Confirmed: Healthcare.gov run by incompetents

posted at 2:01 pm on October 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Yes, this isn’t exactly breaking news, given all of the evidence we’ve seen since the rollout.  Today, though, we have two conflicting reports pointing fingers at the government and at the contractors hired by the government, with both sides claiming that the other’s incompetence is what created the biggest debacle in the launch of a major government program in memory, and perhaps ever.  First, CNN spoke to former Obama administration tech adviser Clay Johnson, who blamed the problem on “sloppy” contractors, but notes that the problems run deeper in government, too:

Clay Johnson, who served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow beginning in August 2012, wrote in a blog post on October 7 that signs of flaws on Healthcare.gov were apparent from the day it went online, including the use of placeholder text in the site’s code.

“The contractors who made this website were at best sloppy, and at worst unqualified for the job,” Johnson wrote. …

A separate posting on Johnson’s blog from Monday offered a few ways the site could be fixed, including the recommendation the administration hold the contractors responsible for the poorly-concocted website responsible.

“The problem here isn’t just the result of bad programming,” he wrote. “It’s the result of bad systems and bad architecture from the get-go. When you try and build the world’s biggest shopping mall and the only place you can buy your support beams from is a balsa-wood mill, your building is going to collapse.”

Opening the website to outside experts will help fix some of the problems, he wrote, but expecting substantial changes in a short amount of time could be unreasonable.

Au contraire, says the Associated Press, which interviewed the contractors.  They tried raising red flags “for months” about the problems arising in the development of Healthcare.gov and the systems behind it, but the Obama administration ignored them.  Furthermore, HHS decided to do its own testing rather than bring in experts, which explains why it happened late and had no impact on the rollout:

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. …

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.

Johnson makes a larger point about the lack of competence in government for private-sector activities:

“Healthcare.gov got this way not because of incompetence or sloppiness of an individual vendor, but because of a deeply engrained and malignant cancer that’s eating away at the federal government’s ability to provide effective online services,” he wrote.

“It’s a cancer that’s shut out the best and brightest minds from working on these problems, diminished competition for federal work, and landed us here – where you have half-billion dollar websites that don’t work,” he wrote, linking to USASpending.gov.

First, that problem seems to have first appeared on Obama’s watch.  The Medicare Advantage website does exactly what the Healthcare.gov website is supposed to do — allow consumers to make choices of private insurance plans in part with subsidies from the federal government in the form of Medicare and Social Security benefits.  That doesn’t involve a connection to the IRS, but neither do most of the problems seen at Healthcare.gov, either.  Why HHS couldn’t use that as a model in its 42-month development of the exchange system is a mystery.

More importantly, though, this confirms that the issues aren’t the contractors, but the federal government agency that hired them.  And if we take Johnson’s larger point to its natural conclusion, then we shouldn’t have the government involved in brokering private-sector transactions at all, nor in mandating that activity as tax law.  Johnson’s right that the federal government has proven itself incompetent in running this kind of private-sector activity, which is why it should cease doing so and look for other ways to reform the health-insurance system.

Finally, when the finger-pointing starts, it’s a clear sign that (a) the project is a massive failure, and (b) no one really knows how to fix it.

Update: Glenn Reynolds wonders whether technology might end up saving us from ObamaCare:

Despite all the problems with Obamacare, there’s some good news on the horizon for medical care and costs. The good news has nothing to do with exchanges, reimbursement rates or “navigators,” but everything to do with a phenomenon that has cut costs elsewhere in American society: technology. …

This phenomenon holds true even for far more sophisticated technologies than just spring-loaded needles. Many schools — as well as malls, airports, and other public facilities – are installing Automated External Defibrillators. These are designed so that almost anyone can use them to administer life-saving resuscitation to someone whose heart has stopped or gone into deadly ventricular fibrillation. A computer in the device reads the victim’s EKG and administers a shock if called for. Voice commands tell the user what to do.

How simple are these gadgets? So simple that you can buy them on Amazon, to install in your home.

The proliferation of these defibrillators is a good thing, since sudden cardiac death is a serious problem, and it often strikes unlikely victims. But this is just the start.

That model has adults making their own decisions on purchases and preparing themselves to take charge of their own health care.  The ObamaCare model forces government control in health care and treats adults like children.  Given the competence demonstrated in the latter model, I’d hope that the former model emerges … and soon.

