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'Pulling out hair' over Obamacare website 'nightmare'
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 10/10/2013 @ 11:05 am In Front Page,Health,Politics,U.S. | No Comments
Forget, for a minute, all those arguments about the new health-care law’s “death panels,” the forced cancellation of existing coverage, the violations of religious liberty and the transformation of full-time jobs into part-time work.
Even people who want to sign up for Obamacare are finding it impossible.
Digital Trends reports the Healthcare.gov website already has “shut down, crapped out, stalled, and mis-loaded so consistently that its track record for failure is challenged only by Congress.”
That’s even though taxpayers paid “more than $634 million” for “the digital equivalent of a rock,” the report said.
“The site itself, which apparently underwent major code renovations over the weekend, still rejects user logins, fails to load drop-down menus and other crucial components for users that successfully gain entrance, and otherwise prevents uninsured Americans in the 36 states it serves from purchasing healthcare at competitive rates – Healthcare.gov’s primary purpose,” the report said.
According to the Washington Post, the site is so bad that as of two days ago, the number of people that successfully purchased health care through it was in the single digits.
“How can we tax people for not buying a product from a website that doesn’t work?” asked House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
The El Paso Times reported that major insurers, state health care officials and even Democratic Party allies of the Obama administration repeatedly had warned that there were “significant problems.”
“Despite those warnings and intense criticism from Republicans, the White House proceeded with an Oct. launch. A week after the federal website opened, technical problems continued to plague the system, and on Tuesday people were locked out until 10 a.m.,” the report said.
Fox News quoted computer software experts who said the problems were unlikely to be resolved any time soon.
“[It's] like trying to repair a car while someone is driving it,” said George Edwards, a computer professor at the University of Southern California.
And Robert Laszewski, who consults for clients in the health care industry, said insurance companies had complained before the launch about the unresolved problems.
“People were pulling out their hair,” he recalled.
“In short, it’s been a nightmare, for users and the government officers that have had to field the questions and wisecracks from the political and technical community who say they should have anticipated the problems all along,” Fox News said.
The Examiner reported a company working on the website is CGI Federal, but its parent, Montreal-based CGI Group, was fired by the Ontario government just a year ago after missing three years of deadlines and failing to deliver the expected online medical registry.
Even so, the report said, “Officials at the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awarded six technology contracts worth $87 million to CGI Federal for Obamacare website work…”
An AP poll showed only 7 percent of Americans said someone in their household had tried the system, and of those, three-fourths reported problems.
The poll said only 1 in 10 “succeeded in buying health insurance.
Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said the servers were designed to handle 50,000 visitors a day.
CBS noted that the administration has been withholding figures of how many people, if any, were able to successfully use the system.
“It wasn’t designed well, it wasn’t implemented well, and it looks like nobody tested it,” Luke Chung, an online database programmer, told CBS.
CBS reported Hawaii’s health insurance marketplace had to relaunch, because no one was able to use it.
The report said the exchange “hasn’t been able to sell any insurance in Hawaii because of problems with the software at the heart of the marketplace.”
One website displayed revealing long strings of “bad request” and “this is not a valid value” messages at Healthcare.gov.
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