HealthCare.gov Developers Knew Site Was Doomed
Full enrollment procedure not tested until last minute
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Oct 22, 2013 7:11 AM CDT
Updated Oct 22, 2013 7:48 AM CDT
This photo provided by HHS shows the main landing web page for HealthCare.gov.   (AP Photo/HHS)

(Newser) – The problems plaguing HealthCare.gov were entirely foreseeable to those who built it: Facing high stress and what they called last-minute changes from their bosses, developers worked insane hours and pounded energy drinks for months to put together what the AP calls a "mind-numbingly complex system"—and when they were finished, the integration testing was performed not by outside experts from private software firms, but by government officials. The day before it went online, testers saw it crash under the weight of just a few hundred users, the Washington Post reports.

Insurers who tested the product a month before its release called for a slower, state-by-state rollout due to persistent problems. Even by Sept. 26, no one had tested the full user enrollment process, even though everyone knew Oct. 1 was the drop-dead deadline. "We named it the tyranny of the October 1 date," says one project insider. The site is a "data services hub," or, as the AP explains, "a traffic cop for managing information"—and there's a lot of it. The site links to other government networks ranging from the IRS to the Peace Corps, and the verification of applicant data is complex. Officials don't plan to postpone the individual mandate to get health insurance, however, though Fox notes that Marco Rubio plans to introduce a bill that would delay it until HealthCare.gov is "up and running and effectively working for six months, consecutive." (Worth noting: the process can be done over the phone. The AP has details.)

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Showing 3 of 131 comments
HonkUSA
Oct 24, 2013 9:25 AM CDT
The HEADLINE says a lot for the DEVELOPERS !
antigen-xy
Oct 23, 2013 12:26 AM CDT
The Affordable Health Care law was put together and passed with a lot of compromises to lobbies and politicians and it is not perfect. But it fulfills the long sought after dream of affordable and better coverage for more people. Sure, there are glitches in the application process which are unfortunate and should have been better thought through, but the whole program will go forward, the glitches will be fixed, and most people will finally like it--just like Social Security and Medicare.
Scott603
Oct 22, 2013 4:36 PM CDT
What's the big deal? 99% of software projects come out late, and 99% of software has issues when it is first shipped. This is standard throughout the world. But... they will fix this site, and in a few weeks it won't have any issues, it will be working just fine. The real problem isn't the web-site, it is Obamacare itself. The whole thing is a right-wing, people have to take personal responsibility, farm a bunch of money to private insurance companies type deal. Obama made WAY too many concessions to the Republicans to get the thing passed. What we really need is fully socialized medicine, single payer.