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(NPR)   You will be shocked to learn that the problems with healthcare.gov were caused by politicians, not programmers   (npr.org) divider line 176
    More: Obvious, obamacare, meltdown, stages, Ezekiel Emanuel, exchange program  
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4018 clicks; posted to Politics » on 22 Oct 2013 at 8:33 AM (25 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-22 01:22:24 PM

Voiceofreason01: jedihirsch: You do realize that the cost of the website is more money than it cost to develop and run twitter for its first five years.

so a much simpler piece of software that had several years of relatively light traffic and could be developed at a natural pace and without political interference works better and was cheaper to build than a very complex one with constantly changing requirements that had to work perfectly and at high traffic loads on day one? Good call.


They spent four years working on it (yes they started before Obamacare passed), and they didn't even bother to test if it worked until three days before release. Even the Windows 8 team was more competent than that. Also CGI Federal said they were ordered not start the mainframe programing until February 2013, so until then they focused on everything else. Why would DHHS not want them to do the real programing IE the important stuff until the last minute. Face it, DHHS screwed up bad on their end and are trying to pass the buck
 
2013-10-22 01:24:44 PM

jedihirsch: Voiceofreason01: jedihirsch: You do realize that the cost of the website is more money than it cost to develop and run twitter for its first five years.

so a much simpler piece of software that had several years of relatively light traffic and could be developed at a natural pace and without political interference works better and was cheaper to build than a very complex one with constantly changing requirements that had to work perfectly and at high traffic loads on day one? Good call.

They spent four years working on it (yes they started before Obamacare passed), and they didn't even bother to test if it worked until three days before release. Even the Windows 8 team was more competent than that. Also CGI Federal said they were ordered not start the mainframe programing until February 2013, so until then they focused on everything else. Why would DHHS not want them to do the real programing IE the important stuff until the last minute. Face it, DHHS screwed up bad on their end and are trying to pass the buck


Because between the election, the supreme court challenges, and the various repeal attempts, nobody was really certain it was actually going to go into effect?  That's my take, anyway.
 
2013-10-22 01:36:39 PM
I want to sync my iPod to the health exchanges! And my toaster! Why can't I shop for coverage options while cooking a bagel!?!?!? Stupid Obama!
 
2013-10-22 01:38:25 PM

Voiceofreason01: Short version: they were working with much less money than they were supposed to have and had a smaller time frame to complete the project.


So in other words it was like every IT project ever.
 
2013-10-22 01:40:56 PM

plewis: wrs1864: FTFA: But much of that time was spent in limbo. First there was waiting to see if the Supreme Court would overturn the law in the summer of 2012. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/us/supreme-court-lets-health-law-la r gely-stand.html">It didn't.) Then there was waiting to see if Mitt Romney and a Republican Senate would be elected that November to repeal it. (They weren't.)

I don't understand.   Why would the feds wait for these things?   I can understand having to wait until the states told them whether they were doing their own exchange or relying on the feds, but shouldn't HHS ago ahead as if the SCotUS would OK it?

You haven't been listening to the whole "defund obamacare" rant lately, eh?  They had to figure out how to allocate money for this despite congress not giving them money for this AND if they had done all of that only to have the program killed either by Romney or by a republican senate, heads would have rolled.  They had to wait.

This disaster was republican built and made.  fark these guys.


Not one shred of accountability on you. Just the straight Kool Aid powder, no water. Congratulations. +7
 
2013-10-22 01:42:44 PM

SlothB77: Voiceofreason01: Short version: they were working with much less money than they were supposed to have and had a smaller time frame to complete the project.

the programmers knew it wasn't working and wasn't ready on October 1st.  Whoever decided to launch it made a huge mistake.  The launch could have been delayed.  It should have been obvious well before the launch it wasn't going to be ready.


Yes, from your history of credible posts, we can all take your word for it that you know exactly what happened.

How about this: Just STFU.
 
2013-10-22 01:55:26 PM
Notice how not once in that whole interview did Jay Angoff aka the former right-hand man to Sebelius and most likely the point person for this debacle take any responsibility for this? Then again, at least he was smart enough to jump ship at the beginning of the year.
 
2013-10-22 01:56:04 PM
 
2013-10-22 02:13:35 PM
cl.jroo.me
Verizon will fix it.
 
2013-10-22 02:38:49 PM

GTATL: Lt. Cheese Weasel: Carn: Lt. Cheese Weasel: GTATL: Lt. Cheese Weasel: Voiceofreason01: Short version: they were working with much less money than they were supposed to have and had a smaller time frame to complete the project.

600 Million dollars wasn't enough?  Are you fargin' insane?

What are you basing this opinion on? How much do you think the website should have cost?. $600M is a lot of money, but have you ever worked on a large IT project? I have, and on private company ERP projects that have cost more than double that. Please let me know your judgement criteria.

I have worked in IT for 35 years. IN the private and government sectors.  For 600 Million Dollars, I could build an entire data center dedicated to a single host URL that would never go down, never get clogged, could survive a nuclear blast and actually work like it's supposed to. Face facts, it's a total disaster built by idiots who were hired by bigger idiots.