Update: I fixed a sentence that was left incomplete in the original post.


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Comment pages: 1 2

” Daddy, have you plugged Sebelius yet?”

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

O will take credit for that new model, and claim it is because of Obamacare that costs have decreased.

Ca97 on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

JFK launched rockets and sent men to the moon after which they returned safely to the earth…..no website involved. just slide rules and stubby pencil calculations.

/competence

ted c on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

” Daddy, have you plugged Sebelius yet?”

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

LMAO!!

This Folks, is called Post Detonation.

Katy has detonated this thread

ToddPA on October 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Confirmed: Healthcare.gov run by incompetents

JetBlast on October 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Face it, America. If you faced this much hassle and incompetence during your first visit as a new patient, you would fire your doctor and never go back to such an unprofessional and untrustworthy operation. We are not talking about booking a flight or hotel room. These are people’s lives at stake, so the margin for fvckupery (pardon my Franch) is extremely small.

First impressions last.

Christien on October 22, 2013 at 2:09 PM

It was the gov’t. Developer nerds like myself do not take lightly development of complex systems. I have no doubt they had a plan, only to be nagged by the gov’t types with “oh, but there is just one more thing we want it to do”, and “Can you make this change? It goes against everything we’ve been telling you how it should behave, but this is just a minor thing”

MikeInBA on October 22, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Still, it’s reassuring to know that “nobody’s madder” than the Bystander-in-Chief.

Of course they used to say that about King Ludwig II of Bavaria as well.

Drained Brain on October 22, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Confirmed: Healthcare.gov run by incompetents

ReWrite™ engaged for proper scope.

Steve Eggleston on October 22, 2013 at 2:10 PM

First, that problem seems to have first appeared on Obama’s watch.

All of this is the fault of the previous administration.

No… Err… I mean the PREVIOUS previous administration.

Gatsu on October 22, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Come on in Libfree, and get your Azz handed to you.

ToddPA on October 22, 2013 at 2:10 PM

JFK launched rockets and sent men to the moon after which they returned safely to the earth…..no website involved. just slide rules and stubby pencil calculations.

/competence

ted c on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Um, the moon landing was RMN.
JFK DID have them rocking though. I remember Cape Canaveral when it was desolate swamp except for NASA.

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

” Daddy, have you plugged Sebelius yet?”

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

That is so good on more than one level.

Drained Brain on October 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

JetBlast on October 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Wish I saw that before I copied it ;-)

Steve Eggleston on October 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Remind me again why, just last week, we were lectured to fold tents and live to fight another day instead of standing up to this debacle. Because I just don’t get why the surrender weasels were able to win the battle when there clearly were valid reasons to delay or defund Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

So, the incompetent, pathetic, clueless OBOZO regime is calling VERIZON to rescue it’s train wreck OBOZOCARE web site !!!????

Evidently, when bureacRATs think of a GREAT web site creator and operator, the name “verizon” somehow comes to their warped minds ! Normal, rational people would beg to disagree.

In fact, the ONLY thing that comes to my mind when I hear “verizon” is how the weasels that run that company bend over backwards to turn over million and millions and millions of phone and e-mail records of their hapless customers to OBOZO’s out-of-control illegal spying operation on American citizens conducted by the NSA.

TeaPartyNation on October 22, 2013 at 2:12 PM

” Daddy, have you plugged Sebelius yet?”

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

That is so good on more than one level.

Drained Brain on October 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

And a little bit creepy on them all. ;0

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Incompetents blaming other incompetents. That’s how government work is, especially when it comes to programming something.

The Rogue Tomato on October 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM

What do you expect from someone too incompetent to fix holes in the floorboard of his car? The dude can’t even figure out how to use duct tape or bondo.

Christien on October 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Is Sebelius the Good Glitch, or the Bad Glitch?

faraway on October 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM

” Daddy, have you plugged Sebelius yet?” katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Is that one of them double entendres?

Akzed on October 22, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Its a feature not a bug.

Bmore on October 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Is Sebelius the Good Glitch, or the Bad Glitch?

faraway on October 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Wicked Glitch of the Midwest.

Christien on October 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM

That is so good on more than one level.

Drained Brain on October 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

And a little bit creepy on them all. ;0

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2013 at 2:13 PM

You have evil minds and I am proud to be here with you.

