to investigate and stop us from trying to force you to eat our delicious Obama-burger, we will remind you that they have no real power, no real ability to prevent us from doing what we want (forcing you to eat the Obama-burger), and we will do all we can, with the assistance of the mainstream media (and the DoJ), to demonize, stall, obfuscate, stonewall, and lie about our numerous unethical and criminal acts.

Oh, and you still have to eat that Obama-burger that the Administration, Congress, and our wealthy well positioned friends don’t have to eat. We get the burgers made from Angus beef and they are paid by you. With fries. And a shake.

Have a nice day…

Athos on October 17, 2013 at 4:52 PM

You wait. When they get it working, then the real fireworks begin.

How many millions will pay much more and get much less?

S. Weasel on October 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Graphic of the Day: How Much Will You Pay For Obamacare?

Resist We Much on October 17, 2013 at 4:53 PM

What a joke…impeach this village idiot…

PatriotRider on October 17, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Obama and his astute DC supporters were born to lie and lie and lie some more. The fact that they would not hire a quality firm to assemble their piece of trash shows their fear of any leaks of the truth. It must really be difficult to cover up EVERTHING!

mobydutch on October 17, 2013 at 4:53 PM

If you’d staked your party’s credibility on realizing the utopian dream of universal health care only to have Obama deliver this fartburger,

Allah is a literary pioneer.

The’ll try and spin this as the cost of “leaning forward” but you know what they say
You can put ketchup on a fartburger but it’s still a fartburger.

BoxHead1 on October 17, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Let’s see our trolls try to defend this.

22044 on October 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

More references to obsolete domains/servers welcome!

(appended for accuracy.)

22044 on October 17, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Let’s see our trolls try to defend this.

22044 on October 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Trayvon Martin!

sentinelrules on October 17, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Why anyone on either side still wants Sebelius in charge, I have no idea.

I do…she is saving the country from National Health Care…

William Eaton on October 17, 2013 at 4:54 PM

I guess this also explains why Hillary left Chris Steven’s to die in Libya.

gwelf on October 17, 2013 at 4:55 PM

404Nado

faraway on October 17, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Let’s see our trolls try to defend this.

22044 on October 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Gerrymandering.

lostmotherland on October 17, 2013 at 1:39 PM

nobar on October 17, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Once again, can you imagine if this had happened under the Bush administration?

neuquenguy on October 17, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Thank you Chief Justice Roberts!!!…You are awesome!!!…

PatriotRider on October 17, 2013 at 4:56 PM

So the task fell to trusted campaign tech experts.

This is like the guy with no plumbing and woodworking experience deciding to just go ask the guy at Home Depot a couple questions and then completely remodel the kitchen on his own…”Don’t worry hunny, I’ll totally have it ready for Thanksgiving dinner with the family”.

nextgen_repub on October 17, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Let’s see our trolls try to defend this.

22044 on October 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Speaking of trolls, you’ll love this new addition to the Hot Air Troll-of-Fame:

Progtard Stupidity At Its Finest!

Resist We Much on October 17, 2013 at 4:56 PM

This is the rare Hot Air item that might actually make liberals angrier at the White House than conservatives.

So now we know that Allahpundit rarely reads the comments section =)

We can’t even get our local trolls to admit ObamaCare has problems (though they do tend to completely disappear when pressed on it).

gwelf on October 17, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Tripled?
Not hardly.

Over six times the original bid, 630 million + …..and that was before they started fixing it after the ‘rollout’.

I bet at least 100 million of it went back into Barry & Co’s pockets.

LegendHasIt on October 17, 2013 at 4:57 PM

nextgen_repub on October 17, 2013 at 4:51 PM

There are best practices…

…and then there are the ways that the government does it.

I’ve got 25 years in IT – much of it at the executive level – and none of what is happening is really a surprise to me given the leadership involved. It was inevitable that this would be the clusterfark it is.

Athos on October 17, 2013 at 4:57 PM

If he’s right and they’re only at 20,000 enrollments total, they’re at less than five percent of their goal.

Even if they are legitimate, how many will continue to make payments?

rob verdi on October 17, 2013 at 4:57 PM

nobar on October 17, 2013 at 4:55 PM

You beat me to it. I do include one of the finest examples of gerrymandering in the country so there’s that.

