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Bug Government Medicine IT

Obamacare Website Fixes Could Take Two Weeks Or Two Months 382

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-of-these-days dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It looks like nobody is quite sure how long it will take to fix the health insurance marketplace website. '"One person familiar with the system's development said that the project was now roughly 70 percent of the way toward operating properly, but that predictions varied on when the remaining 30 percent would be done," the Times reported yesterday. "'I've heard as little as two weeks or as much as a couple of months,' that person said. Others warned that the fixes themselves were creating new problems, and said that the full extent of the problems might not be known because so many consumers had been stymied at the first step in the application process."'"
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Obamacare Website Fixes Could Take Two Weeks Or Two Months

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  • by garyebickford (222422) <> on Sunday October 13, 2013 @07:30PM (#45116839)

    "The first 90% of the work takes the first 90% of the time; the last 10% of the work takes the second 90% of the time".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 13, 2013 @07:38PM (#45116883)

    I love how all the Slashbots object to NSA collecting information on them, but they can't wait to get a "civilized" health care system like Europe or Canada. They will be falling all over themselves to hand over all their medical records to the gov't.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 13, 2013 @07:42PM (#45116915)

    It just goes to show: It doesn't always pay to contract everything out to the private sector...

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @07:45PM (#45116923) Homepage

    What makes you think Slashbots have any love for the Obamacare site?

    it's supposed to be a "market" but it's nothing of the sort. You can't actually see any products or prices. You are only allowed to "apply" and for that you need "register" and then to provide identifying information that Experian approves of.

    If this were any industry website, my response would be "fuck that".

    Even if the stupid thing were working as intended it would still be broken. It's broken by design.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @07:45PM (#45116927) Journal

    For some reason people want health care that won't bankrupt them. They look at what citizens of other industrialized nations get and want the same.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 13, 2013 @07:48PM (#45116947)

    But there's still no guarantee your application will go anywhere. You can be disqualified and shunted into Medicaid.

    This was an abortion from the start. If single payer is what you want, they should have just opened Medicare to everyone. Free if you're destitute, you pay otherwise.

    Of course, we still don't have enough doctors and medical professionals, and that situation will only get worse. So many under BarryCare, Medicare, whatever will still have trouble getting treatment without supplemental insurance anyway.

    Throwing more money at the problem by desperate Democrats will only cause the bills to increase. The cure will still be just as harsh.

  • by BradMajors (995624) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @07:49PM (#45116951)

    True, but Obamacare does nothing to reduce the cost of health care.

  • by icebike (68054) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @07:57PM (#45117003)

    It just goes to show: It doesn't always pay to contract everything out to the private sector...

    Nor does it pay to code it till it's designed, and debug it till it's tested.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @08:23PM (#45117107) Journal

    Libertarians don't believe in legal contracts?

    What, you think that insurance companies will actually offer contracts that don't allow them to terminate the contract (or doesn't allow them to raise the rates to the affected individuals so that they cannot afford to continue the insurance) if the individual's medical costs get too high, unless the law forces them to do so? You must live in some other country.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 13, 2013 @08:35PM (#45117183)

    The other side of the problem is the insurance companies. Most conservative do not want to admit that large coorporation DO NOT want open fair market competition. They want a monopoly, and a large goverment beuracracy to keep things complicated enought that individuals do not know what they are buying. Make the bariers to entry so prohibative that only the established players can play.

    The insurance system is the EXACT opposite of a free market. In a free market INDIVIDUALS would be buying their own health care and paying for the doctors and hospitals out of their own pocket. This would quickly eliminate the $40 aspirin. The system we have now pays the insurance companies who have a legal obligation to the stock holders to maximize profits ( minimize payments). A hospital system that will ramp up charges as much as the insurance companies are willing to pay, and a restricted supply of doctors (AMA). It would be much better to have 10000 mediocre doctors that could be seen right away than a few awesome specialists who are great but you are likely to die in the E.R. waiting to be seen by them.

    The best system would be to outlaw medical insurance. Health care would quickly come to an equilibrium so that people could afford it.. The next best system would be to have a single party system, or something akin to regulated phone and utility system. The worst possible system would be to have an unholy alliance of governement and a profit driven private industry.

    I do not understand why conservative do not understand that big business is the exact opposite of free market. Probably because they are brainwashed by the Rush Limbaugh, and Fox, who are in turn financed by big business (go figure).

    30 or 40 years ago, our health care system worked? Then more and more employers started offering health insurance. This skewed the system, so that people were no longer in charge of the cost of health care. It is exactly the same with college. Used to be your could have a part time job and put yourself through shool. Now with goverment subsidies (college loans) and soldiers returning with GI bill, there is no incentive for colleges to cater to those who are unwilling to take out a 50K + morgage on their future.

  • by Skapare (16644) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @08:47PM (#45117257) Homepage

    The stupid site won't even give real information until after you sign up. I don't want to give them sign-up info unless I decide to actually sign-up. But I cannot get the info to make that decision with.