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Confirmed: Healthcare.gov run by incompetents [malevolent retards]

Plain incompetence doesn’t produce something like 1-800-F1UCKYO!!!!

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on October 22, 2013 at 2:17 PM

who pushed out a final product that congressional investigators said was tested by the government

More government, the lefties demanded.

You halfwits wanted it and you got it.

Bishop on October 22, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Is that one of them double entendres?

Akzed on October 22, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Maybe

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:18 PM

” Daddy, have you plugged Sebelius yet?”

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Haven’t laughed this hard since the shutdown.

docflash on October 22, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Remind me again why, just last week, we were lectured to fold tents and live to fight another day instead of standing up to this debacle. Because I just don’t get why the surrender weasels were able to win the battle when there clearly were valid reasons to delay or defund Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Time to unite behind Rubio and give the demorats a chance to get the system even marginally working. You want to be a team player, right, a Party man?

Bishop on October 22, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Pass the popcorn….extra schadenfreude on top please.

neyney on October 22, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Plain incompetence doesn’t produce something like 1-800-F1UCKYO!!!!

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on October 22, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Stole that.

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

” Daddy, have you plugged Sebelius yet?”

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

I don’t understand what this means. Explain please.

oldroy on October 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Yep….. can’t run a frigg’n web site….just wait till they make medical decisions for ya….. hold your left nut when these clowns authorize that tonsillectomy 4 ya.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on October 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Geithner blamed TurboTax. Sebelius needs to blame godaddy.

Christien on October 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

$600 million and nobody has signed up – in 3 weeks!

Edsel and New Coke lose their #1 ranking as top product busts of all time.

faraway on October 22, 2013 at 2:22 PM

” Daddy, have you plugged Sebelius yet?”

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Decision–Optional

skeeterbite on October 22, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Yep….. can’t run a frigg’n web site….just wait till they make medical decisions for ya….. hold your left nut when these clowns authorize that tonsillectomy 4 ya.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on October 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

You know, this reminds me of an old joke about the Soviet Union. It ended with the Soviet doctor saying that the most complicated operation in the USSR was a tonsillectomy, because they had to go through the rectum.

“Why through the rectum?”

“Because, in the Soviet Union, no one opens their mouth.”

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on October 22, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Hopefully there are internal memos from personnel within the contracting firm that may see the light of day and send the roaches in the regime scurrying!

Robbya on October 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM

$600 million and nobody has signed up – in 3 weeks!

Edsel and New Coke lose their #1 ranking as top product busts of all time.

faraway on October 22, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Heaven’s Healthcare Gate

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on October 22, 2013 at 2:27 PM

I don’t understand what this means. Explain please.

oldroy on October 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Here you go.

dont taze me bro on October 22, 2013 at 2:27 PM

The Medical Device Tax once re-instated will make these devices unobtainable for the average Joe.

Pqlyur1 on October 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Here you go.

dont taze me bro on October 22, 2013 at 2:27 PM

I just had lunch. You’ll have to excuse me, I’ll be on the back porch for a while…

oldroy on October 22, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Our business builds complex software for enterprise electronic transaction volumes. Governments are indescribably harder to work for than private companies, and what’s amazing to me is that anyone thinks there is even a prayer this scheme will ever work.

MTF on October 22, 2013 at 2:31 PM

First, that problem seems to have first appeared on Obama’s watch. The Medicare Advantage website does exactly what the Healthcare.gov website is supposed to do — allow consumers to make choices of private insurance plans in part with subsidies from the federal government in the form of Medicare and Social Security benefits. That doesn’t involve a connection to the IRS, but neither do most of the problems seen at Healthcare.gov, either. Why HHS couldn’t use that as a model in its 42-month development of the exchange system is a mystery.

Medicare Advantage was designed and built by private-sector experts contracted by the second Bush administration, which basically told the contractors “this is what we want it to do” and then left them alone to figure out how to do it. They accordingly used pretty much the same software modeling every online retailer uses, plus features used by the Veterans’ Administration. The result works.

The Obamatrons weren’t having any of that. They wanted a 100% in-house government design, to “prove” the superiority of “selfless public servants” over “evil, grasping capitalists”.

They also rejected any input from VA, because that would be accepting help from the military, whom they loathe even more than they do “evil, grasping capitalists”.

