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article imageOp-Ed: Culprits found in Obamacare website crashes

By Robert Weller     Oct 8, 2013 in Technology
Crashes of Obamacare online accessibility in its first week didn't occur in a vacuum. Who hasn't suffered a problem even with Apple, or had to return a car for a dangerous problem.
High traffic was only part of the problem with the implementation of Obamacare last week, the administration now admits.
The New York Times quoted Todd Park, the White House’s chief technology guru, as saying a software failure was found that caused a major component to crash, bringing up those annoying screens telling people to wait.
“At lower volumes, it would work fine. At higher volumes, it has problems.
Park said the software developer had “sent reinforcements. They are working 24-7.” The problems were caused by the work of private contractors, not the government.
The Wall Street Journal identified the contractor that supported the new system as Experian EXPN.LN +0.09% PLC. The company declined to comment.
The Journal and Times both consulted independent software experts who said the system seemed to have been on an inadequate foundation that would demand the huge demand last week as millions of people with no health care sought to sign up.
Only a small trickle of buyers have been buy policities so far, said John Gorman, chief executive of Gorman Health Group, an insurance-industry consulting firm with clients selling policies on the exchanges.
The New York Medicaid Applications website quoted Sumit Nijhawan, chief executive of Infogix Inc., a data-integrity firm that works with WellPoint Inc., Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp. and other major insurers as saying enrollees total only in the hundreds for each company.
Improvements made in software for a system that decides whether people are entitled to federal subsidies to buy insurance, or Medicaid, a state-run program for the low-income, was still making inaccurate decisions.
“That system was developed by CGI Group Inc., GIB +0.36% the main contractor developing the federal exchange. CGI declined to comment,” the Journal reported.
There also were problems with the security questions be asked to verify the identity of enrollees, a common feature of almost any software used to buy or enroll in anything.
The enrollment process is being run both by the states and federal government, with the federal government responsible for 36 states, including states that failure to cooperate and even are trying to block the process, and 14 other states that are simply doing the job themselves. Some of the states are reported to have had better experiences.
Again the blame is being focused on the government when private contractors are to blame.
For decades defense contractors have been found to have not delivered on their promises for new equipment. In Iraq, it reached new levels.
Obama was attacked for comparing the problems to Apple’s release of IOS 7. But Apple, and Windows, frequently have been the target of anger.
Apple removed Google Maps and put in an APP that misdirected users, and it built an iPhone whose antenna was placed in such a position that holding the phone covered it.
And then there are the car manufacturers. Recall anyone?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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