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Photograph of Health insurance policy.
In President Obama's speech Monday morning, he talked about the concerted effort the government has undertaken to fix the broken HealthCare.gov website, the health insurance exchange portal for the 36 states that haven't created their own. Most of the primary problems affecting the site have been identified, but fix them could take months, experts told The New York Times.
Administration officials approached the contractors last week to see if they could perform the necessary repairs and reboot the system by Nov. 1. However, that goal struck many contractors as unrealistic, at least for major components of the system. Some specialists working on the project said the online system required such extensive repairs that it might not operate smoothly until after the Dec. 15 deadline for people to sign up for coverage starting in January, although that view is not universally shared.

In interviews, experts said the technological problems of the site went far beyond the roadblocks to creating accounts that continue to prevent legions of users from even registering. Indeed, several said, the login problems, though vexing to consumers, may be the easiest to solve. One specialist said that as many as five million lines of software code may need to be rewritten before the Web site runs properly.

What's the real problem is what's behind the registration: making valid enrollments for people in 36 states among hundreds of different companies and plans. Pieces of the whole system were built by 55 different contractors, and it all has to be integrated and work together. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency in charge of the exchange, is supposed to be overseeing all that, and by all accounts is in over its head. That has to end, and fast.

While public polling is still trending away from Republicans and in support of the new health law, the latest polling from Washington Post/ABC News shows that a majority think that the problems with the website are indication of a larger problem with the law.

Graph showing belief that the software problems in Obamacare are indication of larger problems with the law.
These problems are not, in theory, any reflection of larger flaws in the system (beyond the total reliance on the private health insurance industry, which is one of the main causes of the current issues), but if the problems persist and if people have problems actually utilizing the health insurance they sign up for because of some software glitch, that's not going to matter. Fixing Obamacare has to be the number one priority of the administration.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 12:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (31+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 12:26:14 PM PDT

  •  People desperate for insurance will keep trying (9+ / 0-)

    Young, healthy people, maybe not so much if it stays screwed up.

    •  If the young and healthy stay away, that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eileen B, quagmiremonkey, bdop4

      could doom the whole project. In order to keep the premiums and cost low, you have to have a balance of healthy paying in to help cover the older, sicker subscribers.

      There's no way any insurance plan can stay viable with only those with major or ongoing medical problems.

      It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:20:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, and that's why insurance companies used to (6+ / 0-)

        kick out people that were sick or deny people that had preexisting conditions.

        The "young and healthy" don't have to sign up immediately for the ACA to be a success, remember that. We all have until March to enroll, and the youngest ones probably will wait until over the holidays when their families nag them.

        Check out my progressive tshirts & gear: DemSwag.com or my hand-drawn reproduction of Rachel's Excelsior Poster from Friends available on cards, stickers, curtains etc.

        by Eileen B on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:32:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are so right (2+ / 0-)

          to point out that the way insurance companies kept up with this balance between the young and the healthy and the older and more needy of care, was to deny coverage for anything that might cause them to pay out, IOW, pre-existing conditions. Which is one of the biggest reasons we have so many uninsured.

          So Obamacare fixes at least that, and will need time and government money to help it flourish, which of course we know we'll not get anytime soon from the GOP, who would like nothing more than to go back to the old system, where millions were left uninsured and eventually, we all paid for that. Of course they don't talk about that.

          It is SO disgusting to me to watch this happen, and I have to sit on my hands these days not to slap anyone who wants to talk about how "exceptional" America is. We are not, haven't been for a long time, on so many levels. We are exceptional these days only in as much as we have great resources and wealth, now all locked up for the 1%.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:58:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I want this to succeed (4+ / 0-)

        And I'm even having a hard time putting up with this BS. Minnesota even created its own exchange and it's an unmitigated disaster. Since signing up on October 1st I STILL have no idea what my premium tax credit amount is. One page says my application was approved and to click the "link above" to enroll in health plans (there is no link); one page says I haven't completed the application, one page says my application is "disposed" and one page says I am ineligible (with my hefty yearly gross income of less than $25,000). I KNOW I am eligible, but I'm pretty sure most of the other people being told they don't qualify for assistance don't know it's not true. GREAT JOB MNSURE! YOU ARE AN EFFING JOKE!

        Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

        by bull8807 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:37:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My oh my (4+ / 0-)

          I work for one of the big insurance companies but support health care for all even if it puts me out of a job.. I am willing to accept ACA as a huge victory step in the right direction.  Thought about going back to consulting in order to work on the exchanges for the Feds . .. But opted not too... Trying to do my part by implementing it one the other side but would volunteer 7 days a week to get things corrected if there was a way to do so... I think about the antiquated system that the Feds have and wonder how they are going to get it done....

        •  MnSure is absolutely struggling with this. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, auapplemac

          And I'm surprised that Kentucky managed to do this so much better when Minnesota has long been one of the most progressive health care states, and last I heard, is offering the lowest rates on Obamacare in the country.

          It is true that the "navigators" I've accessed so far have been pretty useless and seem to know less about all this than I do. And some of them are simply insurance brokers. Also true that you get no answers where it says you can submit questions on line.

          However, couple of things you should know. On the MnSure site you CAN access all the plans offered w/out glitch, to view, at least I and my pals and neighbors have been able to do so since day one, unlike the federal exchanges. and subsidy information is there, if you can figure it out.

          But, The Star Trib said that if you KNOW the plan you want, you can sign up through that company and bypass MnSure.

          http://www.startribune.com/...

          This in particular:

          You don’t have to have a computer to shop. Many libraries, community centers and health clinics will be able to enroll Minnesotans in coverage. Consumers may also shop with insurance brokers or contact the health insurance companies directly.
          For me, I know I'm going to stick with Health Partners for many reasons. So tomorrow I will call them directly, much easier to get through, and see if this is true. I've done enough research on the MnSure site to know the plan I want.

          Will write on more on this when I find out if I can in fact sign up through Health Partners instead of MnSure, which will be easier. Called them with a question today and got right through.

          The biggest problem I see, in addition to the computer glitches is that MnSure has not been proactive in providing this info on its site, if it is indeed true, and that they offer no phone sign up.

          It is frustrating, but please keep in mind that this is an incredibly complex deal made even more complex by the republicans refusal to not only not help, but to hinder in every way possible, like forcing the Federal government to use its funds to provide the exchanges they refused to. This has all complicated things plenty.

          I hope folks will understand that patience w/this undertaking is necessary and that if it's all about how you couldn't click your way to coverage immediately, then you are helping the right wing of this country kill the only advance in our health care system since Medicare---and keep in mind, they have offered and won't offer one single alternative plan.

          So we either fasten our seat belts and help make this work by spreading all the help and info we can, or it will be decades till this comes our way again.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:28:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've seen the plans (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StellaRay

            And I have narrowed down my choice to two, the issue is that I want to know what my premium tax credit amount will be before I sign up, because the price difference between the plans is enough that I can't reasonably afford the better plan without a certain amount of subsidy, and I also might qualify for cost-sharing assistance too. Since I need the price reduction rather than the retroactive tax filing credit, I have to go through MNsure. If I go through the insurance comapny's website, I do not get the premium assistance right away. I realize I still have two months, but from the user experience end of things, if this doesn't get fixed - especially the glitch that flags people eligible for the tax credits as ineligible (and this is system-wide according to the MNsure help line, meaning the same glitch will happen for the navigators), people are going to give up and not try again.

            And here's the thing - I do work in insurance, but from the clinic side. I deal with denied claims. I know exactly how little most average people understand about their insurance to begin with. If these people are told they are ineligible, at least 80% of them will believe it and not ask for another look at their financial situation. This is what seriously concerns me, because these are exactly the people who need the help.

            Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

            by bull8807 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 07:24:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I understand. (0+ / 0-)

              And yes, there are those that will be discouraged after one or two tries. Just as there are those so scared and alienated that they don't vote, even though they have the most to gain by doing so. As has been said often by Kos, when Democrats vote we win.

              You actually have more than 2 months. True it's 2 months to start your coverage Jan. 1. But the enrollment period lasts till March. Small comfort, I know.

              Still, I'm an optimist and I believe that things will be fixed sooner than later. Once things are working we can only hope the word will get out that they are. I hope folks here continue to post their experiences and educate all of us as to what's happening.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 07:49:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  A Major PR Effort is Needed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auapplemac

        The Obama administration needs to pull out all the stops to get ahead of this situation. Ads targeting young voters need to impress the fact that yes, they may not be potential victims of certain degenerative diseases, but they still are susceptible to injury and other calamities which will require insurance coverage.

        Sebelius must get her house in order. If she does not have a viable restart plan within the next two weeks, Obama should seriousy consider bringing in a new team to fix the situation.

        If they knew this was coming, they should have delayed the start date. If they didn't know, then there is a serious breakdown in communication and oversight. She should have at least one independent IT firm advising her on the status of the rollout.

        Bottom line: there is huge demand for healthcare coverage, so the market will not be going away anytime soon. But they must get a handle on the situation within the next 30 days.

      •  Borked at birth by Obama. (0+ / 0-)

        Instead of Medicare which does not require the " eligibility engine" bullshit we get this....   "Could erode support for the law?"  Are you being facetious?

    •  ...and THIS could be the dagger: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quagmiremonkey, Wolf10

      from the diary:

      Fixing Obamacare has to be the number one priority of the administration.
      No, the budget chaos will be #1 priority...then immigration reform...the the primary season opens up...

      then Syria and chemical weapons (again)....and....and...

      All the while Obamacare flounders along...giving Tea Party drones something to beat a drum about as public support goes from bad to worse.

      Fixing this SHOULD be the #1 priority, but I have serious doubts about follow through given how piss-poor the roll-out was.

      Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

      by Love Me Slender on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:25:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They can multitask (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bdop4, PorridgeGun

        Unfortunately I've not been impressed by Sibelius's competence on the ACA implementation.  She doesn't talk about it like someone who lives and breaths it every day.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:23:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's because she does not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto

          live and breath the technical issues every day, as that's not her job. She is a spokesperson and a figurehead and is probably pretty busy 24/7 these days just doing that.

          To get someone who lives and breathes it, you have to talk to the contractors that set it up, and that's not going to happen.

          Folks have no idea of the arcane system of government procurement of resources and how much that handicaps the government in a roll out like this. This program should have had the brightest tech minds in our country working on it, but I guarantee you that was impossible cost wise, and in many other ways.

          I have gotten state contracts in the past a couple of times, and I can tell you I long ago stopped pursuing them. The requirements to pursue this business are mind boggling and so time consuming you need a person just to do that. Furthermore, budgets are very much an issue and the republicans have seen to it that there isn't a dime to spare on a good value.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:38:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What a mess (0+ / 0-)

            How do you figure it is that other government websites work well?  I've been told my many that the social security website is very user friendly and fast.

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:52:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, right off the cuff, (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hyakuban, willynel, FightersFate, bryduck

              I'd say that the SS website has had years and years to come to its optimum use, to iron out all the glitches before most were even using the computer to access info and sign up for SS.

              I have to be honest to say, without wanting to insult you, that I find Americans need for immediate gratification a bit too typical, even progressives who imo, could be a bit more patient instead of adding into right wing talking points.

              Don't get me wrong, there's no doubt that the Obamacare rollout has been one bumpy ride, but it is not w/out successes. California, Washington, Kentucky, Oregon, just to name a few, are moving along quite well.

              And then you have to consider that what is it, 26 states? that refused to set up exchanges, which is eating up federal monies that could be used to make improvements in the roll outs and the plan.

              And I DO KNOW that the rollout of Medicare part D was terribly fraught with glitches and problems, but the Democrats at that time did not make a political hay day of it, and it ironed itself out. Unfortunately perhaps, because I hate it and still can't believe the idiocy of disallowing the government to barter w/big pharma.

              The web sites are problematic, the computer science far from the best money can buy. if you understand anything about the government system of procurement you know how arcane and faulty it is, and how much it helps guarantee you are NOT going to get the best resources for the problem.

              But I still wouldn't call it a mess. I'd call it embryonic and struggling to take it's first breaths. What I'd call a mess is the other side of the aisle, who are doing everything they can do to pull out Obamacare by the roots, without so much as ONE alternative plan. And there will be no alternative plan from them.

              So that's my idea of a mess, as in a steaming pile of selfish, greedy shit that makes me ashamed for this country. The Obamacare rollout---uncomfortable and should have been better, but frankly didn't have much of a chance to be so, considering all factors. I have not been shocked or surprised by what's gone on.

              The ACA itself, a huge compromise to the right wing vs. single payer, but it is SO much better than what we had, and I really hope that progressives will be at the forefront of patience w/it, instead of being less forgiving of it than they are w/the average Apple roll out of a new product.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:14:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Onion says O'care App coming out on Floppy's (0+ / 0-)

              Think they said you can load it from 36 floppy disc's....

          •  I don't expect her to be an IT expert (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            madronagal, PorridgeGun

            But I do expect her to hire someone who is to oversee the process, and I would probably hire a second expert as a safeguard.

            It just seems that she has been uncritically accepting whatever the contractors have been telling her.

            •  You really don't understand (4+ / 0-)

              the parameters of government procurement of resources, which I have been repeating all day long here. The government does not end up with the best choices it could get because of the wildly restrictive rules of hiring outside contractors. Not to mention the budgetary factors that say, were not a part of the Obama campaign's problems when they rolled out the best technology effort EVER.

              I can guarantee you the government including Sebelius did not end up with the best and brightest when all bids were in. First of all, the most expensive and best people, in MANY fields, want nothing to do with government contracts. They don't need them and they don't need the hassles, which are enormous.

              As an independent contractor, many years ago I won a few state contracts, but in the end deemed them not worth the trouble and time it takes to JUST GET THEM, let alone deal with them once you've got them.

              And when you're dealing with IT issues, you're trying to speak a language that very few speak at all, let alone well. So that further diminishes the folks that can even hope to understand in the detail they need to. Those people cost a lot of money.

              Could it have been done better? Probably, but not to the degree you and others hollering here think was possible, under the circumstances.

              And as I have also said here over and over again, I understand the frustration, I don't understand Americans' need for immediate gratification on EVERYTHING. Or I should say, I do understand it, and it's not our best side.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:24:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is not for nothing that government contractors (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                StellaRay, bdop4

                are called Beltway Bandits. The Republican insistence in government on the cheap, preferably government that does not work for the people, makes it a magnet for those whose expertise is in working the system, not in any of the work needing to be done.

                I have been on the inside of various corporate software development projects. Some are wonderfully managed, and some are complete disasters from before they are begun. As we say, Garbage In, Garbage Out. I have studied successful government-run software development projects. They either have to be run outside of the political process, as has sometimes happened at DARPA, NASA, and other such agencies, or they have had to have many years of development in order to became usable.

                It is my personal opinion that there is not a legal payroll system from any vendor in the US that correctly calculates wages, deductions, and benefits for every contract and every employee category in every jurisdiction. The rules change much faster than programmers can even be informed of them, much less implement the changes on time. Unions have often had to sue to get the correct pay for their members. That is apart from businessmen who simply steal from the workers, refusing to pay what everybody knows is owed.

                Some of the writers here evidently forget, or never knew, that Social Security was a more or less functioning system long before computers, and continued to function in that primitive manual state while its initial computerization struggled. I have interviewed SSA employees about the problems of implementing data access services before there were any computers that could even hold the data, when access time was not measured in milliseconds from disk, but days or even weeks from the offsite tape library. They were supposed to keep on top of decades of data on each of tens of millions of workers way back when a 10 megabyte hard drive was a big deal.

                (My father got started in vacuum-tube computing. I got started when there was one digital Terabyte Data Store in the world, a photographic system built by IBM for the New York Times. It had a read time of about a minute, as the robotic arms accessed digital film cartridges and put them in readers; and a write time measured in days while sufficient data were accumulated to write a whole new cartridge. Today, you can buy a 1 terabyte hard drive off the shelf for well under $100.)

                It turns out that there are functioning parts of the Affordable Care Act, too, if you don't insist on only accessing it via the deeply-flawed computer systems. But you have to know where to look for them. At least you can go on healthcare.gov today and find out which insurance companies are offering insurance on the exchange in your state, and then ask them directly for the details. Insurance companies have budgeted far more than HHS gets for marketing to tens of millions of potential new customers.

                Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

                by Mokurai on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 10:35:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks for this very interesting (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bdop4

                  and informed comment.

                  "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                  by StellaRay on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 06:25:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks for both your comments (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    StellaRay

                    I agree that these are not simple tasks and the current austerity binge this country is on (in addition to GOP states refusing to lift a finger to establish their own exchange), makes a successful launch extremely problematic.

                    I'm just frustrated that such an important event was not handled better. If there were issues, such as insufficient capacity and/or faulty programming, they should have delayed the launch. I can wait longer, but then again, I have insurance.

                    •  I have insurance too, (0+ / 0-)

                      that I pay for by myself---self employed. The plan I've chosen is better coverage than I have and will cost me $300 less a month. So I'm pretty happy with it. But agree, the problematic roll out is unfortunate. Yet if they kept delaying it, the longer it would take America to realize that Obamacare is going to be better than what they had before, and in the face of the fierce GOP opposition, that could be even more costly to the success of it.

                      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                      by StellaRay on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 12:12:05 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Not in the long run (0+ / 0-)

      I always figured it was likely that the majority of YHP (young healthy people) would skip out on the first year. But when those YHP pay that 1% penalty the first year, and 2% the second, and get NOTHING in return, they'll come around.

      That will not be too late. This is a long-term deal. It will not fail just because of some botched web apps.

      -Jay-
      
  •  but fix them could take months (8+ / 0-)

    i don't think that they have months. I'm not sure if they have weeks.

    •  I'm beginning to agree with some Republicans.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Subterranean

      which is scary.  Somebody should get fired.  

      Given all the flak and outright sabotage attempts that have been directed at Obamacare, the last thing the Administration needed was a massive f'up on the roll-out.

      Suing the contractor might not be a bad idea either.

      The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

      by MadScientist on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:21:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Geeze. It's been three weeks! (13+ / 0-)

        It's not just a website! I just wrote this rant about it, please read it before you agree with more Republican saboteurs .... Healthcare.gov isn't just a website, dagnabbit!

        Check out my progressive tshirts & gear: DemSwag.com or my hand-drawn reproduction of Rachel's Excelsior Poster from Friends available on cards, stickers, curtains etc.

        by Eileen B on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:27:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not just Republicans, Eileen... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neuroptimalian

          Liberals are excoriating this thing on a daily basis...including the president's former press secretary.

          Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

          by Love Me Slender on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:30:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow, Facebook has been down all morning (6+ / 0-)

            guess no one's going to use it anymore. Come on, folks, the problems are primarily real time interfaces to legacy mainframe systems (which the fed government has never done before) and capacity. Both of these are being fixed.

            One major issue contributing to capacity issues was not allowing people to browse plans without entering all their personal/financial info. This resulted in a bunch of processing for people who just wanted to see the plans. This is being fixed.

            I saw some "pundits" saying that 4 million lines of code would need to be changed. This is absurd - the entire system that processes Medicare has fewer lines of code, much in assembler, and is on a mainframe. This is Unix, using modern languages/databases.

            PS, we are talking about many systems, the fed healthcare.gov, plus all the states that implemented their own exchanges and systems. Don't paint them all with the same broad brush. Kentucky, California, Washington, and Oregon, to name a few, are doing great.