  • by clockwise_music (594832) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @08:56PM (#45117299) Homepage Journal
    There is some gold in this file. Some highlights:

    resources[''] = 'Apples to Apples';

    Seems like someone was trying to work out how to add resources. Looks like they also wanted to test out the quoting:

    resources[''] = '“Apes.”';

    Hmm looks like you can't update your name at the moment. I guess you could call XXX-XXXX to do it: resources[''] = 'To change your name you must call 1-800-XXX-XXXX';

    Hey I wonder what happens when you try to login too many times incorrectly? Apparently nothing:

    showAlertText :function() { //TODO: add functionality to show alert text after too many tries at log in },

    I wonder who "Pod 6" is?

    //$('#signUpButton').hide(); pod 6 doesn't want this hidden

    And then my personal favourite, which is written twice in the code:

    // make sure we don;t try to do this before the saml has been posted

    Why is there a semicolon in the "don't" word? It is a typo or couldn't they figure out how to escape a single quote character in whatever is generating their JS? (This line is repeated twice) I'm guessing it was just a rushed developer who was running out of time.
  • by snl2587 (1177409) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @10:06PM (#45117729)
    I particularly like all of the "TODO" comments in production code.
  • by Goody (23843) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @10:27PM (#45117849) Journal

    Get used to it. Those of us who have been carrying health insurance for years have been required to pay for you dumb fucks who don't carry health insurance because you "never get sick" and now just got cancer or ran your car into a tree.

  • by ClickOnThis (137803) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @10:47PM (#45117981) Journal

    Here, lets look at your "facts", which are really just half statements with commentary.

    *** The fact is that the ACA (aka Obamacare) sets up exchanges for people to purchase insurance from private companies. The government is not providing the coverage -- the private sector is.

    You left out the part about doing it with other people's money, aka Taxdollars.

    Only if low-income people need help with the premiums. That's hardly a precedent.

    *** And yet there's a hue and cry about "government-run healthcare." Guess what: it already exists, it's called the VA. Single-payer? That already exists too, it's called Medicare (probably Medicaid too.)

    Forgetting to mention those are huge expensive boondoggles with very poor outcomes in the case of the VA.

    Actually, the VA has a high satisfaction rating [] compared to the private sector.

    ***The main point is that medical-insurance coverage is now open to tens of millions of people who would not be able to purchase it otherwise.

    Again, open, but at the cost of taxdollars, and for people that don't want the health insurance because they don't really need it, like young healthy adults.

    The fact is, nobody needs health insurance...until they do. And then, if they don't have it, we all pick up the tab when they go to the emergency room. And that's where the requirement that we all have insurance comes in. All of us have to contribute to our heath insurance. If we don't, we're mooching. Plain and simple.

  • by elvis the frog (580312) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @11:04PM (#45118083)

    It's Gall's Law in action. All the way down. Forever. Like turtles.

    Folks, it's the second decade of the 21st Century. Why is we still let the government spend money on stuff like this? No only can they not get it right, they'll never say it's wrong until we're a few $Billion into it. Face it, universal top-down-imposed-government solutions are only effective at one thing: blowing lots of cash. Everything else it incidental, even accidental. The tyranny, the identity theft, you name it: all unintended consequences. But I'm sure that anyone who said whoa-whoa-whoa let's do X right in the course of the project was told to quit screwing up the gravy train and take a hike.

  • by Artifakt (700173) on Monday October 14, 2013 @12:19AM (#45118423)

    That's the real point - the ACA was a compromise, where the conservatives wanted to avoid single payer, and to keep a large and ongoing role for the existing businesses in the industry, and the got what they asked for. Now, they keep trying to force re-negotiation after re-negotiation, to get more. If we just use the humorous definition of an "honest" politician - one who once bought, stays bought, there are a large percentage of conservatives who can't live up to even that tongue in cheek definition of honest. That's not normal politics. Some people keep saying both sides are part of the problem, because they see both sides making some of the usual back room deals, and some people aren't yet noticing it's overwhelmingly one side that won't stick to the deals they made and wants to keep re-negotiating until the "compromise" is 100% their way.
                To the people who have elected a politician who won't stick to his "final" deals, I don't care how popular that rep is in their home district, they weill never be able to get anyting they promise you for you, once it becomes obvious to the people they have to work with that they don't regard their promises to other politicians as binding. There's a lot of new representitives who are already getting that reputation, and you can keep sending them to Washington, but they won't get on any of the powerful comittees, they certainly won't be able to keep any promises they make to you in the future, and they will have literally hundreds of powerful people looking to sink their careers on any pretext possible.
              While we are at it, the Earned income Tax Credit was a conservative idea, to move people from wellfare to "workfare". It's an idea that was once too conservative for Richard M. Nixon. It was supposed to fix every "problem" America was having with "entitlement programs". it was conservative politicians who promised that adopting the EITC would mean continuous surplusses and never having to touch Social Security. Now we have a breed of conservatives who keep referring to the EITC as a liberal creation, blaming it on conveniently dead liberals such as Teddy Kennedy, and saying it's "part of the problem", and pushing to get rid of it. Given that example, can anyone honestly claim that the conservative faction will keep ANY parts of the ACA, such as the no excusion for prior conditions rules, or people being able to keep their college age child on their health insurance? If you're thinking that there are some good ideas in the ACA, but as a whole, the thing is too big, complex, and unweildy, I sympathise, but there have been people fighting against every single tiny part, and for moving back to a pre-New Deal model for Medicare as well,