Also, they refused to be bound by anyone else telling them what the state of the art (SOTA) would or would not support. They were superior, and enlightened! The system would be theirs and theirs alone, and be a shining example of progressive policy perfection! And it would have transporters and replicators, and fly them to the Radiant Future on warp drive! So let it be written, so let it be done!!

Reality had to bend to their whims. Trouble is, it didn’t.

One or more of them should really have put down The One’s autobiographies and read Slide Rule by Nevil Shute (Norway). The chapters on the construction of Barnes Wallis’ zeppelin the R-100, and its government-built competitor the R-101, show exactly what happens when revolutionary socialist theorists decide they know more than actual engineers of any type.

The R-101 crashed. Not long after, the R-100 was dismantled by the British government to cover up the failure of their own project.

My guess is that the U.S. insurance and health-care industries will be what get dismantled to hide the failure of O-care. Not just the website, but the entire program.

Incidentally, if they do that, you can kiss off Medicare Advantage, too. There won’t be any doctors or HMOs left to run it. Just thought you’d want to know.

clear ether

eon

eon on October 22, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Time to unite behind Rubio and give the demorats a chance to get the system even marginally working. You want to be a team player, right, a Party man?

Bishop on October 22, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Sorry Bishop,

I’m willing to be a team player but Rubio plays for the other team. Team Cruz is looking more and more brilliant if I do say so myself.

I also think that if the Dems manage to get the system even marginally working they will find themselves in even more trouble. The only people who seem to be finding lower costs for health insurance are die-hard Obama supporters. And we haven’t even explored stuff like how do you resolve billing disputes when the IRS is involved.

The Dems had three years to put Obamacare in place. What we are seeing is like a kid who put off his term paper until the night before it is due and ends up submitting a half-assed product yet still gets the benefit of being graded on a curve.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2013 at 2:31 PM

obama has to be reminded that he’s resided in DC for 5 years.

Schadenfreude on October 22, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Our business builds complex software for enterprise electronic transaction volumes. Governments are indescribably harder to work for than private companies, and what’s amazing to me is that anyone thinks there is even a prayer this scheme will ever work.

MTF on October 22, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Perhaps you weren’t paying attention yesterday. Nobody less than the President of the United States told us that it was a good product! You calling Obama a liar?

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Great quote from Ann Coulter…”When government controls something, it gets worse and more expensive…when private enterprise controls something, it gets better and less expensive.”

If that doesn’t validate the stupidity of liberals, I don’t know what does!

cajunpatriot on October 22, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Note that the azzhole in chief no longer calls it obama’care’, as of yesterday. He now calls it the ‘Affordable’ ‘Care’ Act.

It sure is NOT affordable, NOT care and an act.

Hillary, more likely Booker, will run on single payer.

All by design. Meanwhile obama and his donors are stuffing their pockets with throwing your hard earned taxdollars at ‘fixing the system’.

Don’t be fooled. It’s all in front of you.

Schadenfreude on October 22, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2013 at 2:31 PM

One of these days Bishop is not going to catch and release you.

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:36 PM

The proliferation of these defibrillators is a good thing, since sudden cardiac death is a serious problem, and it often strikes unlikely victims. But this is just the start.

Soon to be declared illegal.

Can’t be having machines and untrained civilians circumventing the Death Panel.

LegendHasIt on October 22, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Where are all the trools? They’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do.

oldroy on October 22, 2013 at 2:37 PM

As a private sector manager who has worked on a fair share of government contracts, I can hardly begin to explain how messed up they all are. These contracts are not coming from the best and brightest – they are coming from government. So, you see a lot of incorrect things once you start looking everything over. And you, as a professional/expert make/suggest changes in order to make things better- because that’s what the private sector does.

However, government doesn’t operate the same way. You have a 1% chance that they’ll fix whatever bug/issue you just pointed out. Why wouldn’t they want to fix it? Well… it’s always been that way. Or “I didn’t sign off on the thing” (no one wants to take responsibility for a change.) Heck, half the time the gov. even knows it’s messed up – but they’d rather leave something wrong than go through their own cumbersome channels to try to change something.

Free Indeed on October 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

” Daddy, have you plugged Sebelius yet?”