            PPS, I didn't work on this system but do have insider knowledge of it.

            "There's a fine line between clever and stupid." This Is Spinal Tap

            by ebirch1 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:44:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well are they doing something silly like editing (0+ / 0-)

              the databases in memory by writing to /dev/mem or something like that then?

              You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

              by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:07:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Facebook grew to a billion users (0+ / 0-)

              with less investment dollars that went into the Obamacare website.

              The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

              by MadScientist on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:45:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ARRRGGGGGH! (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                madronagal, missississy, Mokurai, Pluto, bdop4

                Facebook launched with zero users, grew every month, adding features occasionally, building its own database. ONE database, built specifically to RUN FACEBOOK. Facebook didn't need access to outside secure databases, and it still doesn't.

                Comparing FB to Healthcare.gov is absolutely absurd - yet lots of smart people are doing it.

                From my diary earlier today:

                Healthcare.gov is an unprecedented national network that connects ALL our biggest national agencies (SS, HHS, IRS, SSA, DHS, VHA, Peace Corps, OPM and DOD) with ALL our state/city government offices - from NYC's City Hall to the records in the basement of East Bumfuck, USA. South Bumfuck, too, and that's in the deepest, reddest south.

                I'll give you a billion dollars right now to build one algorithm that extracts, compares, matches, then confirms individual citizen data from the secure databases of all 50 state governments - including dozens run by Republicans determined to sabotage you. The algorithm must connect securely and convert the state's variables into a universal variable for the ACA's data hub.

                Check out my progressive tshirts & gear: DemSwag.com or my hand-drawn reproduction of Rachel's Excelsior Poster from Friends available on cards, stickers, curtains etc.

                by Eileen B on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:59:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  It sounds like Benghazi, Part Deux. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JayBat, smartdemmg, madronagal, Juliann

            By December we will be hearing how many Americans have died due to the computer glitch.

            It is a problem which will be solved.  We have just come past the most concentrated campaign against a program that we have seen for a long time.  The first millisecond after the government shutdown was halted a blizzard of complaints about the poor access to the program was started.  These came from the same people that had been telling everyone how bad the program was.  They are now complaining that people can't access it.

            Let the administration fix the problem.  The have had a few other thing on their minds lately.

            •  Oh yes...hyperbole...it works wonders... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              truong son traveler

              ...when solving problems.

              At least we agree on one thing: The administration had better fix the problems...and fast, or the 56% of the country that doesn't like this law will swell into a 2014 ass-kicking at the hands of the same teabaggers this site has been making fun of for the past several days.

              Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

              by Love Me Slender on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:59:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  46% approval according to ABC/WashPost poll (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                missississy, Shotput8, bdop4
                Forty six percent now support it while 49 percent oppose it. That compares favorably to a 42 to 52 percent negative split last month. Support has rebounded since July among moderate and conservative Democrats, while Republican opposition has also softened. Criticism of the law is varied, with one in five opponents saying it doesn’t go far enough rather than saying it goes too far in changing the system.
                Despite the overwhelming nay saying, approval of the law continues to increase.

                It's the Central Limit Theorem, Stupid!

                by smartdemmg on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:53:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You are repeating Republican talking points (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Shotput8

                You should be more careful. The Right and the Lamestream Media are quoting figures on dislike of ACA that combine the Righties complaining that it will give them Socialist cooties and kill your grandmother (Epic Fail) and the Left complaining that it isn't Single Payer (fact).

                The reason the Right fears and loathes the ACA is not that there is anything actually wrong with it. Their greatest fear is that it will work, and that tens of millions of voters will love it so much that they will vote for it forever, even after they die. (Curse you, Zombie ACORN!! for stealing the 2012 election, even after you were defunded and shut down!) As Neo-Con Bill Kristol told them Hillarycare would do in 1993, and as I Diaried here in 2009.

                The sum of all GOP fears

                The problem we have today is, in fact, that many millions of Americans already love the parts of ACA that have taken effect, and the mere promise of ACA Exchanges, and have massively overloaded its inadequately-prepared Web site.

                Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

                by Mokurai on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 10:48:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm sorry...do facts not fit into your narrative? (0+ / 0-)

                  I'll be sure to repeat the Obama-approved talking points next time instead of inconvenient public-opinion polling.

                  Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

                  by Love Me Slender on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 03:31:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayBat

          The scale, scope, and  complexity of the project is unprecedented.  As such, it should not be expected that it's initial implementation would go off without a hitch.

          Your diary does a great job of trying to point that out to non-IT folks who might just not understand all of this.

          Those running around with their hair on fire right now over this - left, right, or center - are little more than reactionaries overreacting, or know-nothings providing a good example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

          •  Let's not put any lipstick on this pig, ok? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            falconer520, truong son traveler

            Healthcare.gov is a monumental fuckup.  Is it the end of the ACA?  Not yet, but it has the potential to turn the public off in sufficient numbers to doom ACA.  Heads need to roll and results are needed before Thanksgiving or else this is going to spiral out of the Admin's control.  

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:26:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Monumental fuckup"? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PorridgeGun

              My guess is you've got zero experience on government IT projects.

              The fact that something so large and complex as the ACAs web app even worked at all is actually a success, even if it is off to a bumpy start.

              If the public - yourself included - had even the first clue about the actual complexity of this thing, none of you would be bitching, moaning, and armchair quarterbacking the way you currently are.  But as I noted elsewhere, if there is one thing the American public excels at, it's bitching, moaning, and armchair quarterbacking. It's easy to do from the cheap seats with a heaping helping of the Dunning-Kruger effect to help you along the way.

              •  BS. (4+ / 0-)

                I don't have any experience with 'government' IT, but I spent over a decade as a programmer, DBA, designer rolled into one.

                And yes, this rollout was a monumental 'fu'.  All sorts of sites are very large and complex, and you deal with that by spending a lot of time on design first, breaking everything down into smaller tasks, then making those work first.  The site had elements of that, but 'failovers' were handled terribly.  I would have given them more of a pass if it had turned out that load was their only real problem, but when they proclaim site usage is 5 times what they designed for, then site traffic falls to 1/10th (ie, half what they claim they designed for) and the problems are all still happening that's simply crappy coding.

                I've got experience in the field; I'm not sitting in 'the cheap seats'.

                They did a crappy job.

                •  BS on your BS (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  missississy, Mokurai

                  The actual web app itself is not one simple web based application connected to one database.  It is one web application connected to a multiple systems at the back end all at the same time that all exist on multiple platforms, with disparate data models, vastly different business rules, and which all must be able to work together with the ACA app as the conduit to do so.  Information from a multitude of different Federal agencies as well as insurers and states running their own exchanges all has to work seamlessly together.  When, exactly, was the last time you successfully meshed a few hundred different systems together seemlessly?

                  Anyone who thinks this is a "massive fuckup" simply cannot fathom the scope of this project.

                  That it has hiccups is a PR nightmare, but only because reactionary know-nothings are making it a PR nightmare.

                  •  BS cubed. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Jon Says

                    I'm well aware of the interactions between databases.  I wrote most of a system that had to do pretty much every function the exchange site has to do and more.  I freely admit it wasn't set up for the same scale of traffic expected, but the design and the code were a lot more solid than what I saw at their site.

                    You split the functions out, and it works.  You write the interface to system A and make it work.  You write the interface to system B and make it work.  

                    Again, what additional functionality did the federal site have to have that state sites didn't?  If the state sites all worked fairly smoothly, the ONLY difference should have been load.

                    •  Let me quote Darth Vader. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Mokurai

                      "Your overconfidence is your weakness."

                      It is clear that you are confident in your own abilities, but it is most certainly not clear to me that you've ever worked on anything of this scope when you talk about how "simple" these things are.  They are anything but.  You really seem not to fathom the complexities involved here.

                      From the sounds of it, what you've done is either simplistic - such as linking one Oracle DB to another, or you don't have the experience you purport to have.  You'd get it if you had ever been challenged to take, say, an old IDMS database from one government agency and link it to a new T-SQL DB with another agency, while linking those two with a third Oracle DB from yet another agency, rinse and repeat a few more times, then add in outside private businesses who you must also communicate with via properly formatted flat file....  ad infinium.  All while navigating a byzantine bureaucratic structure of which half is trying either passively or actively to see your project fail to due nothing more than political reasons, while having deadlines that cannot be pushed out because they're written into law and have no chance of being changed.

                      The Federal site has to work with everyone else - states and insurers -  and multiple Federal agencies systems.  The state sites need only work with the HI carriers in their state.  As such, the states that implemented their own sites were far more successful, because the overall scope was far smaller.

                      If you think the only difference is the traffic load, you are far less a competent developer than you fancy yourself.

            •  The report of my death was an exaggeration. (0+ / 0-)

              Mark Twain, in a remark often greatly exaggerated since.

              Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

              by Mokurai on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 10:51:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Why don't they just open source it, I'm sure (0+ / 0-)

      Lennox programmers would help out.

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

      by dopper0189 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:31:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What I need to know (8+ / 0-)

    Is that the enrollment information is reliably transferred to whatever plan is chosen.

    The "storefront" issues are ugly, but there is time to get that sorted.

    EDI going to the plans to tell them who is insured with them better be reliable and accurate, or we're gonna be looking back on this rollout with nostalgia.

    For real Texas Kaos, you want texaskaos.net, not .com. Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us

    by boadicea on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:01:21 PM PDT

    •  Exactly!! (4+ / 0-)

      That's what I am worried about  - the integrity of the data and the interfaces.  The carriers must be going insane.  Their holiday season is going to be hell and they're not going to have a Happy New Year.  

      •  And to think, all this could have been avoided... (9+ / 0-)

        ...if Obama was as steadfast in support of single-payer/public option in dealing with Democrats as he has been defending Obamacare against Republicans.