  • by PapayaSF (721268) on Monday October 14, 2013 @12:28AM (#45118447) Journal

    It just goes to show: It doesn't always pay to contract everything out to the private sector...

    Because government employee programmers, who probably belong to a union and cannot be fired for anything less than murdering the boss, would have done better?

  • by ClickOnThis (137803) on Monday October 14, 2013 @01:54AM (#45118803) Journal

    Perhaps he is a responsible individual that has set aside enough money to pay for an unexpected emergency in the event he gets sick?

    Obviously you don't have a clue as to how much it can cost to treat a serious illness. Very few of us have the means to set aside cash for that kind of event.

    You know it is possible to survive in this world without health insurance. People have been doing it in this country pretty much since the day it was founded.

    Wrong. People die [] from lack of health insurance.

    Your negative view of the general population is actually quite disturbing. You seem to feel we need a nanny state to protect us from ourselves.

    Actually I'm not concerned about protecting us from ourselves. Rather, I am concerned about protecting us from people like you, who would choose to forego getting health insurance and put the burden on the rest of us.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2013 @02:18AM (#45118889)

    Because a website contracted at a bidded $93.7 million shouldn't be a pathetic joke? Particularly since it ran north of that number (although it's unclear how far north).

    I guess beggars can't be choosers because the federal government blew everyone's money, can they?

  • by mjwx (966435) on Monday October 14, 2013 @03:26AM (#45119111)

    For some reason people want health care that won't bankrupt them. They look at what citizens of other industrialized nations get and want the same.

    You mean eight hour waits in ambulances [] to game national healthcare system metrics, going to the US for treatment [] to avoid waits, and crackdowns on treatment for immigrants []? Americans don't want the first, the second is redundant, and Obamacare will probably rule out the third.

    You dont know much about the UK.

    I wasn't asking.

    If you did, you wouldn't rely on the Daily Tele(graph) for accurate information.

    In the UK, they wont send you home to die simply because your employer doesn't have insurance, or enough insurance. This is what people in the US want. Basic care in the UK or Australia isn't glamorous, but it's far cheaper than the most basic care in the US. In fact top hospital cover in Australia is far cheaper than the most basic care in the US.

    People want to know they can go to a hospital with serious problem and not have to worry if they have the cash to pay for it. This is the assurance you have in Canada, the UK or Australia.

    Also, you'll find the vast majority of people travelling overseas (out of the country) will be for elective surgery which is usually not covered or not covered completely and optional.

    Finally, am I the only one who sees the notion of your employer providing health care akin to indentured servitude? Preventing you from changing employers at will or even taking time off (a sabbatical)?

  • by Redmancometh (2676319) on Monday October 14, 2013 @03:30AM (#45119129)

    Wow that's absolutely ridiculous. How is it that a site can be rolled out THIS unfinished?
    Amazon and eBay seem to have worked with what I imagine is a similar to greater load. All while managing to avoid any highly publicized information leaks (at least I think, correct me if I'm wrong), and having pretty good uptime.

    Could you imagine finding lorem ipsum text or just completely broken scripts on either of those sites? The people responsible would be gone long before the project saw the light of day. You want to know what the price tag on the site is...634...MILLION dollars.


  • by kenh (9056) on Monday October 14, 2013 @07:27AM (#45120003) Homepage Journal

    The fraud, abuse and waste within the Medicare system is legendary, and expanding that coverage to all Americans would destroy our economy in no time.

    The fact that people like getting health coverage they pay no direct premiums for (in most cases) and that covers expenses without question is not surprising. Neither is the fact that many/most doctors are refusing to take on new Medicare patients because of the dwindling reimbursement levels for medical procedures that, in most cases, fails to even approach covering the real cost of providing the service covered.

  • by MachineShedFred (621896) on Monday October 14, 2013 @08:56AM (#45120565) Journal

    Why should people have to volunteer to fix something that we (taxpayers) paid a 9-digit sum of money to generate to begin with?

    I'm pretty sure that somewhere in that contract, there was some language that said the end product needed to actually function. It's not on us to fix it - it's on the Government to hold the contractor accountable, or tear them apart piece by piece for breach of contract.

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada