Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

DHHS Preparing 'Tech Surge' To Fix Remaining Healthcare.gov Issues

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the operation-aca-freedom-eagle dept.

Medicine 429

itwbennett writes "It's no secret that the healthcare.gov website has been plagued by problems since its launch 3 weeks ago. On Sunday, the Department of Health and Human Services said that it's now bringing in the big guns: 'Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the [HHS] team and help improve HealthCare.gov,' the blog post reads. 'We're also putting in place tools and processes to aggressively monitor and identify parts of HealthCare.gov where individuals are encountering errors or having difficulty using the site, so we can prioritize and fix them.' Other emergency measures being taken as part of what HHS calls a 'tech surge' include defining new test processes to prevent new problems and regularly patching bugs during off-peak hours. Still unclear is how long it will take to fix the site. As recently reported on Slashdot, that could be anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months."

cancel ×

429 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

How about they just scrap it entirely? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189559)

Single payer - have everyone buy into Medicare. Done.

licensing (4, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year ago | (#45189621)

Or bring it into compliance [weeklystandard.com] with the GPLv2 or BSD3 licenses.

Re:licensing (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year ago | (#45189999)

Serious question here: So are they subject to DMCA takedown notices?

Re:How about they just scrap it entirely? (2)

drfred79 (2936643) | about a year ago | (#45189721)

That's the exact opposite economically to produce affordable healthcare for the whole nation. Sure poor people will have little incentive not to come in for every cough but someone will pay for it. That will tax our whole economy, not including dead weight loss inefficiencies.

Re:How about they just scrap it entirely? (5, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#45189813)

you're confused. the whole reason we pay three times or more what more advanced countries do (yes kiddies, U.S. is not #1 for healthcare) is because of the big insurance and big healthcare full of fat cats lining their pockets. that system has to be destroyed. ACA just gives it more money. single payer might be viable solution but it will burn down some huge corporations. however, don't believe the lie that those big corporations are the main contributors or participants in our economy, people and small/medium business are the bulk of it.

Re:How about they just scrap it entirely? (4, Insightful)

Unordained (262962) | about a year ago | (#45189859)

The ACA exchanges are specifically designed to (a) help people buy in larger pools for discounts and (b) induce competition between insurance companies, to reduce prices.
Where we don't have as much pressure is in healthcare, because people are not naturally inclined to go to a physician billing himself as the cheapest on the block. We as patients don't know how to evaluate the quality of the care we get, or its value, so we cannot effectively price the services we buy.

Re:How about they just scrap it entirely? (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#45190123)

Where we don't have as much pressure is in healthcare, because people are not naturally inclined to go to a physician billing himself as the cheapest on the block.

The way to make up for that is by allowing customers to know the outcomes for various surgeries in the hospital. Once customers know the price and the outcomes, they can make informed decisions.

Price and outcomes are not always related. For example, a hospital that does many heart surgeries could be very good at them, and also very efficient, so they can do them more cheaply. Whereas another hospital that doesn't do many heart surgeries will need to charge more as a result, and also will have worse outcomes.

Whether prices are published or not, outcomes should definitely be published, because making that information public will be an incentive for hospitals/doctors to improve treatment even if nothing else changes.

Re:How about they just scrap it entirely? (-1)

drfred79 (2936643) | about a year ago | (#45189945)

I'm sorry but your argument is surrounded with paranoia. The reason we pay more is because medical research is stagnant in other countries. We've invented so many medical devices and procedures its not even worth listing that the whole world has been saved on. That costs money. We have expensive healthcare but rather good quality of care. Now if we want the government to reduce the cost of healthcare we get the government out of healthcare. Medicare inflates the cost of healthcare and providing tax incentives to Cadillac health insurance policies distorts the natural market too.

Re:How about they just scrap it entirely? (4, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#45190107)

hahaha, so all extra money goes into R&D? Guess again, I'll start you with a hint, 30% is "administrative" costs

Re:How about they just scrap it entirely? (4, Insightful)

mc6809e (214243) | about a year ago | (#45190045)

you're confused. the whole reason we pay three times or more what more advanced countries do (yes kiddies, U.S. is not #1 for healthcare) is because of the big insurance and big healthcare full of fat cats lining their pockets.

Saying that they line their pockets with money may be a fact, but it's not a reason.

The reason we collectively spend so much is because we have government spending competing with private spending for a finite amount of healthcare services.

It's this competition for limited services that bids prices up for everything. And as prices rise, some people are priced out of the market, justifying more government spending to help them, which further increases prices.

Re:How about they just scrap it entirely? (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#45189905)

That's the exact opposite economically to produce affordable healthcare for the whole nation. Sure poor people will have little incentive not to come in for every cough but someone will pay for it. That will tax our whole economy, not including dead weight loss inefficiencies.

Cut the 3 billion sent to Israel's military every year. Why subsidize the Israeli social welfare system, when they have a booming economy and the US has bread lines?
 

Re: How about they just scrap it entirely? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45190021)

Breadlines? Where?

We have SNAP, and it's actually underfunded because Republicans want us to believe we can't afford it and the poor are rolling in the dough. But the tax burden is at historical lows and the economy has no problem concentrating wealth upwards. Money in,t flowing down.

Re: How about they just scrap it entirely? (1)

drfred79 (2936643) | about a year ago | (#45190139)

And the amount of people on SNAP is increasing, therefore inflating faster above the cost of other important government programs. Don't state the solution without the problem.

Re:How about they just scrap it entirely? (4, Insightful)

Salgak1 (20136) | about a year ago | (#45190023)

Or even better, apply the O'Rourke Circumcision Principle [kungfuquip.com] . All budgets get cut, 10%, off the top.

Stop ALL foreign aid. Means-test ALL transfer payments to individuals. And prohibit the use of proprietary software: MANDATE open-source.

And most importantly, Limit ALL Congressmen to 6 terms max, lifetime, and all Senators to two terms max, lifetime. If it's good enough for the President, it's good enough for them. . .

Government Thinking (3, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about a year ago | (#45189761)

Thirty Million out of 300+ million supposedly don't have health insurance.

So, lets write a plan that affects all 300+ million instead of one that addresses the 30 million.

Brilliant!

Re:Government Thinking (0)

Unordained (262962) | about a year ago | (#45189869)

Equal protection. We write a law that affects "everyone" but only changes things for some. Most people stay on their current insurance, no real change.

Re:Government Thinking (3, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#45189915)

Yes, because a law that dramatically alters the way your insurance company will do business is just not going to change things for you.

Seriously how naive can you get? I've yet to meet a single person who works in the health care industry who told me that this plan isn't a train wreck in the making, one of them even intends on getting out of the business entirely.

Re:Government Thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189923)

Government thinking is to try to bring as many people as possible under its influence, regardless of what the people actually want or need.

Re:Government Thinking (5, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#45190041)

That's not insightful. The problem is lots of us who have insurance have been getting a raw deal. Including getting dropped when you get sick, having coverage capped, losing a job for being sick and being unable to afford a new plan after you get well (preconditions). The ACA isn't about just those 30 million, or they would've just expanded Medicaid.

Re:Government Thinking (2)

sycodon (149926) | about a year ago | (#45190185)

Tweaks...not a wholesale rewrite of the entire medical/insurance system.

How about we address the costs instead of redistributing them?

par for the course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189607)

When in doubt, throw more money at it!

Works in the private sector, works in government.... or as they say, par for the course.

That said, the process is still less time consuming than obtaining individual health insurance in the past.

Re:par for the course (1)

drfred79 (2936643) | about a year ago | (#45189739)

In the private sector that which does not live on its own is terminated. Obamacare is on life support and there aren't enough young gullible people to support it.

Re:par for the course (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year ago | (#45189951)

In the private sector that which does not live on its own is terminated

Unless the "private sector" in question is the financial sector.

Re:par for the course (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | about a year ago | (#45190153)

Otherwise known as the "get 9 women pregnant to deliver a baby in one month" method.

And it works about as well in systems development and engineering as it does in obstetrics. . .

benchwarmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189609)

so, they had second or third rate peopel on it previously?

Not that interested in the teething problems (4, Interesting)

Albanach (527650) | about a year ago | (#45189619)

Personally, I'm not that bothered by teething problems. Plenty of sites have experienced them. Yes, there are many ways they could have been avoided, but they weren't, and they will undoubtedl be fixed.

More interesting would be to know what penalty clauses are in the contracts? If they were absent, it's a whole lot clearer why these problems have hit. There was simply no financial incentive to design a site that could scale appropriately.

Re:Not that interested in the teething problems (2, Insightful)

John Jorsett (171560) | about a year ago | (#45189743)

Personally, I'm not that bothered by teething problems. Plenty of sites have experienced them. Yes, there are many ways they could have been avoided, but they weren't, and they will undoubtedl be fixed.

Even assuming that to be true, fixed by when? The law has hard-coded dates in it, and insurers have vast sums at stake predicated on the numbers and types of people signing up, the premiums they'll get, and the subsidies they'll receive. If things slip, lawsuits will fly and it's logical to assume that taxpayers will be on the hook for damages. Not to mention the people who are losing their coverage at work who were expecting to be able to sign up via the exchanges. This disaster has knock-on effects that will resonate thru all sectors of the economy and society, and to call them 'teething problems' is far too dismissive.

Re:Not that interested in the teething problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189969)

Not to mention the people who are losing their coverage at work who were expecting to be able to sign up via the exchanges.

Yes, please, lets mention them. Or wait, we can't because they haven't been stopped. Anyone who had difficulty one day, has been able to get through later that day or the next day at worst. Remind me again what your dictionary has listed for "disaster"?

Re:Not that interested in the teething problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189751)

Sorry, your opinion is irrellevant unless your insurance has been canceled - or did not exist - and you have been forced onto the excahnge to purchase coverage.

So what is it then? Have you registered and purchased Obamacare or not?

Re:Not that interested in the teething problems (1)

Unordained (262962) | about a year ago | (#45189811)

Do we have data showing that penalty clauses either (a) guarantee good rollouts or (b) make the process of getting to a good roll-out [eventually] cheaper? It works like insurance, so you wind up paying for it up-front in the contract anyway...

Also, do we have details on what's going wrong or why? I keep seeing headlines frothing at the mouth, but am given short-shrift on details. Things like:

In a blog post, the Department of Health and Human Services said some users of HealthCare.gov "have had trouble creating accounts and logging in to the site, while others have received confusing error messages, or had to wait for slow page loads or forms that failed to respond in a timely fashion."

O...kay?

In other news, Facebook took an outage. They have plenty of incentives to keep their stuff up. Where's the outrage?

Re:Not that interested in the teething problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189885)

That's the fundamental problem with anything the Government does. It never has much inventive to do a good job. Your average Department of Health and Human Services drone on the project will still have a job whether the site launch went fantastically or was a total disaster. Similarly the contractor will get more money to fix the things they should have done right in the first place. The only people with real skin in the game are the taxpayers who are on the hook for the bill and anyone who relies on the Government for whatever "service" is being provided.

How about this... (2, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#45189623)

Defund the NSA, and repurpose their data center for this. Two birds with one stone.

Re:How about this... (3, Insightful)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about a year ago | (#45189785)

How about defund both and give me my money back. I don't want to pay to listen to phone calls and could care less about paying for someones birth control.

Re:How about this... (2)

HairyReptile (3404507) | about a year ago | (#45189989)

Okay, so we should continue to deny women coverage for birth control while insurance companies will pay for Viagra.

Re:How about this... (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#45190075)

Odd, my insurance company covers birth control but not Viagra.

And don't forget that Viagra has uses beyond just sustaining erections... unless it helps your argument, then by all means forget it.

Re:How about this... (2, Informative)

Salgak1 (20136) | about a year ago | (#45190095)

Hate to rain on your parade, but pregnancy is not an illness or a dysfunction. That being said, insurance is willing to pay for birth control if that's what's in the contract. Some employers CHOOSE not to include that in their insurance contracts, often for religious reasons. . .

Re:How about this... (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#45189849)

Throwing more hardware at a software problem... that sure sounds like a government solution

Re:How about this... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189897)

yes, and if the is another attack, people like u will be saying why wasn't there an agency looking in on communications and checking for keywords that could have prevented such an attack. Why wasn't this data shared amongst the people in government. Then we will recreate such an agency. Then we will blow up another area of the world to give them a dose of freedom for attacking us. Then we will forget all about it, and people will once again why we are spying on our own freinds and citizens. Then it will repeat itself again.

This happened after WW1, and our spy infrastructure had to be recreated from scratch for WW2.

If there is one thing people can learn from history it is that peope never take any lessons from history.

Mythical Man-Month (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189635)

"Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government"

Re:Mythical Man-Month (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about a year ago | (#45190205)

If the incompetents stop working, or are consult only, the skill level will rise and no more people will be added.
It is likely that a delivery date with follow on support has the headcount winding down anyway, so people are moving on to other projects to destroy already.

It's a lost cause (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189641)

Even if the website ever gets fixed, the underlying program it is supposed to support will still be a failure for most of the people in this country. Medical care will become more expensive, less comprehensive, and will bring ruinous results to millions, all in the name of helping the poor.

Re:It's a lost cause (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year ago | (#45189687)

It's not about helping the poor; it's about feeling good for helping the poor. Whether the poor are helped or not is irrelevant.

The cause is neither lost nor being lost (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189833)

It's not about helping the poor; it's about feeling good for helping the poor. Whether the poor are helped or not is irrelevant.

There are a whole lot of middle class this is already helping. Hell, it's helping me and my wife, and we have a gold-plated insurance policy that pays everything, no deducatable, and miniscule copays. In other words, I have one of those policies will be taxed to help subsidize those who need subsidies, and while I'd prefer not to pay the tax, I'd rather pay it than leave 50 million of my countrymen uninsured. If it helps us (requiring contraception be covered, requiring pre-existing conditions not only be covered, but not be a reason to deny coverage, requiring that preventative measures be covered, etc. etc.), then it will damn well be helping those with less comprehensive coverage, larger copays, and deductables.

The working poor are another group that are being helped (about time...why should the waiter serving me my drinks be any less insured than I?), but what I really find interesting are the large number of middle and lower-middle class folks that were unable to get insurance before the Affordable Care Act kicked it. Sure, it's not perfect, and the website needs fixing, but these sort of teething pains are not unusual, and the alternative (repealing the law and going back to the bad-old pre-Obamacare days) is a whole lot worse. And I say this as one who has used the American system for many years, as well as living abroad (UK, Germany, and elsewhere) and having used their excellent public health systems.

Re:It's a lost cause (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about a year ago | (#45189841)

Not to worry, we can all just stop giving to charities that used to help folks with health problems. And we can feel even better that we are paying for some folks who don't even want health care.

Brooks (5, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year ago | (#45189667)

Part of me wants to send Obama a copy of, "The Mythical Man-Month". Another part of me wants to just sit back and watch.

Re:Brooks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189727)

I am sure the president himself is personally project managing this.

Re:Brooks (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year ago | (#45189781)

I really didn't feel like trying to work through the HHS org chart and telephone directory to find the name of the project manager and contracting officer in charge of the project. So I wrote, "Obama" as a symbol of the Executive branch, instead. But please, feel free to post someone more specific if you like.

Re:Brooks (3, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#45189861)

then it is truly screwed, he is out of his depth on this. Those dreamy eyed fools who made the ACA did not realize the implications of it needing an massive IT infrastructure that cannot be crapped out in 3 years and tested for all of ONE FREAKIN DAY when it was completed this month (!!!!). pop up the popcorn kids, this train wreck will be worthy of a Fugative sequel

Re:Brooks (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about a year ago | (#45189783)

The web coding is a lot like the Obama-care act; nobody knows whats in it.

Re:Brooks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189877)

So what. We passed it, and we now mostly know what is in it. With the website, we released it, and we now know what is in it. It's the truth, and it worked both times. This is how both government and technical projects should work. Instead we're left with obstructionist Republicans that don't want to release anything to discover what is in them.

The mythical man-month problem! (0)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about a year ago | (#45189671)

The mythical man-month problem! This is the same problem detailed in the book ‘The mythical man-month’ and reviewed here on ./ at http://slashdot.org/books/980805/1148235.shtml [slashdot.org] My guess is that this will cost 10x original budget and be in prod by March 2014

That sounds like a good plan (1)

Minwee (522556) | about a year ago | (#45189677)

"But we need that baby NOW! Bring in even MORE women!"

I'm going to have to go with Agent Zed on this:

"Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training."

Bad Medicine (3, Informative)

drfred79 (2936643) | about a year ago | (#45189681)

How is taking over more of the economy an even better idea when the DHHS can't even take over half of medicine? Single-payer is dead in the water and immoral. There is no real way to kill the entirety of Obamacare but Congress should work to mitigate its impending harm.

Re:Bad Medicine (1)

odigity (266563) | about a year ago | (#45189847)

Wow. Someone is still trying to reach out with logic and real compassion? (as opposed to the fake compassion of socialism)

I fear you're heading for -1 land, considering the /. political demographics...

Re:Bad Medicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189889)

How is taking over more of the economy an even better idea when the DHHS can't even take over half of medicine? Single-payer is dead in the water and immoral. There is no real way to kill the entirety of Obamacare but Congress should work to mitigate its impending harm.

A vocal majority tried - both to kill it entirely and help mitigate it - but they got torn up in the media, and politically, for it. In fact, the shutdown was a direct result of this. Just something to consider.

Re:Bad Medicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189891)

How is taking over more of the economy an even better idea when the DHHS can't even take over half of medicine? Single-payer is dead in the water and immoral. There is no real way to kill the entirety of Obamacare but Congress should work to mitigate its impending harm.

I've heard valid arguments for why a head tax to pay for healthcare is immoral, but how could single-payer be immoral without a specified revenue source? Are you assuming that all forms of government revenue (taxes/stamps/inflation/donations/etc) are immoral?

Re:Bad Medicine (1)

drfred79 (2936643) | about a year ago | (#45190057)

Single-payer is immoral simply from a realistic point of view. Medicare is bad but increasing the size of the cattle yard with richer people reduces the quality of care for poor people. Under single-payer systems the cost of healthcare is below market equilibrium so people use it more than they truly need. If you truly want poor people to receive medical services for cheap or free reduce the quantity that receive it to just those who need it.

Re:Bad Medicine (2)

PseudoCoder (1642383) | about a year ago | (#45189997)

When the state is your god, you consider it sovereign over all and turn over your will, freedom, respect, devotion and everything you can offer to have it protect you, feed you and care for you. The statist masterminds have yet to achieve this version of heaven they have dreamt up, and they have no interest in mitigating anything. It is the new "moral" imperative to hurt the many to help a few and nationalizing healthcare is key to doing so. See below:

http://youtu.be/r2Kevz_9lsw [youtu.be]

And they don't think it's dead in the water, they're just going to take their time in doing it.

http://youtu.be/3sTfZJBYo1I [youtu.be]

http://youtu.be/926bPZiQhgY [youtu.be]

really? (1)

Chirs (87576) | about a year ago | (#45190133)

Single-payer seems to work just fine for other countries...

Platform (2)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about a year ago | (#45189683)

Which platform did they use to implement this ?

Re:Platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189771)

Lego.

Re:Platform (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about a year ago | (#45189797)

Which platform did they use to implement this ?

Democratic, I believe.

Re:Platform (5, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year ago | (#45189839)

Which platform did they use to implement this ?

Having worked for the government in the past, I can only assume it's a combination of Ada, and a proprietary language written by an intern at IBM in the 1980's, and Welsh.

Re:Platform (1)

angryfirelord (1082111) | about a year ago | (#45190207)

Must be an oracle database.

Re:Platform (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#45189855)

A couple wooden stilts and some cardboard

Should not be a federal program (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189711)

This should never have been a federal program. This is the duty of the states, not the federal government. Let me explain. Imagine the UN decided that the people of Germany would now be required to follow a UN health plan. The entire health care system would be administered by the people in New York, at the UN headquarters. Do you think the German people would be up for that?
 
This is how we feel. We have 50 sovereign states that have lost their sovereignty and frankly a lot of us are pissed off about it. Does anyone here think the UN has a right to dictate healthcare laws on their members and force people to buy a product they may not even want?

Re:Should not be a federal program (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#45189949)

I nominate for worst analogy of the day.
Zero of the fifty states are sovereign, nor has any state ever been (any state that was once a sovereign nation gave up that sovereignty upon acquiring statehood). There is a separation in powers between states and feds, but it is absolutely nothing like the UN and member nations. The UN cannot make and enforce laws in member nations, the Fed can make and enforce laws in states. You could argue that healthcare is the responsibility of states, not the Fed, but that's a completely different argument than the one you're apparently trying to make. It's more like a county government forcing each town within it to enforce new dog license laws.

Re:Should not be a federal program (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45190231)

50 of the 50 states are sovereign states, that's why they are called Sovereign States.

You could argue that healthcare is the responsibility of states, not the Fed, but that's a completely different argument than the one you're apparently trying to make.

Yeah, that might be why the subject line is "Should not be a federal program.
 
It's nothing like a county government forcing a city to do anything. It's a giant, massive organization going outside the bounds of what they were create for. Kind of like, I don't know, the UN trying to force a law on member country that they don't want.