        (sighs)

        Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

        by Love Me Slender on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:26:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How could he be "steadfast" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayBat, missississy

          in supporting something he never supported? He certainly didn't campaign on single-payer--quite the opposite, he said it wasn't an option, because people he heard from during the campaign said they wanted to keep the insurance they had.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:45:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are 100% DEAD WRONG... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TJ, truong son traveler, bdop4

            ...but don't take my word for it...here's the man himself, circa 2003:

            “I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program.” (applause) “I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody.
            http://www.pnhp.org/...

            Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

            by Love Me Slender on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:02:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  2003 is not the presidential campaign. (0+ / 0-)

              By 2008, he was talking about a "public option."

              •  Yeah...read previous commenter's words again... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bdop4
                How could he be "steadfast" in supporting something he never supported?
                That whole reading thing...it does a mind good.

                And about that public option...where is it in the ACA again?

                Oh wait...

                Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

                by Love Me Slender on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 03:30:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  OK, that guy supported single payer (0+ / 0-)

              among other things, but the Obama who ran for President was a very different person from the state senator from Illinois.

              At any rate, the American People were never sold on single payer, that's the key problem. If the American people (not just liberals) demanded it, and elected steadfast liberals to Congress instead of mostly "moderate" Democrats, then Medicare for All would have actually been brought up for debate...but they didn't, and it wasn't.  

              "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

              by Alice in Florida on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 11:42:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Problems with data transfers (6+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately according to reports during the past couple of days, there seem to be various problems with data verification and transfer. Luckily there are still only a limited number of approved applications getting through, but I've seen problems reported of multiple wives (and not on the Utah exchange) impossible numbers of children, applications for multiple plans by the same individuals, missing and corrupted fields and issues such as this. I don't think there is any widespread feel for just how bad or good the data is that is being received by the insurance companies, but they seem to feel they need to manually contact most of their applicants to verify the information at this point. I guess with a small number, this is workable for them (but I'm sure a big hassle) but if this thing suddenly ramps up and still has data verification and transfer issues, then the whole thing will collapse cause the companies simply won't know what they can trust and what they need to reverify. Hopefully this will be something that can be readily sorted out and isn't a core design deficiency,  database corruption or some other such game killer. Time will tell, but the clock is ticking. At first I wasn't overly concerned about the issues, but now I think I need to be very sympathetic to Joan's view that continued problems are really going to begin to pinch the program and could keep away the essential younger applicants who are going to be very skewed to wanting to apply via the web anyways.

      •  Gerald Weinberg wrote about this problem (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OrganicChemist, Pluto, Jon Says

        decades ago in The Psychology of Computer Programming. The story concerned an automobile ordering system subject to complex constraints on option packages that was calling for cars with five wheels and three doors. They had to scrap the entire system, and start over with actual design for an architecture that was capable of maintaining consistency and correctness throughout.

        The greatest line in the story came after the consultant brought in to perform the rescue got a demo running on the new architecture. One of the original programmers noted that it was processing only one punch card per second, many fewer than their previous effort. Our man rounded on him and said, "But your program was wrong. If I don't have to give the correct results, I can process a thousand orders per second, and that's faster than your card reader."

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 11:41:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I read the healthcare industry news (13+ / 0-)

    ...and journals today, plus investment letters pertaining to that sector. These are the major players and corporations that have been working on their end of it for three years. There's a huge financial investment and and the commitment of an entire financial sector here.

    They don't seem all that concerned, to tell you the truth. Something like 20 percent of the American people may be involved in this process, say they. And half of those will be shuffled off to Medicaid.

    The job will get done, by phone, by mail, pretty much the way that Medicare is handled. That's their view.


    [ O Recommend   O Hide   O Bitch about this at the Help Desk ]

    by Pluto on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:48:11 PM PDT

    •  Bottom line perspectives. (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fury, Jim P, Hammerhand, JayBat, missississy, bdop4

      Here's an example from Employee Benefit News. They were blindsided by the politics, but are rolling fine with the computer issues.

      The good news, if there is any, is that in this first week of action on the exchanges (and yes, as employers and decision-makers, we know they’re not your bread and butter), the system did not spontaneously implode. Sure, there were crashes, there were overloads and there were outright systemic failures, but the apparatus of the many state exchanges seemed to get off to a reasonably successful, if somewhat wobbly, start.

      The bigger issue – and the one at the heart of this ongoing and frankly embarrassing swordfight that keeps the federal shutdown limping along – is an ideological battle about the ACA itself. Though many of you who’ve spent the last three years meticulously and delicately preparing your businesses and employee groups for it may have gotten the impression that it was all a done deal. Funny, that.

      I won’t go too deeply into news I heard earlier in the week that the entire shutdown may have been a well-executed and completely manufactured partisan strategy to completely undermine Obamacare, at the 11th hour – but it pains me. As it pains the 800,000 or so federal employees who are directly impacted, and the millions of U.S. workers and contractors affected in spin-off fashion by their inability to get work done with the government.

      ::

      And the Wall Street Honey Badgers never take their eye off the ball. A bit of computer bugginess is no match for the anticipated financial windfalls from getting more Americans into the for-profit system, with the government footing some of the bills.

      A key provision of the Affordable Care Act is going into effect today as statewide insurance exchanges open up around the country.

      But that’s just the latest in a series of changes to the U.S. health care system that will open up new opportunities for entrepreneurs.

      With the passing of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in 2009, doctors got new incentives to move from paper-based to digital systems. As a result, investors poured funding into new electronic medical record providers, like CareCloud and Practice Fusion. Since then, doctors’ use of electronic systems has shot up — in May, the department of Health and Human Services announced that doctors’ and hospitals’ use of health IT has nearly doubled since 2012.

      Smart entrepreneurs are paying equally close attention to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare). We’ve already seen new companies form to offer private health insurance exchanges so consumers can shop for affordable care. These exchanges are open for business today, Oct. 1, enabling individuals to sign up online, by phone, or in-person, with health insurance coverage starting next year.

      However, top health investors are thinking about the long-term impacts of the ACA, the biggest expansion in coverage in nearly 50 years. I caught up with investors from Emergence Capital, Venrock, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Google Ventures at a health IT dinner earlier this week to discuss new opportunities for health-tech entrepreneurs.

      Read more at http://venturebeat.com/...


      [ O Recommend   O Hide   O Bitch about this at the Help Desk ]

      by Pluto on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:41:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Friend contacted them by phone and gave (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jon Says

      all pertinent information. (This was after multiple frustrating tries at the website.)

      Was told they'd receive application and info by snail mail. Said it might take 2 weeks, but was not actually certain of how long it would take!

      Totally unacceptable.

      It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:24:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have never purchased insurance from a web site (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, auapplemac

    I prefer an Agent that knows the end and outs, because I have lots of questions and generally like to know and best design what I'm buying.

    If as you write, "The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency in charge of the exchange, is supposed to be overseeing all that, and by all accounts is in over its head." Republicans would be wise to attack all government services, not just this one law. We've all heard it before, " Government is bad at running ( ), let cut ( ) or we need to privatize ( )."

  •  Truman said The buck stops here! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auapplemac, Jo Bob, Kentucky Kid

    I only have one personal beef with president Obama. From day one Obama has not provided sufficient monitoring of every big project executed under his office. The first such failure occurred in the form of a serious lack of effective administration of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. I am fully aware that the job of president is very demanding time wise for anyone occupying that position. However given the size of this program ($831 billion), executive management and control was a necessity. There were solid proven programs available at the time that should have been used by the White House for this purpose, namely PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) and CPA (Critical Path Analysis). These two programs were integral to the Apollo program and were directly instrumental in assisting NASA's ability to complete its mission and put a man on the moon. Since then these two programs have been updated and used extensively for controlling huge projects. Thus much of the money intended to help revitalize the nation was not properly managed which in turn compromised the ultimate purpose of the program.

    Now we come to the second big project of the Obama administration, the roll out of the Affordable (Health) Care Act. President Obama should have had a cadre of systems analyst people from our computer industry working on the web site roll out over a year ago. Such a group of experienced personnel would have not only created a working site, but would have been able to run automated random scripted traffic on the website to simulate various levels of traffic. The team could also come up with some effective relief scenarios for any "denial of service" attacks from people hostile to the ACA law, who would use a battery of Internet computers to jam up the website. The team leader would have reported directly to the president and should have been someone who is a well known and respected top level systems analyst in the computer industry.

    It is not to late for the president to take this course. He should leave the current website up subject to ongoing repairs just to continue a portal that is available to the interested public, while the team creates the new website. As a matter of fact there might have to be a series of websites created as the project moves toward completion and new problems surface. However, the only problem with this incremental approach is that president Obama must demand and assure that identical access exists between all data bases used in each incremental phase of the development.

    •  Geez (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kayak58

      You're not asking for much are you? We are talking about government here, the worst and most inefficient thing ever created for these kinds of projects, except for all the others.

    •  I always thought that was a particularly fatuous (0+ / 0-)

      line.

      Just because you're at the 'top' of any organization does NOT mean you know every little thing some person under you decides to do in advance.  Procedural manuals grow in response to people doing things that were not expected until after someone did them.  Then you write rules saying 'don't do that'.

      But even so, the President himself would not be monitoring every detail of every department under him.  That's why you've got all of those folks below you.  Unfortunately, you don't get to hire everyone anew every time the President changes, so probably half the government was hired by Republicans, who really want government 'not to work'.

  •  It's MUCH improved since the first week (7+ / 0-)

    I started over with a new login id and email address Thursday 10/17, took about 20 minutes from start to the select a plan page.  My first several attempts were unsuccessfull, very slow, having to enter same info multiple times (wasn't saving it properly).  At that time my credit freeze was still in place, so the site couldn't get my credit report to verify my identity; I lifted it at Experian before my last try, and all worked well.

    "Detective, if ignorance was a drug, you'd be high all the time." Sam Tyler, 'Life on Mars'

    by Kokomo for Obama on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:17:18 PM PDT

    •  If you're in Indiana, I'm not surprised... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler

      ...what with the tens of people here rushing to healthcare.gov and all.

      This law is about as popular here as a turd in a punch bowl...just saying...

      Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

      by Love Me Slender on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:29:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Greatly exaggerated (0+ / 0-)

        Indiana is fairly Purple. Gov. Mike Pence got 49.62% last year to 46.42% for John Gregg. A Libertarian got the rest. Joe Donnelly beat Richard "Rape babies are God's will" Mourdock for the Senate. Remember that Obama won here in 2008.

        Neither Marriage Equality nor a Constitutional amendment to ban it can make any progress here in elections, but that is temporary, given our extensive generation gap. We shut down the Rockport Coal Gasification Boondoggle before construction of the main plant, and forced the comparable Edwardsport Coal Gasification boondogle to give up on coal and switch the facilities already built to burn natural gas (a partial victory, but we will take it under the circumstances). We are closing old, highly polluting coal-fired power plants, and building windmills instead.

        If Indiana continues to evolve at the same rate as the rest of the country, we will be a true swing state in 2016, and mildly Blue in 2020.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 11:57:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey sparky...I live here... (0+ / 0-)

          ...and Obama got his ass handed to him in 2012 in Indiana.

          Do you live here? Because I speak to Indiana Hoosiers in a daily basis across multiple counties, so I have the pulse of the state.

          Indiana is a red state. Joe Donnelly is pro-life and supported extending ALL the Bush tax cuts. The entire state government is run by conservatives. RTW is law...a constitutional ban on gay marriage is on the ballot for referendum.

          One day this may be purple, but don't substitute fantasy for reality in 2013.

          Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

          by Love Me Slender on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 03:34:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I tried the first day (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      missississy, Mokurai, Pluto, bdop4

      and got stuck on the security question page when the fields wouldn't populate.  Tried again tonight, and it actually told me to call in to the hotline.  Got a real person almost immediately, but with the site glitchy they couldn't do anything for me either.  Tried to find a navigator, but the closest one is about 20 miles away in another county.  The lady on the hotline said that there may be someone in town, but many navigators just aren't in the database.

      Irritation aside, as someone who has self insured several times, I can't wait to get enrolled.  The rates that I've been hearing, (~$200 month for a 33 yo male nonsmoker) aren't that bad.  The last time I self insured in Indiana at 24 I was paying ~180 month. And this is all before the subsidies.  Now I have to just make sure my income is above the cutoff for the poor tax Pence put into place by rejecting federal money.

      http://www.economicpopulist.org

      by ManfromMiddletown on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:57:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually bitching about the (0+ / 0-)

    problems will.

  •  Understatement of the year (so far) (4+ / 0-)

    "Rocky start to HealthCare.gov could erode support for law".

    That the President's, indeed Democrats' signature policy initiative could be so thoroughly dysfunctional in its debut is making every Republican smile.

  •  Biggest non-issue. MSM needs something else (11+ / 0-)

    to distract them and they'll move on.  

    Only people who even are being hindered by the website glitches are folks who don't have health insurance and want some or folks who believe they're paying too much and are shopping around.  Neither of these groups are all of a sudden going to not utilize the ACA because of web glitches.  

    And to everybody else - this is just a political weapon to attack the President with.  Nothing more.  MSM figures that the GOP took the brunt of the shutdown fallout negative coverage, so they need to "get back" at Obama a bit to be "fair and balanced".  

    But with so many damn "Web glitches are killer and ACA is doooooomed!" diaries here - folks certainly take their cues from the MSM (or Republicans).  

    How many folks who have health insurance bought theirs online?  How many of you purchased your home/renters insurance online?  How many purchased your auto insurance online?  Things as complicated as insurance purchases doesn't strike me as something most folks look to purchase online to begin with.  

    Glenn Greenwald promotes far-right fringe extremist group The Oath Keepers - https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/statuses/377787818619064320

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:23:30 PM PDT

    •  I did. Either online and/or by phone! That's how (0+ / 0-)

      I purchased my auto, home and Medicare Supplemental coverages.

      No problems. I'm reviewing my Plan D Rx coverage now to determine if I want to stay with the same company or switch.

      All the info is there online - Rates, coverage, my drugs, co-pays, etc. You can actually compare plans next to each other.

      This Medicare government site works well and is pretty easy to navigate.

      Wish I could say the same about the ACA site.

      It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:31:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that medicare site has been up and around (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smartdemmg, missississy

        for how long?  How about your auto and home carriers?  This is a huge monster of a website for essentially a start up.  And unlike most start-ups who can slowly grow with their clientele, this website went online to millions of customers all at once.  

        Bush's medicare part D roll out was less than smooth, as was the Romneycare online aspect of his roll out.  

        Glenn Greenwald promotes far-right fringe extremist group The Oath Keepers - https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/statuses/377787818619064320

        by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:45:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And folks can sign up by phone for ACA. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KJB Oregon, JayBat

        The website is just one avenue.  

        Glenn Greenwald promotes far-right fringe extremist group The Oath Keepers - https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/statuses/377787818619064320

        by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:45:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You can make the initial application. But, you (5+ / 0-)

          cannot learn about the actual plans and companies that provide them. Can't learn the benefits available and the exclusions/exceptions that are in every policy.

          Need to see the actual policy to determine which, if any, plan you might want.

          You are told you will receive info my snail mail. They also tell you that they don't know how long that will take to get to you.

          I have close friends who have been trying since 10/1. I've been following their travails closely to keep in touch with the process. BTW, this is the Federal program and not one of the states that is providing their own.

          It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

          by auapplemac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:50:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That has changed. You can find the coverage (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto

            options on healthcare.gov by company and policy name for any county in any state covered, and call the companies for more even if you cannot register and start an application online. There are 19 plans offered in Indiana, most of them from Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and some from MDwise.

            Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

            by Mokurai on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 12:05:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In TX you can also see the plans and premium and (0+ / 0-)

              if you're knowedgeable enough you then go to the website of the Insurance Co to find the details of each policy - what's covered, how much and what is not covered.

              Maybe that's how the Federal site should have been designed from the start.

              It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

              by auapplemac on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 01:08:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Nope that changed this weekend (0+ / 0-)

            Check it out.  Very cool.  I previewed my state's plans in about 5 minutes by answering a few simple prompts.  There are more prompts if you think you qualify for subsidies.

            "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

            by noofsh on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 03:57:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Non-issue? Really? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      falconer520

      This will be our President's main claim to fame, or sadly, possibly shame. The repugs in Congress have voted how many times to repeal this law due to it not having a chance to work, being unconstitutional, giving it the name of our President, etc...President Obama has hailed it as great, and that it will help most people without insurance to now be covered, yet the experiences so far have been, well....

      An "glitch" is something minor that can be fixed rather easily. The ACA "glitch" has lasted a month so far, with no firm fixes or resolution date in sight as of now.

      I want this program to succeed, but your "hey, look over there" does nothing but give added support the repugs view of this law. People in our Government should be fired over this, and most likely a contractor or three should be sued - neither will ever happen of course, but attention does need to be brought to this by the MSM so that maybe enough embarrassment will help to fix all of these issues.

  •  Gosh, Privatization works so well. (8+ / 0-)

    55 different contractors? Has anyone ever tried to coordinate FIVE different entities, and seen how hard that is?

    The sane thing for such a project, if the Republican Privatization Delusion had not infected how we do things, is that The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would have set up a temporary governmental agency and hired for it. There would have been one organization, one hierarchy, one head, and everyone would be brought on to the same page immediately.

    There is little to nothing that can't be done by the Federal Government cheaper and better than contracting out. 30 years of experience with the Republican fantasy of Privatization's benefits should have taught, at least Democrats, the truth of that.

    Republican ideas poison economics and society.


    Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

    by Jim P on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:25:07 PM PDT

  •  I just saved a fortune. I hope the law does not (14+ / 0-)

    change. After allowed website deductions of income my wife and I had 57K income and were awarded a 690 monthly tax award toward the premium. We chose a Gold Level package comparable to the one we currently have under Cobra at a 960 dollar monthly premium. Our out of pocket will be 270 a month. Our current years Cobra premium, 1265 a month a savings of just under $1000 a month.

    Our unemployed daughter who is over 26 and a dependent on us gets the identical Gold coverage for $480 a month minus a $345 tax credit costing her $135 a month. A savings from her current Cobra payment of 580 dollars of $445 per month.

    I also did a HARP mortgage reduction that reduced our monthly mortgage from $2700 down to $1500 a month. Is there any wonder we regard the President as a Saint?

    •  This is what I mean. Your SUCCESS is DROWNED (6+ / 0-)

      OUT by even the main diarists on Kos.

      "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

      by Wildthumb on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:28:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps that's because many others... (3+ / 0-)

        ...haven't been treated quite as nicely by the new law as politics64 was, perhaps?

        I can be happy for other people, but when my family can't sign up for Jack Shit, it's difficult to crack a smile of support.

        Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

        by Love Me Slender on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:32:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  While his story is encouraging, I have personal (3+ / 0-)

        experience with ACA site and so far it's been a nightmare. I'm talking about the Federal site not one of the states that seem to have it together.

        Regardless of the random success stories, this mismanagement handed the Rs a lifesaver rather than an anchor.

        The fact that some of the state programs have run successfully gives even more credence to the Rs claim that states are better at serving their citizens than the Federal government.
        I hope I hear more and more stories like politics64.

        It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

        by auapplemac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:37:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That boxquote also points out that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          auapplemac

          multiple states managed to work out how to do exactly what it is the federal site need to do on their own.  The only IT difference that should matter with the Federal site is traffic load.  The functionality should be exactly the same for site users, whether state or Federal.

          Create accounts, edit accounts, display information, provide shopping carts, and do some verification.

          If all of the state sites can handle it, then the Feds have no excuse for any problem not directly related to traffic load.

        •  My son registered in 20 min yesterday. (6+ / 0-)

          We've been reviewing plans all day today.  No problems with the Federal website.  I keep scratching my head wondering why the site is still so buggy for people when I'm not having any.

          My son just got kicked off our policy when he turned 26 last month.  Covering him as a dependent on our employee policy cost us an additional $60.

          He qualifies for a $90 subsidy.  A policy for him will cost us of pocket about $100 a month more than what we were paying before.

          So we're one of those people who will actually be paying more than we were last year.

          But I'm not complaining one bit.  I'm thrilled that we're getting him coverage.  You see, he has a pre-existing condition.

          •  A 90 dollar subsidy sounds a little low (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            edwardssl, bdop4

            Are you sure you did not over report your anticipated 2014 income? Took all the reasonable deductions allowed? The information on current insurance was the most difficult part of the site to manage because the drop down list of insurance carriers is not alphabetical extremely long to scroll through and many people only know things like they have United Healthcare but do not know which of the dozen or so variations is theirs. Also the policy number of your insurance with 12 digits and three letters appears no where on your card. I simply entered the first three letters of my last name and the policy numbers leaving the last one off and the system accepted it.

      •  Yes, it's FP diarists' fault (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        falconer520

        that the ACA website has problems.

        And it's also their fault that this person's story isn't posted in his/her own diary for the rest of DailyKos to see, and, possibly put on the rec list.

        Give us fucking break, already.




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

        by DeadHead on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:55:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's like they're hoping it fails (0+ / 0-)

        Just because we didn't get single payer .
        If it fails, there'll be no hope of universal healthcare for years.
        We tried for a hundred years until we got the ACA.

    •  sounds selfish to me (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:
      cville townie

      you're evidently an exception to what most people are experiencing. Nothing is free, someone else is subsidizing your lifestyle now.

  •  Another extremely unhelpful diary. (11+ / 0-)

    How many thousands of these reports and diaries coming out that say the same thing, together with the media drumming it out every day, for us to get it: yeah, the rollout sucks, and we FUCKING get it.

    Now, move on to something else, because constantly screaming about this from every angle won't speed up its improvement.

    We have another "it sucks" diary, followed by something nobody in the administration knows: "Fixing Obamacare has to be the number one priority of the Administrtion." Yeah, nobody is working on this. They're all out golfing or beating off.

    Jesus. Did Obama know this? Do the people involved with the rollout, who already have two dozen eggs on every face? Do they get what a shit rollout this is? YESSS!!!!!

    Enough! Fucking enough. Let's hear about some successes, which are drowned out by all this shit here.

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:26:57 PM PDT

    •  It's called frustration and embarrassment! We (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kentucky Kid, falconer520

      want it to work. The fact that it is so screwed up just plays into the hands of the Rs.

      That's why so many of us have our hair on fire. There is nothing we can do about it but rage.

      It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:39:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This too turns out not to be the case (0+ / 0-)

        You could be gathering and disseminating real information that helps people cope with the undoubted problems, rather than screaming that the problems mean the end of everything. Several of us here are doing so.

        People have been signing up for policies under ACA for years, even before we started with the new exchanges, and are telling stories of lives and fortunes saved as a result, because there are no more exclusions for pre-existing conditions, no lifetime caps, and no more of several other heinous practices. People are telling us that the Exchanges will save them serious money and provide much better coverage than the policies they have been able to get before, even with those other new rules.

        We need to get those many stories out to those not in thrall to the echo chamber noise machine. Don't worry about convincing them. They are doing an excellent job of convincing others that they are crazy, and that we are the only ones who care about the people of this country. Especially the women, children, minorities, immigrants, LGBTs, scientists, retirees on Social Security and Medicare, the poor, workers, teachers, and everybody else the Right gets the screaming meemies about.

        Remember, it's Obama-cares, as he has said himself. Their idea of showing that they care used to be Compassionate Conservatism, which worked out to

        Kinder, gentler rape
        because you are supposed to relax and enjoy it.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 12:27:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  lol. You're kidding, right? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      falconer520

      This place as been non-stop ACA success stories, have you forgotten already?

      Or is it that you'd prefer to not look at the side which doesn't fit your narrative of everything being just exactly perfect?




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:49:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  SHIT. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        clubbing guy

        I know the rollout is SHIT, as I said above. How are your rants or your stupid response to what I said helpful? Get it, for chrissakes. None of this furthers fixing the problem.

        YES, THE ROLLOUT IS SHIT. WE GET IT. Now either do something yourself to fix it, or move on to other subjects. YES, OBAMA IS RESPONSIBLE. I get it, for the thousandth time.

        Or does another couple of thousand comments from you and your ilk about how lousy it is help us learn one more fucking thing?

        "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

        by Wildthumb on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:55:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What's with all the personally-directed bullshit? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          falconer520

          Please control yourself.




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:06:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Look at your two comments about my posts and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            clubbing guy

            tell me they weren't personally directed. My language is harsher, yeah, but look at your own fucking comments, for chrissakes.

            "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

            by Wildthumb on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:09:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay, sure... (0+ / 0-)
              Yes, it's FP diarists' fault

              that the ACA website has problems.

              And it's also their fault that this person's story isn't posted in his/her own diary for the rest of DailyKos to see, and, possibly put on the rec list.

              Give us fucking break, already.

              by DeadHead on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:55:21 PM PDT

              lol. You're kidding, right?

              This place as been non-stop ACA success stories, have you forgotten already?

              Or is it that you'd prefer to not look at the side which doesn't fit your narrative of everything being just exactly perfect?

              by DeadHead on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:49:06 PM PDT

              Compared to your response:
              SHIT.

              I know the rollout is SHIT, as I said above. How are your rants or your stupid response to what I said helpful? Get it, for chrissakes. None of this furthers fixing the problem.

              YES, THE ROLLOUT IS SHIT. WE GET IT. Now either do something yourself to fix it, or move on to other subjects. YES, OBAMA IS RESPONSIBLE. I get it, for the thousandth time.

              Or does another couple of thousand comments from you and your ilk about how lousy it is help us learn one more fucking thing?

              by Wildthumb on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:55:35 PM PDT

              Your reply seems a bit disproportionate, but don't let me get in the way of your ragefest.




              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

              by DeadHead on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:28:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  How can we move on when every paper in the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeadHead

          country has the "glitches" and "hiccups" as a headline, a sub headline, 5 cover stories and 2 or 3 inside stories for good measure?  

          We can't just ignore it.  It is shit, I agree, but I want it to discuss it and figure out how we can do damage control while they get it fixed....and hopefully in days, not weeks or months.  

  •  Fix it, don't quit it! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayBat

    I know they're pushing the 1-800 number and snail mail; they should continue to do so and not be reliant on the web-based system while they're working on the site--hopefully this is possible, to have people enroll the old-fashioned, pre-internet, way.

    The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

    by micsimov on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:27:51 PM PDT

  •  I don't agree that it will erode support... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJB Oregon, JayBat, Gruvkitty, madronagal

    website is much improved since the first few days, I've went back in to look at the plans several times, takes a couple of minutes.

    Look at Microsoft....many times a Windows or virus detection software updates would break applications, freeze up, BSOD, and developers and customers still run Windows (I use a Macintosh, but used Windows at work for many years).

    Keep spreading the word that the site is much improved.

    "Detective, if ignorance was a drug, you'd be high all the time." Sam Tyler, 'Life on Mars'

    by Kokomo for Obama on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:27:52 PM PDT

    •  Quite honestly I was impressed with the preview (0+ / 0-)

      I know the preview capability is new. But it was cool.  One of simplest I ever used.  I been through financial sites with retirement previews that are more complex.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

      by noofsh on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 03:55:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Shorter version (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sweatyb

    many, if not most, Americans are idiots. I don't see how a website solves that problem any time soon.

    •  What the hell does that mean. The website is/was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jon Says

      a mess. Has nothing to do with the end user - in most cases.

      I know a very savy tech person who's been trying to apply - or just get information- since 10/1.

      Not only tech savy, but with major insurance knowledge. Finally set up the initial record, but still can't get to the actual plans for review.

      It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:42:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes it does. Has this supposedly "tech savvy" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto

        person tried using Windows 2000 or XP in a virtual machine?How about a copy of OS X modified to remove the Apple hardware check?  How about changing settings for things such as TCP congestion and TCP window scaling?  How about viewing the source to the website and fixing it themselves with user CSS, user javascript, or even writing a proxy (after installing a custom SSL certificate, of course) to fix the site errors?

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:50:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So the whole population is supposed to be able to (0+ / 0-)

          dig into a system to be able to use it?  Whatever happened to KISS?

          You must always keep the end user in mind and who that audience is.

          It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

          by auapplemac on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 01:14:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It may not be that easy (0+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately if you have architectural issues you will need to start from scratch ( don't know if that is the case...)

    In the valley several start ups routinely work with a few million dollars building highly scalable websites using AWS, while integrating multiple databases. Anytime you have multiple contractors you are guaranteeing failure as anyone who has tried to write a software spec knows...

    None of the people involved are familiar to me in the consumer internet space and none if them would have been my choice. Did Obama use even one of them for his campaign?

    The best now may be band aids making for an extraordinarily rickety system with a wholesale upgrade later. How the data for those who have actually enrolled gets into the new system makes my head hurt.

    While I am glad this is not my problem it does have the potential to destroy ACA.

    Throwing more people onto a big software problem invariably makes the problem worse. You actually need to drastically reduce the number.