No you couldn't because you don't have the data.  As GTATL is saying, the problem lies in integrating with all these other systems.

Well, I can hardly wait for Obama to come out and say that over half a billion dollars wasn't enough money for this clusterf*ck and he'll be needing some more because of 'the data'.  Good luck.

I really hope you don't work in IT. You have no idea what you're talking about. Could you please describe the differences between unit, string, integration, and regression tests? I'd love to know your opinions.


I work in healthcare and recently heard an executive complain about how they had spent 150 mil in tech per year for 40 years, and all they have is a shiatty product that they will be replacing with a 500million dollar purchase of a product.

welcome to business where non technical people purchase technology.
 
2013-10-22 02:42:50 PM
Not mutually exclusive. Any decent group of coders could have done better for less money in the same amount of time.
 
2013-10-22 02:46:06 PM
This happens most of the time in both govt and corporate IT.

Late & changing specs.
No capacity planning
No performance tuning
No optimization
And security is not locked in until all changes are finished...which doesn't happen because they keep changing everything.

They'll always focus on Formatting, Features and Rules...and forget about the rest, until after the fact.

It's a running joke...
 
2013-10-22 04:19:12 PM

jedihirsch: You do realize that the cost of the website is more money than it cost to develop and run twitter for its first five years.


You do realize this is a touch more complicated than "Ok, poop is coming out."
 
2013-10-22 05:35:53 PM

jayhawk88: kronicfeld: Voiceofreason01: Short version: they were working with much less money than they were supposed to have and had a smaller time frame to complete the project.

I can't wait to hear the Republicsn spin on that one.

This is simply proof that private enterprise will always be more pro-active and efficient than government.


Really? You mean the private enterprise corporation that is doing the healthcare.gov website is more efficient than the government that contracted it to do the job? Please explain.
 
2013-10-22 05:43:05 PM

Flab: Let's say your wife just learned she's pregnant and you decide that a 2 bedroom apartment isn't big enough anymore and start looking for a house. There's also a possibility you'll get a raise, or maybe that you'll be named head of the EMEA division of the company and may have to move to Europe. would you start looking right away at a small house in the Parisian suburb, or would you wait to see if you actually got the job?


No, I'd buy a large, safe vehicle that got good mileage, and hire a nanny I could fark on the side.

But we were talking about health care...
 
2013-10-22 06:21:43 PM

MisterRonbo: Flab: Let's say your wife just learned she's pregnant and you decide that a 2 bedroom apartment isn't big enough anymore and start looking for a house. There's also a possibility you'll get a raise, or maybe that you'll be named head of the EMEA division of the company and may have to move to Europe. would you start looking right away at a small house in the Parisian suburb, or would you wait to see if you actually got the job?

No, I'd buy a large, safe vehicle that got good mileage, and hire a nanny I could fark on the side.

But we were talking about health care...


You know, if ObamaCare had included a mandate that insurers pay for nannies who are DTF, I would have to seriously reconsider my stance on the whole thing.
 
2013-10-22 07:21:02 PM

SlothB77: the programmers knew it wasn't working and wasn't ready on October 1st. Whoever decided to launch it made a huge mistake. The launch could have been delayed. It should have been obvious well before the launch it wasn't going to be ready.


The website is in bad shape, but a lot of people have been able to successfully apply that wouldn't have been able to apply if there were no website at all.

"Barely functional" is still infinitely more useful than "nothing".

BMFPitt: Not mutually exclusive. Any decent group of coders could have done better for less money in the same amount of time.


Private industry is very, very bad at their projects, too.  The average major software project is 66% over budget, 33% over time, and has 83% of the promised features.  17% of all major software projects are extreme overruns (200% or more over budget/time).

That said, the government certainly made mistakes.  There were many vendors involved each doing a part of the whole system.  As someone who works at a software company, when your project requires the cooperation of many different vendors, the difficulty and the time increases exponentially, because one vendor falling behind somewhere just snowballs, and with more than about 3 vendors, it's almost guaranteed someone will fall behind.
 
2013-10-22 07:44:06 PM

Sum Dum Gai: "Barely functional" is still infinitely more useful than "nothing".


Actually it can be far worse.  Such as the fact that the site is apparently dumping a bunch of invalid data on insurance companies.  That implies that a bunch of people think they signed up but may not have coverage and they may not be identified.

Private industry is very, very bad at their projects, too.  The average major software project is 66% over budget, 33% over time, and has 83% of the promised features.  17% of all major software projects are extreme overruns (200% or more over budget/time).

And this is worse than that worst case, despite a heavily bloated initial budget.  I do software for the government and this shiat would not fly in my group.

That said, the government certainly made mistakes.  There were many vendors involved each doing a part of the whole system.  As someone who works at a software company, when your project requires the cooperation of many different vendors, the difficulty and the time increases exponentially, because one vendor falling behind somewhere just snowballs, and with more than about 3 vendors, it's almost guaranteed someone will fall behind.

