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Healthcare.gov Official Resigns, Website Still a Disaster

timothy posted about a year ago | from the sell-your-stock-in-this-one-oh-wait dept.

Government 559

Nerval's Lobster writes "A government official who helped oversee the bug-riddled Healthcare.gov Website has resigned his post. Tony Trenkle, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees Healthcare.gov, will reportedly join the private sector after he departs on November 15. A spokesperson for the Medicare agency refused to say whether he had been forced out, telling reporters: 'Tony made a decision that he was going to move to the private sector and that is what our COO announced yesterday.' Because of his supervisory role, Trenkle is considered a significant player in the Website's development; The New York Times indicated that he was one of two federal officials who signed an internal memo suggesting that security protocols for the Website weren't in place as recently as late September, a few days before Healthcare.gov's launch.Following Trenkle's resignation, Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted to the Senate Finance Committee that Healthcare.gov would require hundreds of fixes. 'We're not where we need to be,' she said. 'It's a pretty aggressive schedule to get to the entire punch list by the end of November.' Sebelius added that she was ultimately accountable for what she termed the 'excruciatingly awful' rollout. Healthcare.gov has experienced massive problems since its Oct. 1 debut. In addition to repeated crashes and slow performance, the Website's software often prevents people from setting up accounts. President Obama has expressed intense frustration with the situation, but insists the Affordable Care Act (ACA) backing the Website remains strong. 'The essence of the law, the health insurance that's available to people is working just fine,' he told reporters in October. 'The problem has been that the website that's supposed to make it easy to apply for insurance hasn't been working.' While the federal government won't release 'official' enrollment numbers until the end of November, it's clear that the Website's backers are losing the battle of public perception."

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As an outsider. (5, Informative)

goruka (1721094) | about a year ago | (#45356285)

It seems like a giant project that was hurried, kind of like a Windows Vista. Isn't it getting gradually fixed?

Re:As an outsider. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356315)

... kind of like a Windows Vista. Isn't it getting gradually fixed?

Same thing can be said about Linux, right? As far as I know, no OS is truly perfect.

Re:As an outsider. (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#45356433)

How much did linux cost you, again? There's a difference there.

Re:As an outsider. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356601)

Look, I use Linux and love Linux and am even considering fully switching away from Windows but let me just say that cost is not only measured in money. It's also measured in time. There are certain users for whom Windows (7) will provide all the functionality they need without ever needing an additional driver, or a new window manager (KDE vs Unity vs Gnome), or a custom screensaver (why does Ubuntu not come with a screensaver?), etc, etc. We're doing ourselves a disservice by assuming everyone wants what we want. A lot of people are genuinely comfortable with Windows and our refusal to see that only clouds our vision, not Microsoft's.

Re:As an outsider. (2, Interesting)

dmbasso (1052166) | about a year ago | (#45356737)

why does Ubuntu not come with a screensaver?

Settings > Brightness & Lock > Turn screen off when inactive for ...

Ah, you want something that show you ponies, rainbows and stuff? I don't know, never felt the need for it.

Re:As an outsider. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356647)

How much did linux cost you, again? There's a difference there.

You mean in my time or my headaches trying to get shit to work correctly? It has cost me plenty over the years, thank you.

Re:As an outsider. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356669)

How much did linux cost you, again? There's a difference there.

So far, about 20 years, and my pride.

Re:As an outsider. (4, Insightful)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#45356543)

That is true. But what we can do is divided large sophisticated software packages (OS or applications) into 2 categories.

“Big Bang” packages where the entire packaged is released at once. Vista and Health Care web site are two examples. These have a history of delays, cost overruns, and initial releases performing poorly. This is particularly true for government ones.

“Evolutionary” packages which come about from a lot of small incremental changes. Linux and Windows for Workgroups 3.11 are 2 examples. Issues are know so things are stable. Thing gradually get better. Lots of legacy code that lend itself to lots of legacy “features” (a.k.a. bugs).

By choosing the “big bang” method we know the kind of troubles we are going to run into. As such extra effort should have been put into delivering requirements on time so adequate testing could be done. At times this means rejecting additional features or (in the worst case) functionality.

Re:As an outsider. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356327)

Hurried? The fucking law was passed nearly 4 years ago. Only a demonrat apologist could ever possibly call that hurried. Fuck you

Re:As an outsider. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356569)

As compared to a liberturd or conturd who prefers Idontcare?

Re:As an outsider. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#45356627)

You actually found one I've not seen before - first time I've seen 'conturd.' I usually see CON-servative or rethuglican.

Re:As an outsider. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356341)

You can't fix something that is fatally flawed. The problem isn't the website, the problem is the cluster fuck of a law they passed. No amount of code can fix a bad idea.

Re:As an outsider. (5, Insightful)

FearTheDonut (2665569) | about a year ago | (#45356397)

While you might well be correct, the issue at hand is the website. It's a bit disingenuous to say the whole law is broken because of the website. That is, unless the same people who made the law are the ones coding.

Re:As an outsider. (1, Interesting)

AJH16 (940784) | about a year ago | (#45356515)

I am not the original poster, but my understanding is that a lot of the complexity of the site comes from a draconianly complex law that simply can't easily be implemented officially. There are so many hoops that have to be jumped through that it drags the system down. So yes, a badly conceived law could be a reason for the poor performance of the site if it puts overly burdensome constraints on the system. I don't make any claim to the accuracy of those assertions, but I know they have been made.

Re:As an outsider. (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#45356811)

False. It comes from bad management, and bad program techniques.
It really seems like a system that no one bothered to break the code out into tiny bits laid out over a good API architecture for data sharing.
There are good software system of more complex code.

"a badly conceived law could be a reason for the poor performance of the site if it puts overly burdensome constraints on the system."
the law is a set of rules to apply. Nothing more. That is no reason for broken code. If you are talking about adding a second or three to a responce, you would be right.

as a side note:
" draconianly complex law " doesn't make sense.
It could be a byzantine law, but draconianly isn't complex..also, I don't think it's an actual word.

Re:As an outsider. (3, Insightful)

Lendrick (314723) | about a year ago | (#45356867)

The fact that the state websites seem to be working very well would seem to contradict your parroting of republican talking points.

Re:As an outsider. (4, Insightful)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year ago | (#45356521)

It's like saying your car is broken because the website you tried to buy your car from crashes a lot.

Re:As an outsider. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356591)

When and estimated 93 Million people will lose their insurance so the law can cover 30 Million who didn't have it, that is a failure of the law.
These numbers are from White House documents.

Re:As an outsider. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356733)

Please tell another bald-faced lie.

Re:As an outsider. (0)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year ago | (#45356759)

You're confusing "lose their insurance" with "have their insurance changed to comply with Obamacare."

Re:As an outsider. (4, Informative)

meburke (736645) | about a year ago | (#45356671)

Actually, I kind of agree with you; The law may be faulty, but sniping at the website problems won't fix the underlying flaws.

Economists know that every attempt at price controls over the last 4500 years (approximately) have resulted in shortages of the goods/services under control, and higher prices for those goods/services. All I needed to know about Obamacare was that it is a form of price control.

I'm 65 years old, and I've been tracking the results of Obamacare among the people I know. (NOT a scientific study.) So far, I'm seeing 8 instances of increased insurance costs (including two people who just qualified for Medicare/Medicaid) for every 1 instance of cost savings. It seems that some States, like NY, are benefitting from the increased competition created by allowing offers across State lines.

It is an Economic Principle that whatever you tax, you will get less of. Obamacare imposes about a 9% additional tax on each employee, and so it is probably going to lead to fewer qualifying jobs in the private sector. The number of part-time and temp jobs seems to be increasing here in Texas, but full-time work is hard to get outside industries such as Medicine and Energy.

Re:As an outsider. (0, Flamebait)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year ago | (#45356817)

You appear to rely a lot on anecdotes and "gut feelings". You may want to do some research.

Libertarians and Tea Partiers (-1, Flamebait)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a year ago | (#45356803)

You have just opened the door for even more tea baggers to blather about how it is good that tens of millions are uninsured. Then they will go to church on Sunday and listen to their preacher tell them what Jesus would do, pat themselves on the backs as being good Christians, and then go out and do the opposite.

Re:As an outsider. (3, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#45356865)

It's a bit disingenuous to say the whole law is broken because of the website.

No, the original poster is correct. The law is broken because:
  1. It's not a tax since it raises no revenue
  2. The bill did not originate in the proper house of Congress. It was a retitled bill.
  3. How anyone can think the government can force people to hand money to private companies is simply insane. The last time a government tried this was 238 years ago, and we all know the result of that experiment.
  4. It violates ones privacy under the 9th Amendment and most likely several portions of HIPPA.

Plain and simple, the law is broken and only exists because the activist Republican Justice John Roberts doesn't grasp basic Constitutional issues such as limitations on governmental power over the people.

Re:As an outsider. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356525)

Yet the KY site is running just fine and has good enrollment. That would indicate it's the website at the moment. You can't blame the law until it actually goes into effect and we see the results. Well you can blame the law but you'll just be another one of those haters you isn't using evidence based arguments.