    I just want to curl up and cry. We are on the verge of stealing defeat from the jaws of victory...

  •  55 different contractors!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Yikes, who the heck thought it was a good idea to have 55 contractors.  I work in the defense industry and know that 6 contractors on an integrated system is hard.

    Hate to say it, but they should have given the job to a Lockheed Martin or Northrup Grumman, it would have cost a LOT more, but would have worked better - would not have been perfect, but doubt it would be as messed up.

  •  Well, if they can keep you asking the wrong q's (0+ / 0-)

    "Isolated incidents" or "signs of a broader problem with the law the government's overreliance on private contractors for running major programs."

    Politics means controlling the balance of economic and institutional power. Everything else is naming post offices.

    by happymisanthropy on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:32:33 PM PDT

  •  They never learn, do they (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auapplemac, DeadHead, Kentucky Kid

    Dems' Achilles heel has for decades been their political incompetence, with horrible messaging, poor coordination and little to no pushback of RW attacks. Now we're seeing it with the ACA, which while an improvement on the status quo was incompetently constructed by Obama & Dems, and now apparently incompetently implemented and rolled out. There is simply no excuse. You get no points for being smarter and nicer in politics. Results are all that matter.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:36:55 PM PDT

    •  Given the structure of our government, I think (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KJB Oregon, madronagal

      Obama got all that he was going to get. There was no way that a Medicare for All program would have passed.

      Not only due to costs, but also due to the political realities of the time.

      It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:45:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even if one accepts that premise (and I don't) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        falconer520, Kentucky Kid

        it's hard to argue that he managed the writing and passing of the ACA well. It took way too long, involved way too much infighting in the party, and gave the GOP way too much political ammo to use against Dems in 2010. It was not his finest effort, especially compared to how he ran his campaign. Day and night.

        But even if one doesn't accept that (and I'm guessing you don't), there's no excuse for this, 3 years in. This should not have been bungled this way.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:01:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Gee, last month the Post Office misdelivered a (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJB Oregon, JayBat, madronagal, edwardssl

    package I mailed - they sent it to Massachusetts before finding their mistake and shipping it to L.A.

    The latest Patch download for my online game 'World of Warcraft' needed a series of maintenence days to fix the bugs.

    My XTerra had a recall notice to fix a steering box problem.

    Clearly the PO, Activision, and Nissan need to be shut down!

    Nothing new works perfectly. Everybody quit panicking, and more importantly, stop buying into Republican anti-Obama/anti-government hate propaganda.

    Chill out people.

    They called Einstein 'crazy', too..... until he started KICKING ASS!!!

    by Fordmandalay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:45:02 PM PDT

    •  media is feeding this frenzy (0+ / 0-)

      they have nothing better to talk about.  meanwhile, did you notice that you can preview prices for you state ... works real nice.  Very simple set of questions and boom out popped all of my options!  Nice.  I get that it's harder to enroll.  But I could pick up a phone and do it (don't need to as I have insurance but I was checking this out for a friend ... I forwarded him the wonderful white house email from yesterday).  The President is trying to very hard to make this work.  The least we can do is try to help him.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

      by noofsh on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 03:51:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think you mean fixing the EXCHANGES (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shrike, missississy

    has to be a number one priority.  

    Because Obamacare has a lot more to it than signing up folks who didn't have insurance before.  

    That's a good part, but it is very far from being the ONLY part. Obamacare in its entireity has all those reforms of what insurers can do -- no more recission, no more exclusions, longer coverage for young adults, and the very important 80% payout rule.    

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:45:14 PM PDT

  •  If the story of large scale (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sweatyb, zizi

    software implementations was told correctly, things would be different.

    The problem is, the vast majority of the news media is clueless on these things.  As such, their "reporting" has been more like alarmism and less like someone covering a large-scale software launch.

    Large scale software launches - almost like clockwork - all seem to have problems when the application is first released into the wild.  It happens for projects large and small.  Defects pop up after the product goes into production, get identified, and get fixed.  No implementation ever goes off without a hitch.

    Having worked in this business for a long, long time, what I see with the ACA website isn't all that surprising - or alarming.  TBQH, I think the launch of the last Apple Maps was far more bug-ridden than the ACA launch, because the issues were with the front-end of the software and should have been caught in quality assurance testing on that, while the ACA issues seem more related to back-end issues that are harder to catch in QA and stress testing.  The whole "please wait" thing is a clear indication that part of the issue is not having enough hardware to handle transactional demands - something easily remedied.

    The scope of this project should be taken in consideration as well.  The ACA site is a from-scratch project that, immediately upon going live, has 10s of millions of potential end users.  Other popular web applications - like Facebook and Twitter - didn't launch out of the box to such demand and evolved to have huge user bases gradually over time.

    In other words, much of this is being blown way out of proportion by the media itself, largely because reporters are clueless about the subject, and largely because talking about the "failure" of the ACA site sells papers, drives web traffic, and causes people to tune in.  It's sensationalist nonsense.  This time next year, when the bugs have long since been ironed out, people will barely remember the bumpy implementation.

    •  This is all very true (0+ / 0-)

      Which is exactly why relying on the website as much as the Admin has is a huge mistake. I looked and looked for specific information for nearly a year and it just wasn't out there. And then suddenly a brand new website comes up that's suppose to have all the answers. What did they expect?

      •  The business rules are complex (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zizi

        and as such, again, bugs should be expected.  But having worked to implement a completely new tax processing system for NYS from scratch,  I dare say that I've seen far more complex business rules need to be implemented into software and have seen them done so successfully.  However, that implementation has plenty of growing pains as well.

        Choosing to do this via website was the right play.  People expecting that website to come online immediately and error-free is simply what happens today in America - Americans are not happy unless they have something to bitch about.

        •  People were told that all their questions (0+ / 0-)

          would be answered by the web site. That was a mistake. When you put all the info on a website you can then fault people for wanting the site to be up and running on time. It should have gone live 3 months ago, at least.

          •  My experience with end users (0+ / 0-)

            is that they all complain - always.  That's just what they do.  Few of them fathom the level of complexity anything takes, and some of them are so horribly bad at following basic instructions that even the best designed web apps will end up with some that are completely lost on how to use it.

            Surely, part of the issue is that the design was rushed and they didn't take a "is this simple enough that my grandmother could figure it out" approach.  Some of it is that there are overwhelming technical issues.  But some of it is just plain end-user level PEBKAC - problem exists between keyboard and chair.

    •  Exactly right (0+ / 0-)

      And the problems get fixed one at a time.

      Not all at once.

      In 3-6 months all this noise will be history.

    •  it was a project management nightmare (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darth Stateworker, missississy

      legislation and good project management don't mix.  The legislation essentially mandated that the first proper test of the exchange site was the day it opened.

      The exchanges had to open on time.  The site couldn't be open for just a select few.  It couldn't have early enrollment or be invitation only and it couldn't have a beta release (and certainly not an alpha).

      And it had to integrate with dozens (hundreds?) of disparate systems, some private, some federal, some state, but none under your control.  Most of which were built out for this project with just as much time pressure and even less testing by agencies that are not answerable to you.

      From a project management standpoint, releasing this thing to live must have been a nightmare.  They would fire the PM, but he quit to go herd goats in Nairobi.

      •  Not to mention, the regulations got handed down (0+ / 0-)

        quite late in the game.

        Given all the constraints involved in federal IT contracting, it would have been a challenge to pull this off if the project had started rolling the day the ACA passed.  Instead they had, I think, a couple of years.  That's insanely short for something of this magnitude.

      •  The motto of the alt.sysadmin.recovery (0+ / 0-)

        newsgroup on the pre-Web Usenet was "down, not across". That was advice on how to commit suicide by slitting your wrists when you couldn't take it anymore. Nobody here on dKos has committed snark on the scale we used to get routinely there. Even Dilbert cannot tell the true tales.

        I once personally derailed a "release candidate" for a major software company by the simple method of actually testing it and actually reporting all of the bugs I encountered, while employed as a Technical Writer on contract, and not even in the QA department. (QA thanked me, though. They wanted to hire me, but it was company policy to hire from the inside over people who were actually competent.) The only reason it was designated a release candidate was that the schedule said so, in spite of a long and growing list of major bugs.

        It helps that I had training in mathematics and proto-Computer-Science (which went under the rubric of Foundations of Mathematics at that time), and could do a systematic logical analysis of the UI to test every mouse click and menu option in cases that an engineer would not attempt, but that users would.

        My favorite bug of all time was in a Microsoft Windows Beta where I opened the drawing program, tried out a few brush strokes, and went to close. I was told "Insufficient memory to quit."

        I am currently railing at Comcast, which has released a new DVR that frequently locks up for as much as 15 seconds while I am trying to stop rewinding. Failing to respond to user controls in a real-time system is inexcusable. (I have worked with people doing avionics-grade hard real time operating systems. Imagine not responding to the stick for 15 seconds while the aircraft is descending.) You would think that these people had never heard of interrupts. They clearly do not know how to design a finite-state machine, and are winging it with inherently unanalyzable and untestable spaghetti code. Except that the trivial test of actually using it has these obviously disastrous results.

        It continues to bother me, but it no longer astonishes me, that major companies and government organizations have no idea how to manage software development, when at the same time other organizations that I have worked for do.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 12:58:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Every state website managed to work ok. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilW, Peace Missile

      The Federal site should be doing the same tasks and functions as the state site.

      The only excuse they had for why their site has so many different and 'fun' bugs was traffic volume, and even that excuse falls flat given that they STILL had all of the same problems after site use fell to half of what they claimed they developed it to handle.

      Yes, every rollout has problems.  But not so many and so varied.

      Quit trying to put lipstick on the pig.  

