Healthcare.gov, the website created to promote and sign-up Americans to Obamacare was doomed way before the exchanges opened. According to Politico, the Obama administration was reluctant to call in experts for fear that the GOP would subpoena outside experts to testify before congress.
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.
Even as early as 2010, HealthCare.gov was bug-ridden, a harbinger of problems to come. But few read the tea leaves because the site had a small fraction of the traffic it would get in October 2013.
“The wheels were practically coming off the wagon at that point, which should have been a clue that anything more than this — a nicely branded site with a lot of information and not much interactivity — was going to be impossible,” the former official said.
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USA Today spoke to tech experts who believe the technology behind the site may require an overall of the entire new system.
The federal health care exchange was built using 10-year-old technology that may require constant fixes and updates for the next six months and the eventual overhaul of the entire system, technology experts told USA TODAY.
“The application could be fundamentally flawed,” said Jeff Kim, president of CDNetworks, a content-delivery network. “They may be using 1990s technology in 2.0 world.”
Recent changes have made the exchanges easier to use, but they still require clearing the computer’s cache several times, stopping a pop-up blocker, talking to people via Web chat who suggest waiting until the server is not busy, opening links in new windows and clicking on every available possibility on a page in the hopes of not receiving an error message. With those changes, it took one hour to navigate the HealthCare.gov enrollment process Wednesday.
The fact that Obama got what he wanted out of yesterday’s Senate deal doesn’t change the fact that a government takeover of the healthcare system is doomed to fail. Actually a takeover of any private industry is doomed to fail because it is impossible for government to keep political considerations and cronyism out of the implementation.