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

I don’t understand what this means. Explain please.

oldroy on October 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

She’s implying that Obama has to “plug” her for information
about the website….

..the other way of “interpreting” this post involves
a roll of Duct tape, a sack full of door knobs, and
a shop vac.

ToddPA on October 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Where are all the trools? They’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do.

oldroy on October 22, 2013 at 2:37 PM

On the phone and the computer. For 22.5 days

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

dont taze me bro on October 22, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Reading the link you posted, I think I see the problem here. Somebody mixed up the file of speeches in the West Wing. Because the speech he gave over the BP spill would have been perfect for yesterday’s infomercial.

“So the thing that the American people need to understand is that not a day goes by where the federal government is not constantly thinking about how do we make sure that we minimize the damage on this, we close this thing down, we review what happened to make sure that it does not happen again,” he said.

The president said a crisis of this magnitude “forces us to do some soul-searching.”

“In the meantime, my job is to get this fixed,” he said. “And in case anybody wonders, in any of your reporting, in case you were wondering who’s responsible, I take responsibility.”

“It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down,” concluded the president. “That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen right away or the way I’d like it to happen. It doesn’t mean that we’re not going to make mistakes. But there shouldn’t be any confusion here: The federal government is fully engaged. And I’m fully engaged.”

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Welcome to Standard Operating Procedure in the wake of a major IT clusterfark – the circular firing squad.

“Healthcare.gov got this way not because of incompetence or sloppiness of an individual vendor, but because of a deeply engrained and malignant cancer that’s eating away at the federal government’s ability to provide effective online services,” he wrote.

“It’s a cancer that’s shut out the best and brightest minds from working on these problems, diminished competition for federal work, and landed us here – where you have half-billion dollar websites that don’t work,” he wrote, linking to USASpending.gov.

This cancer is not just limited to the federal government’s ability to provide an effective online service. This malignancy covers the the federal government’s ability to provide effective SERVICE period.

I’m reminded of the old adage – If you can’t do, teach. If you can’t teach, go into government.

Private industry invests into IT as a foundation because it is a driver of efficiency, of opportunity, of differentiation, a safety net. Standards are defined, set, and implemented because of the economic and efficiency benefits – and these are developed for mutual benefit.

The public sector doesn’t work on or for any of these elements. They are also loath to really invest because their goal is not efficiency or sharing information (or power). They are worse than the badly run private sector companies in terms of fiefdoms and seeing knowledge / information as power.

They also aren’t the best and brightest – and in this Administration, politics trumps all.

This cancer isn’t going to be something that can be quickly fixed as it has metastasized across the breadth of the federal government, from top to bottom. It is as ingrained as the professional bureaucracy.

The incompetency doesn’t come from the cancer – it comes the leadership that ignored the cancer, made believe that it didn’t exist, didn’t try to treat it, and just thought ‘hope and change’ plus ideological fervor would win out.

There is no difference between the root causes of this implosion than, say, the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Athos on October 22, 2013 at 2:39 PM

..the other way of “interpreting” this post involves
a roll of Duct tape, a sack full of door knobs, and
a shop vac.

ToddPA on October 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

That right there is going to get you a visit from the Sheriff.

oldroy on October 22, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Heh. Good one!

dont taze me bro on October 22, 2013 at 2:41 PM

It was the gov’t. Developer nerds like myself do not take lightly development of complex systems. I have no doubt they had a plan, only to be nagged by the gov’t types with “oh, but there is just one more thing we want it to do”, and “Can you make this change? It goes against everything we’ve been telling you how it should behave, but this is just a minor thing”

MikeInBA on October 22, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Yep: The Plight of the Navigator

From that article: “Presenting a product — an insurance policy — isn’t the hard part. The hard part is figuring out which federal and state programs and tax credits a person or family is eligible for. Getting that part right takes creating an extremely complex rules engine.

About 1,700 individual rules affect eligibility for health insurance subsidies in Oregon. Children might qualify under different rules from their parents, or half-siblings might have different eligibility based on their parents’ income. In Oregon, writing the eligibility rules engine took 12 people nine months. Confirming eligibility requires integration with multiple outside data sources, such as confirming income and citizenship with federal sources, and that process is what separates it from ecommerce sites.”

slickwillie2001 on October 22, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Where are all the trolls? They’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do.

oldroy on October 22, 2013 at 2:37 PM

On the phone and the computer. For 22.5 days

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

LOL.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on October 22, 2013 at 2:41 PM

I don’t understand what this means. Explain please.
oldroy on October 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

She’s implying that Obama has to “plug” her for information…….
ToddPA on October 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

And a further reference to the BP gulf oil spill when Sasha or Malia famously asked ‘The Baraka’ “Daddy, did you plug the Leak yet?”.