      •  Please. (0+ / 0-)

        Stop reflecting your ignorance.  The more you talk, the more it's clear you're someone who "dabbles" in IT and thinks you're an expert, not an IT pro.

        Dunning-Kruger anyone?  

        A PhD should know better.  Now sod off.

        •  Yeah, whatever. (0+ / 0-)

          I've got a masters in systems analysis and worked as a paid DBA/analyst/programmer for a decade, developing a system with a greater range of functionality than the exchange, and coding about 90% of it myself.

          I'm not top tier, but I've done enough to know when incompetent programmers and designers are whining excuses.

          •  Again. (0+ / 0-)

            Your overconfidence in your education and past experience is your problem.

            Looking at your LinkedIn, and looking up the company you used to work for, you were doing chicken-scratch, not large scale work.

            Stop deluding yourself that you know everything  - because it makes you look like your average rightwingnut, not a liberal with critical thinking skills and the ability to admit you might not have knowledge in things you've never actually done.

            Neither your degree nor your past experience impress upon me that you have the first clue what you're talking about when it comes to enterprise level rollouts with huge installed user bases along with the breadth of the scope of this kind of project.

            Coding a small-scale ticketing system that is all open source, is completely under your control because all systems are in the same house, and with limited if any connection to anything under the control of people you don't control does not give you the expertise to even be able to guess at what the problems are here - and you displayed that last night in abundance when you ignorantly stated the only difference between state sites and the federal exchange was the number of users.

            Now let it go.

  •  Politically speaking.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Kentucky Kid, falconer520

    the Democrats dodged a bullet with the Republican explosion so that the first 3 weeks of this story went under the radar.

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:48:56 PM PDT

  •  Can we relax (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anonevent, JayBat, Gruvkitty, Pluto

    Let's assume there is a 3 month delay in Obamacare.  Will that really matter a year from now?

    People are going to judge the program on how it makes a difference in their lives, not the short term messaging from politicians.  Delays will easily be forgotten once they get it to work and people will move on.

    •  will not matter one bit (0+ / 0-)

      because all they need to do is delay the enforcement of penalties for the mandate and you have more time!

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

      by noofsh on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 03:47:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I build web applications (0+ / 0-)

    I think this project was doomed way before it launched. The application was not even tested until 4-6 days before launch.

  •  So Waiting In Line To Get Tickets For (0+ / 0-)

    your favorite band for 4 hours ok, but waiting to create an account in ACA for 4 hours bad???

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:56:52 PM PDT

  •  Seems like 36 states need less Republicans... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sweatyb, PhilW

    Every state should have set up its own system...

    What's with the 36 that didn't?

    I don't think that many of them are Teahadist controlled... so what happened?

    The roaches always win if you turn out the lights.

    by Jyotai on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:02:47 PM PDT

  •  Another concern, (0+ / 0-)

    is that in most news reports, it's not clear that the problems only affect those in states that have chosen not to run their own health exchanges.  As a result, people are staying away from the state health exchange websites.  Dems need to make it crystal clear that this only affects those in states run by republican governers who are trying to sabotage the law.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:19:39 PM PDT

  •  So much hysteria. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sweatyb, anonevent

    Are there problems? Yes. And that sucks. But sometimes these things take some time to iron out. Anyone who actually supports the ACA will not be deterred by some delays.

    Oh no! I might have to receive information via snail mail! What a disaster! I was refused health care b/c of pre-existing conditions via snail mail after 6-8 weeks of waiting TWICE while living in CA years ago. So if I have to wait a few weeks to get my affordable quote for my guaranteed insurance in Texas, I'm okay with that.

    Good lord, have we no patience anymore?

    "A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges." Ben Franklin

    by Gruvkitty on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:31:53 PM PDT

    •  We do not want anyone deterred because we (0+ / 0-)

      might lose some or many.

      Anyone who actually supports the ACA will not be deterred by some delays.
      The problem is that the ACA's approval numbers are not over 50% and we need to get them to get there and then way higher.  We are not worried we will lose those who already support the ACA but rather we are afraid people who are on the fence or who think they hate it will never give it a chance at all.
      •  we'll get there (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gruvkitty

        give it a chance

        "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

        by noofsh on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 03:46:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But the title here says support eroding (0+ / 0-)

        That implies that people who support the ACA are turning against it. If someone is already against it, the issues do no harm.

        The real issue here in my opinion is that people have unreal expectations of how a program this large launches. Perhaps the President should have done a better job with those expectations. Of course there will be problems. But they will get addressed. The media meme that these problems mean that the ACA is flawed is absurd. And we should stop feeding it and change the message!

        "A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges." Ben Franklin

        by Gruvkitty on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 07:16:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The issues can do harm, plenty of harm, all day (0+ / 0-)

          long.  We don't need just the people who love the idea of the ACA....we need as many people as possible on board and right now.  We need them to sign up and pay premiums or rate will start to rise.  

          Unfortunately, at this point, the supporters are out numbered by the nay sayers and a "look, I told you so" meme is not a good thing at all.

  •  Web sites and health care are not the same thing, (0+ / 0-)

    but I could see a ripple effect if people:

    1. Equate these problems with the overall quality of management and oversight.  After all, the government didn't actually develop the web site, but was responsible for hiring and overseeing the people who did.

    2.  Equate these problems with the management of electronic health records. The law encourages expansion of electronic medical record interchange.  Again, ensuring the security of medical records is not the same thing as making a website scale massively and work properly, but people might worry about the privacy of their medical records.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:34:22 PM PDT

  •  Why not take Kentucky's website as the model (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    falconer520, PhilW

    upon which to expand. I seem to recall that there was supposed to be a learning mechanism whereby the best practices from each state's implementation of the ACA are widely adopted.

  •  Kludgeocracy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

    The trouble with the website reminded me of this piece from the New America Foundation last year: "Kludgeocracy: The American Way of Policy"

    http://newamerica.net/...

    “Clumsy but temporarily effective” also describes much of American public policy. For any particular problem we have arrived at the most gerry-rigged, opaque and complicated response. From the mind-numbing complexity of the health care system (which has only gotten more complicated, if also more just, after the passage of Obamacare), our Byzantine system of funding higher education, and our bewildering federal-state system of governing everything from the welfare state to environmental regulation, America has chosen more indirect and incoherent policy mechanisms than any comparable country.
    •  The Rube Goldberg government. (1+ / 0-)

      No one ever wants to address problems head on, with the simplest and most direct solution.  Instead, every single piece of legislation meets the standards noted in your boxquote.  Attempting to solve problems by bizarre contortions.  The most charitable explanation is that you have to make legislation incomprehensibly complex simply to confuse the tea partier mentality republicans long enough to pass anything.  The likely reality is that people rationalize themselves into long, indirect 'solutions' that fit their particular ideological worldview, rather than simply testing a variety of straightforward solutions across an ideological spectrum, finding out which work best, with the fewest unintended consequences, fixing the unintended consequences, and going from there.

  •  Obama's fault 100% (0+ / 0-)

    1. People need to stop hiding behind the tech issues. Government can execute high-tech. The stuff worked on at APL, Nasa, DoD, NSA, and CIA proves that. The computational projects and programs worked on at these agencies and labs is far beyond healthcare.gov. This is 100% on Obama and Sibelius not being on top of this program and making sure it received the resources it needed to succeed.

    2. Even if the website worked well, I was never convinced that enough low-utilization member premium dollars would flow into the system to offset the older/sicker crowd. This was a heritage/right wing solution from the start. Obama FAILED by having this become the 'progressive' solution.

    NO!

    Obama should have insisted and fought tooth and nail every day for SINGLE PAYER and the COMPROMISE would've been public option.

    Now when ACA fails by 2016, he'll set back single payer by 100 years in this country and give the white house to the R's for the next 8 years afterwards minimum.

    Obama is NOT a progressive. He is a wall street shill and I am sick of seeing progressives stand up for him and the disaster that is ACA when it was NEVER and is NOT the progressive solution.

    The tea party actually controls a significant minority of the government....what do we control? Looks like NOTHING.

     

    •  geez, give it a chance (0+ / 0-)

      yes I would rather have single payer too but do you really think you will get it?  then the right wing will correctly scream about govt take over of health care.  That doesn't bother me but would be a show stopper for many.

      This is going to help ALOT of people.  Let's give it a chance to work.  If prices don't come down then lets push for a public option to bring them down.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

      by noofsh on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 03:45:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Amazing (0+ / 0-)

    that people are so bent out of shape...

    What to expect different ?  On any given day my ISP is lousy, my tablet cant hook up to mobile data (in a city !), my cell phone drops calls (in a city !), Windows freezes up even after 8 versions have been released (EIGHT !)

    Why would anyone think any kind of HUGE tech rollout wouldn't be a mess ?

    "How are we supposed to get to the Moon if we can't talk between two or three buildings ?" - Gus Grissom

  •  It's nigh impossible to sign up for Medicare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto

    online as well...websites are all glitchy.

    The best solution is phone calls to real people.

    •  It always is! (0+ / 0-)

      and they are making that easy.  Now that there is a preview you can easily "window shop" prices, have a fair idea of what you want, make a phone call and get it done.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

      by noofsh on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 03:42:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It seems a lot of grievers here... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto

    ... did not listen to the Prez this morning:

    It's not about a website disfunction.  They can sign up by calling an 800 number, or even find an in-preson person to help them through the process, even in states that don't support the ACA.

    Hell,  many of those who need or or would benefit from the ACA might not even have a computer.  There's an 800 number available to all.

    Evolution IS Intelligent Design!

    by msirt on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 11:16:17 PM PDT

  •  One for cripes sakes, just use your phone (0+ / 0-)

    I was able to go preview plans for my state without any signup.  The web site was very fast.  My understanding is that a phone sign up will generally take 30 minutes.  People got to get past the whining phase already.  

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 03:41:41 AM PDT

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