Re:As an outsider. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356721)

Yet the KY site is running just fine and has good enrollment. That would indicate it's the website at the moment. You can't blame the law until it actually goes into effect and we see the results. Well you can blame the law but you'll just be another one of those haters you isn't using evidence based arguments.

The law is already in effect, dipshit.

Re:As an outsider. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356847)

You can't fix something that is fatally flawed. The problem isn't the website, the problem is the cluster fuck of a law they passed. No amount of code can fix a bad idea.

From the Supreme Court opinion that upheld the individual mandate: [supremecourt.gov]

It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.

Re:As an outsider. (2)

homey of my owney (975234) | about a year ago | (#45356391)

Well maybe, but Microsoft had the advantage of being able to fire incompetent employees. No bid awards typically have far less to due with performance and more to do with maximizing payment.

Re:As an outsider. (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45356417)

Was this no-bid? I'm given to understand it was standard federal bidding process, but I haven't actually looked into that particular facet.

Re:As an outsider. (1)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year ago | (#45356549)

I don't have any links to back this up (use google) but the "no-bid" myth has been pushed many times before in these Healthcare.gov threads. I have seen links posted to prove that the myth is false.

At least one no bid contract awarded (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#45356615)

There was however at least one no bid contract awarded --- it went to a local company: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/avoid-severe-consequences-delays-hhs-awards-no-bid-contracts-marketplaces_754032.html [weeklystandard.com]

It's being contested though: http://www.gao.gov/products/D04539 [gao.gov]

Re:As an outsider. (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45356663)

A bit of news searching eventually answered my question. The answer is: if there was a bidding process, it was kept secret.

Re:As an outsider. (4, Insightful)

roccomaglio (520780) | about a year ago | (#45356767)

I used mod points in section which are now wasted, but it was worthwhile to correct this post. The Obama Administration only reviewed only a single bid for the Obamacare website http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2537194 [washingtonexaminer.com] . Whether that constitutes a no bid contract can be argued, but that is usually what is meant by that phrase. If you do not consider that a no bid contract then Halliburton was not awarded a no bid contract in Iraq. Calling the statement that this is a no-bid contract a myth is at best disingenuous.

Re:As an outsider. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356595)

It seems widely known but little reported that Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is an executive at the company (CGI) that built healthcare.gov. Reportedly, only one bid was reviewed... CGI's.

Re:As an outsider. (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45356685)

Thank you for the answer. I found similar assertions after a bit of sifting through news searches(with the caveat that they haven't yet actually answered the FOIA requests about the bidding process).

Re:As an outsider. (0)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#45356769)

No bid awards typically have far less to due with performance and more to do with maximizing payment.

So like Halliburton being given sole ownership of contracts for supplying the troops who invaded Iraq. Gotcha.

Re:As an outsider. (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45356403)

It doesn't matter, because the people raising the complaints don't understand software engineering in the slightest. If anyone here has ever released a first version of entire multi-function web-application without a lot of bugs on release day, they almost certainly spent a positively absurd amount of time(like a year or more) on nothing but QA.

Every single person inside our industry ought to know that software engineers produce 10x as many features as other engineers with 1000x as many defects(and that's low balling it) in a given timespan.

Re:As an outsider. (1)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year ago | (#45356541)

It doesn't matter, because the people raising the complaints don't understand software engineering in the slightest. If anyone here has ever released a first version of entire multi-function web-application without a lot of bugs on release day, they almost certainly spent a positively absurd amount of time(like a year or more) on nothing but QA.

Every single person inside our industry ought to know that software engineers produce 10x as many features as other engineers with 1000x as many defects(and that's low balling it) in a given timespan.

All I know is +$200m website budget(in excess of $600m total for entire system) pays for a lot of QA and since the project appearently didn't even go to the lowest bidder they dont get to claim lack of resources...

Also there is a world of difference between having bugs and being incapable of performing to the minimium requirement specification.

Re:As an outsider. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356561)

The intersection between firms that have the know-how to navigate the Federal Acquisitions Regulation and the firms that have the know-how to produce a public-facing web service that is actually fit for purpose is either the null set or damn close to it.

Re:As an outsider. (5, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45356643)

That $600MM figure is, naturally, a fabrication. That's the total amount of all software contract work by the entire department of health and human services in the time-frame of 2009-2013. Needless to say, if you can't imagine what other outlays that might include, you're crazy. $93MM(the real number) is still a lot, but 9 women can't delivery a baby in a month.