LegendHasIt on October 22, 2013 at 2:42 PM

She’s implying that Obama has to “plug” her for information
about the website….

..the other way of “interpreting” this post involves
a roll of Duct tape, a sack full of door knobs, and
a shop vac.

ToddPA on October 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Think more Phlip Marlow/Sam Spade.

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Yep: The Plight of the Navigator

Once upon a midnight dreary,
while I pondered, weak and weary…

oldroy on October 22, 2013 at 2:46 PM

As Sebelius said before ObummerCare went live, “it works on my machine.”

This is a screwup of epic proportions and on the taxpayers dime. If the front-end is this horrific I can’t wait for the back-end to be hacked and confidential information to be spewed all over the internet. Nobody’s talked much about that possibility yet but the threat is very real. Microsoft spends years making products and has far better engineers and QA teams than those on this project could ever imagine and yet holes in their product have helped to fuel a multi-billion dollar security market.

stuartm80127 on October 22, 2013 at 2:47 PM

As Sebelius said before ObummerCare went live, “it works on my machine.”

stuartm80127 on October 22, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Vibrator visions aren’t real.

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM

I’m surprised Obama didn’t come out yesterday and say it was all user errors.

Chuck Schick on October 22, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Vibrator visions aren’t real.

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM

You’ve been watching too much late night television lately, haven’t you?!

oldroy on October 22, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Our business builds complex software for enterprise electronic transaction volumes. Governments are indescribably harder to work for than private companies, and what’s amazing to me is that anyone thinks there is even a prayer this scheme will ever work.

MTF on October 22, 2013 at 2:31 PM

I’ll second that. Gubmint bureaucrats are terrible at defining and writing requirements, and you start with bad requirements, the architecture/design will be bad, and it just follows that the whole system will be bad. Add to that the gubmint’s constant meddling with “requirements creep”, changes to the design in mid process (and later), and well – you get this.

dentarthurdent on October 22, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Where is our amnesty from this healthcare law?

Wigglesworth on October 22, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Confirmed: Healthcare.gov run by incompetents imbeciles

Fixed it!

scalleywag on October 22, 2013 at 3:04 PM

” Daddy, have you plugged Sebelius yet?”

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

This, by God, made me glad I clicked on this thread. Still laughing and will be all day! Thanks, Darlin’.

TXUS on October 22, 2013 at 3:05 PM

This, by God, made me glad I clicked on this thread. Still laughing and will be all day! Thanks, Darlin’.

TXUS on October 22, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Do you think Barky would use the “Texas Defense”?

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Free Indeed on October 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

I’ve run it from the government side for projects, having to work with a competent KO which put me in charge of the technical part of the contracts. That is so hard to do it isn’t funny. Normally it was the idea of ‘throw a lot of money and contractors waving your hands about what you want and sign off on it two years later’… no, I’m not joking, I’ve seen that happen.

The Request For Change process escalates the cost of projects like you wouldn’t believe and the very first thing you get when you have anything even a little bit complex is a competent contractor coming in with a bunch of RFC’s they are recommending after awarding it to them. Each of those has a dollar figure to them and what may have started as an on-budget program now goes over budget… which causes delays in making sure funding is available which lets schedules slip… and that incurs cost as well.

That 10PM fevered programmers bit is not the symptom of a well run, on-budget, on-time program from a program manager’s point of view and the burn rate of time and budget should be steady month to month, with allowances for tests and deliveries. That this stuff was going on demonstrates that the entire program top to bottom, was in trouble and probably goes way back to DAY 1 with the government not being able to figure out what it wanted. SAIC is less than stellar, but I bet you they had an RFC list a mile long on award day. Just working through those, on the government side, means delays… cost… schedules slip…

I’ve seen well run government contract shops, almost all of them on the DoD side and for only certain areas of DoD. HHS is notorious for being a poorly run contracting shop with missed schedules and low productivity, incurring higher overhead than their well-run DoD equivalents. Yet those DoD equivalents have much higher security overhead… but that is eclipsed by the problems at HHS.