Re:Should not be a federal program (1)

headhot (137860) | about a year ago | (#45189979)

Your right, and that was in the Bill. There are states like Kentucky and Washington that have their own sites running. The Feds were only going to run the exchanges for the states that didn't want to do it themselves

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#45189725)

I've heard an interesting angle but have yet to confirm it.

Allegedly the DHHS originally assumed most states would run their own website for such because a lot of the service comparing info is state-centric anyhow.

However, many red states refused to go along out of their usual anti-federal-government stance. This put more burden on the DHHS to handle the red-state traffic and their state-specific logic, and Congress refused to fund the extra resources needed.

If this is the case, then the GOP is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Re:Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (2)

drfred79 (2936643) | about a year ago | (#45189851)

Another conspiracy theory I heard was that Democrats wanted Obamacare to fail so that in ten years they'd propose fixing it with single-payer. Since Obamacare can't fund itself and the website is a tort law travesty which sounds more likely?

Re:Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#45190113)

If their first attempt failed, then a second try would have much less political backing than Ocare. It's not a very smart strategy even if the conspiracy were true. Most politicians don't plan 10 years down the road anyhow.

Re:Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (1)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about a year ago | (#45190221)

I think the more likely situation, if there was a conspiracy at all, would be that they would wait for the private insurers to have a crack at this for a few years, then people would see that no one's rates will decrease and that the private companies are just pocketing the difference.

I'm all for single-payer, complete with death panels. NHS in the UK has huge costs too, but at least they know when to give up on treating someone. (See the Quality-Adjusted Life Year -- we need a metric like that in our healthcare system.) We'll see if I get my wish.

Re:Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year ago | (#45189899)

I've heard an interesting angle but have yet to confirm it.

Allegedly the DHHS originally assumed most states would run their own website for such because a lot of the service comparing info is state-centric anyhow.

However, many red states refused to go along out of their usual anti-federal-government stance. This put more burden on the DHHS to handle the red-state traffic and their state-specific logic, and Congress refused to fund the extra resources needed.

If this is the case, then the GOP is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Add to that the pool of Fox reporters constantly clicking "Refresh" on the main page hoping for an error screen to appear so they can screenshot it and make it into a half hour news segment, and yes the load was more than the system was designed for. Given that users have from Oct 1 to Dec 31 to successfully sign up before any consequences of any sort (in this case they are tiny) kick in, the service doesn't need the availability of a stock brokerage or bank in order to be successful. Yet, it's being echoed over and over that the exchange "is a failure" simply to score political points.

Re:Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#45190031)

It's a little true, but with a lot of spin. They were warned (by the GSA iirc) months in advance that their estimates for site traffic were way, way, way too low. It wasn't any last minute surprise that 36 states are using the Federal website instead of running their own.

Re:Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about a year ago | (#45190065)

Allegedly the DHHS originally assumed most states would run their own website for such because a lot of the service comparing info is state-centric anyhow.

Leave it to the great defenders..... the GOP is responsible for the bad assumptions of the DHHS.

Spot-checking healthcare.gov (3, Informative)

dkegel (904729) | about a year ago | (#45189737)

Just how broken is it? Let's find out.

I tried creating an account early Sunday morning and failed.
I tried again Sunday evening, and it worked... on Firefox, anyway. On Chrome, logging in took me to a blank screen.
( See https://plus.google.com/u/0/113779301404424240904/posts/2mxh2wPTein [google.com] )

If you try creating an account on healthcare.gov, reply here with what happened. Let's see how broken it is.

Re:Spot-checking healthcare.gov (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189791)

Tried Sunday AM. From a tablet, no less. Succeeded, with about 5 minutes of effort.

Re:Spot-checking healthcare.gov (2)

stillpixel (1575443) | about a year ago | (#45190063)

Worked in OSX via Chrome, very quick actually.. Monday @ 12 noon Eastern time.

Phoenix project? (1)

whitelabrat (469237) | about a year ago | (#45189741)

Not enough stupid? Lets do surge of stupid!

Ineptitude? what did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189749)

Kind of like finally deciding on treatment just before the patient dies....

Should have been done BEFORE it was supposed to be operational. Low bid with Obamas cronies pocketing the difference??

All this bodes is for inept healthcare run by careless handsitting government bureacrats who get paid no matter how many patients die.

But remember a 'community organizer' doesnt actually do anything, so of course the spendthrift in the whitehouse couldnt manage to get anything done right. Sorry Health care isnt something you can just CHANGE and HOPE that it will work.