Resist We Much on October 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Ok, dumb question. Is this website and the 800 number the only way to sign up for an Obamacare plan? Because if Pelosi’s serious about not delaying this, and the deadline to register is fast approaching, and people are gonna be fined if they don’t get plans, then what exactly does the regime plan to do about this? They’ve checkmated themselves.

Doughboy on October 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

If you’d staked your party’s credibility on realizing the utopian dream of universal health care only to have Obama deliver this fartburger, you’d be furious.

You guys just don’t get it do you?

OBAMCARE WAS DESIGNED TO FAIL

FEATURE – NOT A BUG

Single Payer will be the fix once ObamaCare is beyond fixing – and by that time the whole health insurance industry will be kaput – so there’s no going back to the old times either.

HondaV65 on October 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Obamacare. Making cole slaw out of cow sh*t for everyone.

Former official: Admin refused to bring in outside help for ObamaCare website for fear GOP would subpoena them

Transparency is… complicated.

onomo on October 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Who expected a cult to write software anyway?

The cult members expected Obama to shoot the website out of his *ss like a lightning bolt.

faraway on October 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Does anyone seriously think that the invalids, public-dole idiots and crackheads this whole scheme was ostensibly designed to “help” have any idea what a cache even is?

This whole debacle does nothing but technically turn a great deal of the American public into default criminals.

Thanks John Roberts.

WhatSlushfund on October 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Obama and his astute DC supporters were born to lie and lie and lie some more. The fact that they would not hire a quality firm to assemble their piece of trash shows their fear of any leaks of the truth. It must really be difficult to cover up EVERTHING!

mobydutch on October 17, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Actually it is pretty easy when you have the entire media as you accomplice.

neuquenguy on October 17, 2013 at 4:59 PM

As I recall and have been told by so many leftists – Obamacare is the LAW.

Well if that’s the case it’s no longer YOUR Obamacare its OUR Obamacare and one political group trying to have sole control of a United States Government program which subjugates every citizen to it without congressional oversight is…

AGAINST the law and smacks of a socialist dictatorship…

Skywise on October 17, 2013 at 5:00 PM

But we were told Soetoro was the most tech – savvy POTUS evah! Lied to again.

BHO Jonestown on October 17, 2013 at 5:00 PM

‘It’s like Apple!’

– Barack Obama

Sure it is, champ. Sure it is…

Resist We Much on October 17, 2013 at 4:50 PM

It is!

Those Apple IIes we had in the elementary school computer labs over here back in the day. Not much for healthcare exchanges, but great for Oregon Trail!

Either way you end up dying of dysentery.

Gingotts on October 17, 2013 at 5:00 PM

… wet fart… fartburger…. there is a theme in some of your recent posts. Sometimes, when I read your like-winded diatribes, I smell methane.

ExpressoBold on October 17, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Yeah, because Issa’s hearings on Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious, etc have really been a thorn in Obama’s side.

/sarc

gwelf on October 17, 2013 at 5:01 PM

There are best practices…

…and then there are the ways that the government does it.

Athos on October 17, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Ha, very true, you’ve got about 15 years on me but I too have sat across from executives making decisions on software who can’t even turn on their computer. There’s a reason I’ve turned down jobs working in the public sector.

nextgen_repub on October 17, 2013 at 5:03 PM

“Why this went from a ceiling of $93.7 million to $292 million is hard to fathom,

We’re trillions in debt, so what cares about another million here or there.

PackerBronco on October 17, 2013 at 5:03 PM

I am disappointed with Fox and the conservative radio talkers. If there is one service that they have reliably provided over the years, it is exposing the financial ties between government contractors and the politicians. This epic failure of a system cost literally well more than 10 times what it should have. It is inconceivable that there is not a campaign bundler, contributor or other well connected officer in that company who made this dirty deal happen.

Get on it guys!

MJBrutus on October 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Speaking of trolls, you’ll love this new addition to the Hot Air Troll-of-Fame:

Progtard Stupidity At Its Finest!

Resist We Much on October 17, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Awesome as usual, RWM – and I agree: gerrymandering is for both parties.

I guess…it burns. :)

22044 on October 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Even if they are legitimate, how many will continue to make payments?
rob verdi on October 17, 2013 at 4:57 PM

How many of them will even be ABLE to make payments, after the first serious health problem, and it comes crashing down on them that their old $500 or $1000 deductible is now a $6000 to $12,000 deductible.