When was Obamacare in trouble?

The day it was drafted as a bill.

ajacksonian on October 22, 2013 at 3:08 PM

“It’s the result of bad systems and bad architecture from the get-go.”

17 years of software development experience, much of it in enterprise web, leaves me certain that this is not fixable.

ElectricPhase on October 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM

ToddPA on October 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Think more Phlip Marlow/Sam Spade.

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Got it.

ToddPA on October 22, 2013 at 3:12 PM

“Why HHS couldn’t use that as a model in its 42-month development of the exchange system is a mystery.”

No mystery. Political favors owed and the bonus of the prime not being a US company.

Tsar of Earth on October 22, 2013 at 3:13 PM

”Daddy, have you plugged Sebelius yet?”

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Now that’s just chock full of win!

ElectricPhase on October 22, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Only 22% of the political appointees under Obama have ANY private sector experience at all, the lowest in almost a century. These are people drawn from universities and leftist “think tanks” and activists groups who believe real-world experience is for plebians, that a summoned group of liberal experts can sit in a room and find a solution to any problem or project in a short time. Then they have lunch catered in, and adjourn for cocktails to congratulate each other on how very smart they are.

Truth be told, Plato’s Republic is the perfect utopian government, where all decisions are made by a series of Philosopher-Kings, each the world’s greatest expert on a different field of endeavor, who work together seamlessly and selflessly to produce laws for the greater good.

The only problem is, there are no Philospher-Kings or anyone remotely close to worthy of the title. And there are no “experts,” either, except in such narrow areas as to have no general application at all. Which is why all such liberal schemes fall flat sooner or later.

Yet the leftists’ faith in the experts abides and even grows, the alternative of free individuals making free choices in a free society being anathema to their ideology.

Adjoran on October 22, 2013 at 3:18 PM

The main problem is the POLITICAL DICTATES within the program.

GarandFan on October 22, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Do you think Barky would use the “Texas Defense”?

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 3:08 PM

He’d have better luck with the Insanity Defense, particularly before a Texas jury.

TXUS on October 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM

I blame rogue programmers in Cincinnati

mankai on October 22, 2013 at 3:31 PM

He’d have better luck with the Insanity Defense, particularly before a Texas jury.

TXUS on October 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM

True, but I’m kinda partial to ” She needed killin’”

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 3:34 PM

True, but I’m kinda partial to ” She needed killin’”

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 3:34 PM

I’d love to have the honor of pulling the plug on her – while telling her “the panel has decided you have no further value”.

dentarthurdent on October 22, 2013 at 3:38 PM

NBC: ‘In a Few Months’ White House May Hold Someone Accountable for ObamaCare Failure ‘If They Find Incompetency’

Shilling for the Dear Leader….

On Monday’s NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd parroted laughable Obama administration talking points regarding who was to blame for the disastrous rollout of the ObamaCare website: “…nobody in the West Wing feels that this is an administrative error, that this is a competency issue….But in a few months, if they find incompetency, I’m told nothing should be ruled out.

‘If they find incompetency’? All they need to do is to look into a mirror….and that includes the intellectually and ethically bankrupt at NBC News.

Athos on October 22, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Obama: Oh, I GOT it! Where’s the Easy Button™ I see in those commercials? That’ll fix everything!

Intern: Uh, sir, those aren’t real.

Obama: Didn’t I just tell the American people we’re gonna fix this thing? Get me the CEO of Staples on the phone, stat!

goflyers on October 22, 2013 at 3:54 PM

You HAVEto be sh!tting me!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/10/22/mccain-considering-running-again-in-2016/

katy the mean old lady on October 22, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Obamacare-the best thing to happen to conservatism since Reagan.

Ta111 on October 22, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Government contracting 101 – It’s not about the end product, it’s all about keeping the funds flowing. Make just enough progress towards completion to keep those payments coming. If the end product is a pig, relax. You’ll get paid again to fix it!

Dare I say no contractor could’ve pulled this off, and there’s no incentive to get it right. The government spec’d the system and managed the contractors who by-and-large do what they’re told. The contrators don’t give a rats ass if it works. When it fails the pols take the heat and the contractors get to make even more money fixing the mess.