This project was a failure at the far left of the life cycle, and they just went through with it as if nobody would notice.
 
2013-10-22 09:38:58 PM

BMFPitt: And this is worse than that worst case, despite a heavily bloated initial budget. I do software for the government and this shiat would not fly in my group.


Actually, it's not worse than the worst case; at 210% over budget it's in the 17% only by a hair.  Many of the projects in that 17% were more than 400% over budget.  Basically one in every 6 major software projects goes this bad or worse.

This project was a failure at the far left of the life cycle, and they just went through with it as if nobody would notice.

Impossible to tell that without an RCA on what failed.  All we really see is performance of the web portal, which is only a tiny fraction of the actual software; it's the most visible piece but in the grand scheme of things it's one of the least mission-critical pieces as well.  My company has customers that have insurance arms that have successfully been receiving insurance applications electronically for the last two weeks or more, so the back end seems to be working at least that far.
 
2013-10-22 09:48:50 PM

BMFPitt: Sum Dum Gai: "Barely functional" is still infinitely more useful than "nothing".

Actually it can be far worse.  Such as the fact that the site is apparently dumping a bunch of invalid data on insurance companies.  That implies that a bunch of people think they signed up but may not have coverage and they may not be identified.

Private industry is very, very bad at their projects, too.  The average major software project is 66% over budget, 33% over time, and has 83% of the promised features.  17% of all major software projects are extreme overruns (200% or more over budget/time).

And this is worse than that worst case, despite a heavily bloated initial budget.  I do software for the government and this shiat would not fly in my group.

That said, the government certainly made mistakes.  There were many vendors involved each doing a part of the whole system.  As someone who works at a software company, when your project requires the cooperation of many different vendors, the difficulty and the time increases exponentially, because one vendor falling behind somewhere just snowballs, and with more than about 3 vendors, it's almost guaranteed someone will fall behind.

This project was a failure at the far left of the life cycle, and they just went through with it as if nobody would notice.


I blame upper management.
 
2013-10-22 10:18:35 PM

Sum Dum Gai: Impossible to tell that without an RCA on what failed.  All we really see is performance of the web portal, which is only a tiny fraction of the actual software; it's the most visible piece but in the grand scheme of things it's one of the least mission-critical pieces as well.


So you're discounting the dozens of articles citing presumably credible sources who were involved in this project who said the design was an incomplete clusterfark, and that the back end is even more of a mess?

My company has customers that have insurance arms that have successfully been receiving insurance applications electronically for the last two weeks or more, so the back end seems to be working at least that far.

Valid, complete ones that don't repeat and cancel a half dozen times?
 
2013-10-22 10:18:41 PM
I wonder if HHS's experience of being allowed to disburse funds for Healthcare.gov over the last 3 years has been anything like mine in government work, i.e. here's the money for the fiscal year 10 months late, sorry, politics. You have a month and a half to assemble your resources and use it all up. Go!
 
2013-10-22 10:25:01 PM

BMFPitt: Valid, complete ones that don't repeat and cancel a half dozen times?


Couldn't tell you - not even close to my division, nor do I know anyone in that division beyond occasional acquaintances.  Just know the guys there were happy that things looked to be working.
 
2013-10-23 01:24:35 AM

flucto: According to programmers interviewed for the story "the needful was failed to be done and requirements not clear site must actually work"


All your healthcare are belong to us!
 
2013-10-23 10:27:01 AM

Flab: wrs1864: FTFA: But much of that time was spent in limbo. First there was waiting to see if the Supreme Court would overturn the law in the summer of 2012. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/us/supreme-court-lets-health-law-la r gely-stand.html">It didn't.) Then there was waiting to see if Mitt Romney and a Republican Senate would be elected that November to repeal it. (They weren't.)

I don't understand.   Why would the feds wait for these things?   I can understand having to wait until the states told them whether they were doing their own exchange or relying on the feds, but shouldn't HHS ago ahead as if the SCotUS would OK it?

No, because if SCOTUS had invalidated different parts of the law, it would mean changed requirements and may have required entire parts to have to be re-designed, which may have caused even more damage and delays.

Let's say your wife just learned she's pregnant and you decide that a 2 bedroom apartment isn't big enough anymore and start looking for a house.  There's also a possibility you'll get a raise, or maybe that you'll be named head of the EMEA division of the company and may have to move to Europe.  would you start looking right away at a small house in the Parisian suburb, or would you wait to see if you actually got the job?


A smart person plans for both.
 
2013-10-23 01:24:55 PM

b0rscht: Lots of blame to spread around. Certainly all the republitards fighting tooth and nail to kill the ACA did not help matters. I cringed when I heard Obama say something along the lines of, "Nobody is more pissed off than I am. So it will get fixed." So very naive.... Don't make promises you cannot keep. As if a pissed-off POTUS could quickly fix a bloated mismanaged underfunded disorganized unfinished software project that went live too early.


Underfunded?  You partisan retard.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/opinion/obamacare-healthcare-gov-websit e- cost/
 
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