LegendHasIt on October 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

So, Obama’s iPhone is really a flip-phone?

crrr6 on October 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

I keep looking for the free page, but have yet to find it. Perhaps someone could help me with this. I’m sure it will increase enrollment.

DDay on October 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Yeah, but I’m sure the security features are working perfectly.

forest on October 17, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Liberal: “It’s Bush’s fault. See, if he hadn’t started those horrible wars, Republicans might have won the WH in 2008, and we wouldn’t have had Obama/Nancy/Harry passing Obamacare, which means the Repubs wouldn’t have taken back the house in 2010, which means they wouldn’t have been a threat to subpoena the outside help that the Obamacare website needed to get built right.”

Thinking Person: “Why would we have needed an Obamacare website if Obama hadn’t been president?”

Liberal: (Head explodes)

Marcola on October 17, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Must have brought many DOS coders out of retirement…

hillsoftx on October 17, 2013 at 5:06 PM

As Kirk said to Kahn, ” I’m laughing at the superior intellect.”

redshirt on October 17, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Bet they used floppy discs and dot matrix printers too. The latest technology available…. For 1990!

neyney on October 17, 2013 at 5:06 PM

You will name make me laugh….you will not make me laugh…you WILL NOT…I CAN’T!!!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

phoenixrisen on October 17, 2013 at 5:06 PM

You wait. When they get it working, then the real fireworks begin.

How many millions will pay much more and get much less?

S. Weasel on October 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Hmm. I’m young and in perfect health. Should I pay $600/month for services I don’t use, or pay the $95 fine and be done with it?

John the Libertarian on October 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

gerrymandering is for both parties.

I guess…it burns. :)

22044 on October 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

It is, but littlefvckerland’s claim that SENATOR Ted Cruz got elected because of GERRYMANDERING is just Sheila Jackson-Lee grade stupid.

Resist We Much on October 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

John the Libertarian on October 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Yep. However, you do know that the fine will continue to rise until the balance of that equation shifts, right?

MJBrutus on October 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Would these be the same web engineers responsible for disabling security checks and verifications on credit card campaign transactions on his campaign websites?

Yah….we didn’t forget.

can_con on October 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Should I pay $600/month for services I don’t use, or pay the $95 fine and be done with it?

John the Libertarian on October 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

But if you go with the fine, you won’t have the added benefit of having your identity stolen. Thank you president Obama!

forest on October 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM

So, Obama’s iPhone is really a flip-phone?

crrr6 on October 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

No.

ObamaPhone 2.0

We have to drive the Delorean back further than flip phones. :-)

Resist We Much on October 17, 2013 at 5:10 PM

There are best practices…

…and then there are the ways that the government does it.

I’ve got 25 years in IT – much of it at the executive level – and none of what is happening is really a surprise to me given the leadership involved. It was inevitable that this would be the clusterfark it is.

Athos on October 17, 2013 at 4:57 PM

I’ve got an IT background ,some of it in medical, and I concur. And I’ve been on government contracts and Private sector ones. Neither is perfect. The industry is replete with hustlers.

But the thing about the gov projects is there is tons of soft nepotism that guarantees failure. Lot’s of spouse/partner/old friend hiring. A guy might have a Sr. admin title and he literally knows nothing. He’s the brother of the wife of some union hack. His contribution was researching color schemes…. Also, in Gov projects they attend more meetings then doing actual work.

BoxHead1 on October 17, 2013 at 5:10 PM

It. is. UNIMAGINEABLE. that a website could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop.

Midas on October 17, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Enrollment is one thing, paying is another. Most people will not pay for this unless they are essentially going to get something for free (people with existing conditions).

The other problem is payment is upfront with the tax credit next year. Poor people will not be able to come out of pocket to pay for it in the first place!

aniptofar on October 17, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Update: Wasn’t tested until days before launch?

Hmmm. Did Romney’s or McCain Obama’s campaign team write the code?

22044 on October 17, 2013 at 5:12 PM

So, Obama’s iPhone is really a flip-phone?

crrr6 on October 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

I believe that Obama is such a technical genius that he is still embracing RIM, I mean, Blackberry, as his ‘smartphone’ of choice.