Archer on October 22, 2013 at 4:04 PM

It was the gov’t. Developer nerds like myself do not take lightly development of complex systems. I have no doubt they had a plan, only to be nagged by the gov’t types with “oh, but there is just one more thing we want it to do”, and “Can you make this change? It goes against everything we’ve been telling you how it should behave, but this is just a minor thing”
MikeInBA on October 22, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Further confirms what I’ve been saying from day one. It’s the bureaucracy that screwed up the development of oc, not the contractors. Not even cgi federal which is the US based subsidiary of the Canadian cgi. They have produced excellent systems for the dod. but since oc is all politically driven by hhs it was guaranteed to be an epic fail because there is no rhyme or reason to 30000 pages of pretzel logic, even if it was apple that was contracted to build it.

AH_C on October 22, 2013 at 4:18 PM

The Medicare Advantage website does exactly what the Healthcare.gov website is supposed to do — allow consumers to make choices of private insurance plans in part with subsidies from the federal government in the form of Medicare and Social Security benefits. That doesn’t involve a connection to the IRS, but neither do most of the problems seen at Healthcare.gov, either. Why HHS couldn’t use that as a model in its 42-month development of the exchange system is a mystery.

No mystery. The Medicare Advantage website was set up under the Bush Administration, and Obama is convinced that George W. Bush ruined this country, and Obama had to do everything differently. Using anything the Bush Administration did as a model is anathema to Obama’s monstrous ego.

Unlike EgObama, George W. Bush was from Texas, where “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Obama fixed it.

Steve Z on October 22, 2013 at 4:25 PM

The Medical Device Tax once re-instated will make these devices unobtainable for the average Joe.

Pqlyur1 on October 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Screw that. I have had 4 myocardial infarctions and a triple bypass. The very first thing I bought while recovering at home was a AED. I am scared sh!tless of having another heart attack and not making it to hospital in time. I don’t friggin care how much the damn thing cost, and I’m not made of money. Did it hurt spending that money? YES. Did it hurt as much as feeling your chest explode?

Not even close……

Renee on October 22, 2013 at 4:29 PM

The Obamacare web site will not be fixed in 3 weeks..nor in 6 weeks…nor in 2013…and possibly never.

The reason is that the entire Obamacare exchange plan is NOT a helpful device to disseminate useful information to potential enrollees, but is a SCAM designed to HIDE information from potential enrollees in hopes that they will waste money on a product which costs more and provides fewer benefits than any product previously available from the private sector.

By attempting to hide the product and the true cost from enrollees, the entire system architecture becomes extremely complex and burdened down by the constant internal need to alternately switch from “find information” to “hide information” modes.

In addition, note that the Obama Maladministration continues to actively hide the entire project from examination by competent private sector IT experts, Insurance experts, and Healthcare professionals. It has been exposed that the project has even been hidden from HHS and the Obama Maladministration via failure and/or refusal to test the system: thus system flaws are actually being PROTECTED rather than exposed and repaired. This strongly suggests that there are many more problems, faults, and deliberate lies and other mischief are embedded in the Exchange implementation.

Since the Obamacrats cannot/will not admit that their system is fundamentally flawed, no “fix” can be defined for it. Therefore it follows that the Obamacare Exchanges will continue to be miserable failures through the rest of 2013…and well into 2014 and beyond: GUARANTEED!!

landlines on October 22, 2013 at 4:38 PM

PS –

We Kansans feel it necessary to remind the rest of you that there are ABSOLUTELY NO RETURNS of a defective Sebelius!!!

landlines on October 22, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Obama: Oh, I GOT it! Where’s the Easy Button™ I see in those commercials? That’ll fix everything!

Intern: Uh, sir, those aren’t real.

Obama: Didn’t I just tell the American people we’re gonna fix this thing? Get me the CEO of Staples on the phone, stat!

goflyers on October 22, 2013 at 3:54 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz7Bl3SZCUI

Renee on October 22, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Reminds me of a quote by Douglas Adams from his Hitchhiker’s series…

“The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair”

oregonelam on October 22, 2013 at 4:48 PM

So if the contractors are pointing fingers back at the administration, I’d say this is doomed. It’s not weeks, it’s days. Someone will be found floating down the Chicago river.

oldroy on October 22, 2013 at 4:56 PM

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