Jail cells all round for these frauds and apparatchiks.

Re:Ineptitude? what did you expect? (1)

headhot (137860) | about a year ago | (#45190051)

Nice trolling.
1. The site was put together by Bi-partisan beltway bandits. No cronies needed to be brought in.
2. Healthcare will still be run by private insures, so the hand sitting beureacrats will be those of the private sector, that have been hand sitting for every one else who already has insurance.
3. Your a moron.

Monitoring? (1)

connor4312 (2608277) | about a year ago | (#45189753)

We're also putting in place tools and processes to aggressively monitor and identify parts of HealthCare.gov where individuals are encountering errors or having difficulty using the site

So... they didn't already have such a system in place? My faith has been completely restored in the competency of their developers...

That will be effective (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#45189759)

This statement may be an oversimplification, but "adding manpower to a late software project makes it later" [wikipedia.org] . The application in this case would be, why didn't they have enough workers on the project to begin with?

Re:That will be effective (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | about a year ago | (#45189837)

This statement may be an oversimplification, but "adding manpower to a late software project makes it later" [wikipedia.org] . The application in this case would be, why didn't they have enough workers on the project to begin with?

A more interesting question is why many of the major beltway tech companies one would expect to find attached to a huge government tech project aren't present. My suspicion is that when they saw the specs (or maybe the lack or vagueness of them) and the due date, they declined to participate.

Re:That will be effective (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year ago | (#45190135)

This statement may be an oversimplification, but "adding manpower to a late software project makes it later" [wikipedia.org] . The application in this case would be, why didn't they have enough workers on the project to begin with?

A more interesting question is why many of the major beltway tech companies one would expect to find attached to a huge government tech project aren't present. My suspicion is that when they saw the specs (or maybe the lack or vagueness of them) and the due date, they declined to participate.

A more interesting question is, how does light manage to act like both a wave and a particle!

Tech Surge? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#45189793)

Maybe they can swing by all the other failed government IT projects while they're at it. Maybe they can take a shot at Virtual Case File for the FBI. Throwing money at a problem - especially a government IT problem is not going to work.

Tracking (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189801)

I don't understand the comment about putting in tracking information to see where people are having problems. Healthcare.gov already has at least 4 systems in place to track people's use of the website:

Google Analytics (cookies: _ga, __utam, __utmb, __utmc, __utmz, __utmv)
Chartbeat (cookies: _chartbeat2, _chartbeat_uuniq)
Pingdom (cookie: PRUM_Episodes)
Optimizely (cookies: optimizelyEndUserId, optimizelyBuckets, optimizelyCustomEvents, optimizelySegments)

If they can't figure out where the problems are with all of those running, what else do they need?

Re:Tracking (1)

NikeHerc (694644) | about a year ago | (#45190037)

Healthcare.gov already has at least 4 systems in place to track people's use of the website

You forgot one: the NSA.

Tech surge? Sounds bad. (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#45189829)

This does not sound promising. When they say they are bringing in the best of the best to fix this ASAP, best of the best better actually mean something in this case. Otherwise throwing more of what caused this mess in the first place at it will only cause more trouble.

I also have to think: due to the substantial importance, essential timeliness, and over all sensitivity of this gigantic project. Why didn't they simply bring in "the best and brightest from both inside and outside government" to begin with, possibly averting disaster in the first place?

Not that the current situation surprises me in the least. Every tech-minded individual saw this coming.

Re:Tech surge? Sounds bad. (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about a year ago | (#45190239)

Because that costs money and creates jobs. Both of which according to the GOP the government doesn't have and/or can't do.

They should fix privacy issues as well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189925)

And while we are spending another $400M on fixing availability and security,
another can of worms [securitycircus.com] is being opened. Hopefully, it won't take another 2 months and $400M.,.

Big guns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189931)

One has to wonder why, by implication the small guns were hired in the first place?

Adding/Removing People (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45189947)

Since adding people to a project makes it later, then removing people shd improve its schedule. WOW! reduce the project to one person and have it completed instantaneously???? So much BS, so little time.

I hope the people being added to the project - as well as those already on it! - have been decently vetted. There's a huge amount of ideology in the program, and there's gotta be some concerns re the famous 'disgruntled employee', that single worst source of project damage.