Besides, since the LAUSD couldn’t lock down the 650,000 iPads (running iOS) that they gave their students for more than 5 minutes (and are going to ‘fix’ and ‘re-launch’ the program in the 2014-2015 school year), I’m betting that the government couldn’t lock down an iPhone for Obama’s use. Besides, with Valerie Jarrett, why would he need Siri?

Athos on October 17, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Too easy, but still fun. Ready?

rogerb on October 17, 2013 at 5:13 PM

What difference, at this point, does it make?

(oops, wrong scandal)

mjbrooks3 on October 17, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Hmm. I’m young and in perfect health. Should I pay $600/month for services I don’t use, or pay the $95 fine and be done with it?

John the Libertarian on October 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

As I heard some slimeball RINO state today. Washington is a numbers town. So, my guess is they would rather you pay them $95 rather than pay some insurance company $600.00. Thank You Mr. Roberts.

DDay on October 17, 2013 at 5:14 PM

MJBrutus on October 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM

I figure when the fine reaches $695, you’re going to see a lot of new conservatives and libertarians being hatched.

John the Libertarian on October 17, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Some intrepid investigative reporter needs to stake him or her self out at Ft. Marcy Park to see if one K. Sebelius shows up there to assuage her guilt, angst, and humiliation the old fashioned way.

ExpressoBold on October 17, 2013 at 5:15 PM

We’ll need congressional hearings to find out which regulations forced the IT team to scramble at the eleventh hour to rework the site, but this could be another example of the White House’s desire to hide the uglier parts of this boondoggle creating problems for the website architecture. Remember, it was only this past summer that HHS suddenly decided to eliminate income verification for subsidies for the first year.

My guess is they already have income verification and they’ll be giving out subsidies based on a check of income tax filing of the previous year.

But whatever. Here’s a question I have. Is there a table, chart or somewhere which provides the subsidy levels based on income bracket or does the system they’ve built keep this entirely secret and we’ll just have to trust them on what the “computer” spits out? There are way too few people enrolled as yet, but I’d really like to find out if people in very similar situations get the same subsidy in the same locale and across the country.

Oh yeah, I’d also like to know if you get the same subsidy whether you are a Republican or Democrat.

Dusty on October 17, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Sounds like the Mitt Romney/RNC ORCA get out the vote program.

bw222 on October 17, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Who expected a cult to write software anyway?

The cult members expected Obama to shoot the website out of his *ss like a lightning bolt.

faraway on October 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Actually, that would help explain the quality of the website/technology.

Midas on October 17, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Also, if this thing doesn’t get off the ground and running fast, it will collapse. They’re letting young people opt out for a couple of years.

John the Libertarian on October 17, 2013 at 5:17 PM

It. is. UNIMAGINEABLE. that a website could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop.

Midas on October 17, 2013 at 5:11 PM

You pay that kind of money, not just for a gaggle of programmers, but for a package deal that includes a basket of professional services — from process documentation and support, to legal support, to ongoing research and adaptation — and a certain guarantee that the technology will be managed well by a professional organization that knows exactly what its doing.

. . . You may now burst out laughing or weeping. :)

Axe on October 17, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Kansas is usually thought of as being among the reddest of the red. How did Sebelius get elected there?

Mark1971 on October 17, 2013 at 5:18 PM

You guys just don’t get it do you?

OBAMCARE WAS DESIGNED TO FAIL

FEATURE – NOT A BUG

Single Payer will be the fix once ObamaCare is beyond fixing – and by that time the whole health insurance industry will be kaput – so there’s no going back to the old times either.

HondaV65 on October 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

I agree that ObamaCare was always meant as a vehicle to single payer and that it was meant to fail into single payer but I don’t think they intended it to crash and burn this fast.

They needed it to roll out smoothly and then blame the high premiums and reduced care and all the rest of it on the insurance companies. Blaming the insurance companies and businesses in general who are changing/dumping insurance plans is still the next step but crashing and burning right out of the gate makes that argument a little more difficult.

gwelf on October 17, 2013 at 5:18 PM

It will soon be leaked that some of the programmers are registered republicans or even worse Tea Party supporters.

meci on October 17, 2013 at 5:19 PM

This is the rare Hot Air item that might actually make liberals angrier at the White House than conservatives.

But, will it make John McCain, Miss Lindsey Graham, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan more angry at the Spite House than conservatives? Doubtful.

bw222 on October 17, 2013 at 5:19 PM

That’s the wonderful thing about a bureaucracy. Its always “they did it”, not him or her or a person. It is always the collective. Resistance is futile, we will be assimillated. [Man, I so did/do like Jeri Ryan,,,7 of 9]

retiredeagle on October 17, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Dusty on October 17, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Have not gotten into the healthcare.gov website so I don’t know what they have on there, but the Kaiser subsidy calculator is supposed to show you what you should get.

BeachBum on October 17, 2013 at 5:20 PM

They’re bureacrats and government contractors — everything can wait until tomorrow — and tomorrow lasted 3+ years.

If the GOP had known the enormity of the problems, they might have taken a different approach on the CR and “shutdown” – but Baucus himself warned everyone it was a “train wreck.”

matthew8787 on October 17, 2013 at 5:21 PM

It. is. UNIMAGINEABLE. that a website could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop.

[Midas on October 17, 2013 at 5:11 PM]

That’s because they are doing much more than building a website with that money, which is why they are being so secretive.

Dusty on October 17, 2013 at 5:21 PM

If the government was required to meet ‘Truth in Labeling’ laws, ObamaCare’s official title would be: Patient Peculation and Defraudable Hairball Act.

starboardhelm on October 17, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Facing such intense opposition from congressional Republicans, the administration was in a bunker mentality as it built the enrollment system, one former administration official said. Officials feared that if they called on outsiders to help with the technical details of how to run a commerce website, those companies could be subpoenaed by Hill Republicans, the former aide said. So the task fell to trusted campaign tech experts.

Which is total BS, as earlier reports (notably from AP) stated that the “tech experts” who did the GOTV for The One’s re-election campaign did not want to work with the Federal bureaucracy, due to its Dilbert’s Pointy-Haired-Boss-like “management processes”.

And they didn’t want to hire outside experts because… they were afraid they’d testify before Congress?

This goes beyond mere incompetence and dogmatism. I think a lot of it is probably due to The One’s paranoia about anyone he defines as not on “his side”.

But there’s also the possibility that there’s something in this mess that he, and the rest, knew up front would screw their collective pooch if it ever came out. My guess is either datamining, surveillance, or both.

If I were paranoid, I’d suspect either skimming from individual accounts to feed money into the Democrats’ slush funds, or delivering the data to “favored” private concerns for targeting, for lawsuit threats, scams, or even extortion- with The One’s crew getting a cut of the take.

Far from deflecting the chances of a Congressional investigation, this almost guarantees it. As much from Dems who want to cover their own a$$es as from the Republicans.

Remember, it was the GOP who told Nixon to hang it up in ’74.

clear ether

eon

eon on October 17, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Funny.

Except we all know Team Barry’s solution.

They’re going to spend at least a Billion on this.

Just like Stimulus or MHA.

If they just took the money and covered the damn tabs of the people they were claiming to help, we would at least have something to show for it.

We may not like it, but at least it wouldn’t have blown everything up.

What angers me know is once this guys a lame duck, all the future laments that are going to come pouring out of the Media.

How he was too green. Too optimistic. Thwarted. Well-Intentioned.

And someone media clown will call back about how “Romney really was right about Obama on “…

budfox on October 17, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Don’t worry. None of these facts matter because they are democrats. /sarc

Gingey on October 17, 2013 at 5:23 PM

[BeachBum on October 17, 2013 at 5:20 PM]

Thanks, BeachBum. I haven’t gotten on either so I’ll look around for that.

Dusty on October 17, 2013 at 5:24 PM

What’s not to love about 9.3 million beta testers the 1st week.

hillsoftx on October 17, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Update: Wasn’t tested until days before launch?

That almost made me do a spit take…hahaha. Testing a complex system in 4-6 days?

I’d rather have a 3.5 year gap on my resume than put that I worked on this project!

nextgen_repub on October 17, 2013 at 5:25 PM

You guys just don’t get it do you?

OBAMCARE WAS DESIGNED TO FAIL

FEATURE – NOT A BUG

Single Payer will be the fix once ObamaCare is beyond fixing – and by that time the whole health insurance industry will be kaput – so there’s no going back to the old times either.

HondaV65 on October 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

I guess that’s why you voted for Obama and Obamcare.

slickwillie2001 on October 17, 2013 at 5:25 PM

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