Not unlike a big-bang private sector project... (3, Insightful)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about a year ago | (#45190119)

I'm sure there's tons of people salivating at the chance to jump all over this topic and say things like "classic government inefficiency at work." But the reality is that these kinds of projects happen every day in private sector companies. You only hear about them when they make the news. I've seen many companies throw out millions in sunk costs because they couldn't get an ERP system massaged enough to fit their business processes. Often, the companies realize too late that they're getting bled dry by outsourcing "partners" and getting nothing in return, then make the hard decision to just dump everything and try again.

Some of it may be leadership incompetence (analogous to CIOs getting swindled by consulting salesmen over copious rounds of golf and strippers) but HHS doesn't have hundreds of web developers on staff, and there would be a monster backlash if they actually did go out and hire them as permanent employees. IN the real world, they're forced to outsource to be "good stewards of the taxpayer's dollar" and end up getting crap. I can't believe that no one over the last 30 years has come to the realization that outsourcing always costs more, and results are not guaranteed no matter how much money gets flushed. What probably happened is that the project got awarded to the lowest bidder of the big consultancy firms, who promptly replaced all the super-geniuses they promised with new grads, and just kept collecting money.

A lot of private firms get fed up and just insource the whole thing, but I don't think the government has that option right now. Given the political climate, I'm sure every paper clip purchased is tracked by certain right-wing groups, and hiring hundreds of Federal employees certainly won't go over well. So, we'll just see the same consultancies who screwed up get rewarded to "fix" the problem. Just like in the private sector...

Site is VERY frustrating (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#45190137)

It was smart to build in the 3 month cushion, but that site is driving me nuts. First I dealt with 2 weeks of not even being able to log in (getting dropped to blank screens). Then I had registrations blow up over and over forcing me to repeat the process. Then, when I finally got my account set up, I had deal with Experian's validation blowing up, then being told to wait 24 hours for the fix, then calling back and finding out there was nothing Experian really could do and just call healthcare.gov help, then being told to just email a scanned driver's license for validation, then finding out that the online app is broken and thinks every image is over 10MB, then being told I can just mail in a photocopy or wait another week.

This IMO is an argument for doing thing's in-house. Maybe that wasn't practical or cost-effective, but most of their problems appear to be at the seams right now. And, that Solara dynamic marketplace browsing web app is TERRIBLE!

Software Engineering 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45190163)

From TFA:

We're also putting in place tools and processes to aggressively monitor and identify parts of HealthCare.gov where individuals are encountering errors or having difficulty using the site, so we can prioritize and fix them. We are also defining new test processes to prevent new issues from cropping up as we improve the overall service and deploying fixes to the site during off-peak hours on a regular basis.

Sounds like software engineering 101. Should have been that way from the beginning.

Two weeks to two months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45190177)

"Still unclear is how long it will take to fix the site. As recently reported on Slashdot, that could be anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months."

How long is that in Government Years?

Government is moving digital (4, Insightful)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about a year ago | (#45190215)

I think this might be the first goverment case of a large organization trying to execute a publicly facing software project and failing. For decades the goverment didn't do public facing benefit projects. If this all happened in the 90s you would have to sign up using paper forms and although it may have been slow and inconvenient by today's standards that's what the goverment had experience in doing, it probably would have worked just fine.

I think software/web centric failures like this are going to keep happening. Few organizations, especially those whose primary business isn't software, are good at implementing huge software projects. Most management doesn't know how to run software projects, budget departments dont know how to account for software projects. If the Social Security administration has a huge backlog of applications they just add more people to the workforce until they work through it. Now everything is different, it doesn't matter how many people and how much money you throw at it, it's going to talk a while to fix. Very few people in goverment, and very few members of the electorate understand how a software project is run, hence a "surge" to fix the problem. People understand that concept, they imagine tons of nerdy looking guys flowing into some building and typing furiously at a keyboard until the problems go away. Good imagery, not really accurate.

I'm actually really amused by all this, it's my job playing out on a national stage. Terrible software estimates, contractors failing to live up to contracts, unrealistic timelines, poorly understood requirements, angry management demanding all hands on deck, and unhappy users. Maybe now software management will become an academic subject and mandatory study for MBAs and such.

no content (1)

rewindustry (3401253) | about a year ago | (#45190237)

just a lot of balloon juice - scrub in, aggressively monitor, and the real kicker - prioritize. they don't have a clue, do they?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>