Re:As an outsider. (2)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45356797)

The sacrificial lamb has been slaughtered, fingers can now be pointed, and now Washington will be happy and work fixing the site can proceed.

Re:As an outsider. (2)

QilessQi (2044624) | about a year ago | (#45356409)

If you're not a US Citizen, you might not be aware that the new healthcare law which Healthcare.gov was built to service was advanced by the current President (a Democrat) amid much controversy, and the opposition party (Republican) is firmly against it. There have been media blitzes (propaganda efforts, if you will) on both sides of the political fence around the failure of the website. I think all parties can agree that it has been a bit of a political embarrassment for the President.

So, yes, this is a big project that was probably hurried amid changing requirements, with perhaps with too many players not talking to each other and not using the right tools. And yes, it will eventually get fixed or have parts rewritten, because that's what always happens in these sorts of situations.

But in the meantime, member of both parties are demanding that Blood Must Flow. They just disagree on whose.

Re:As an outsider. (4, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#45356605)

I think all parties can agree that it has been a bit of a political embarrassment for the President.

I'm not sure how much of a political embarrassment it really is. Yeah it should be working, but I'm not sure embarrassment is the right word. The right wants to make the website it an embarrassment, but they would want to paint whatever happens as an embarrassment even if the website worked perfectly. The left wishes the website would have worked. But with close to 2 months left before anyone is required to have insurance, there's still time.

Look at previous administrations for more embarrassing things. Bush with his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, lies about WMD, and everything that resulted in the "War on Terrorism". That's an embarrassment. With Clinton, the affair with Monica Lewinsky and all that came with that was an embarrassment.

If Obama is going to be embarrassed politically, I think it should be more for his domestic and international spying programs.

Re:As an outsider. (4, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#45356657)

"If you're not a US Citizen"

The whole world is aware. We all follow US politics. It's just so entertaining - like professional wrestling, but with slightly less violence. Our own politicians are mostly all very sensible and boring, nowhere near so much fun to watch.

Re:As an outsider. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356411)

They may fix or scrap it, but either is irrelevant. This is nothing but corporate welfare designed to pull tax dollars out of the middle class and put those dollars in the pockets of the healthcare industry. The poor benefit because they are the most likely to riot and resort to crime if they are forced to pay full-price, so they are given breaks and Jamal's repeated trips to the emergency room as a result of gang-related fights are subsidized by the taxpayers. The rich obviously don't need to give a shit, and congressmen and many other government workers are exempt anyway.

Even staunch supporters of Grand Dictator Baraq Hussein Sotero are now getting fucked by Obamacare, with their plans being cancelled and being charged 2-3 times for what is essentially the exact same plan. The American government is not even pretending that they aren't openly fucking the American people, Baraq himself says, "You're gonna take it in the ass, and you're gonna like it!"

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:As an outsider. (2, Interesting)

meburke (736645) | about a year ago | (#45356821)

I totally object to your language and argument. It is inflammatory without being relevant.

I agree that Obamacare is bad economics, and I have the opinion that it was rammed down our throats by a Socialist mob, but faulty argumentation is not going to get people focusing on WHAT's right; it just keeps the focus on WHO's right. (or who thinks they are right.)

At this point I'm so fed up with politicians I think they should all be fired for not focusing on solutions that work for everybody, or at least almost everybody.

Re:As an outsider. (2, Insightful)

xmundt (415364) | about a year ago | (#45356825)

I believe this post IS "ethanol fueled", as it is certainly not the work of a sober person. There is at most, ONE correct statement in it. For example - The ACA limits the amount that insurance companies can crank up rates, and so will likely cut the huge profits they have been collecting. It also makes it impossible for the insurance companies to "cherry-pick" customers, and, only provide policies for the healthy folks who do not need them and will not put in a claim. It also stops the insurance companies from dumping sick folks that are going to require payouts.
          It is true that as a part of it, the act provides for subsidies to make an insurance policy that actually is helpful be affordable to the poverty-stricken. However, your somewhat racist remark about the trips to the emergency room are not relevant. First...a huge percentage of the people being helped by this are the working poor - like the "sales associates" at Walmart, who make so little they qualify for food stamps. These subsidies will make it possible for good, hardworking Americans to get adequate health care and NOT end up bankrupt in the process. Now, about Jamal.. Apparently you do not realize that (assuming you have insurance) you are already subsidizing the trips to the ER by gang-bangers. Hospitals in America are required, by law, to treat everyone that shows up at the ER, regardless of their ability to pay. So..the hospital simply cranks up the cost for the folks that DO pay to cover these folks. With the ACA, there is a much better chance that everyone that shows up will have insurance, and be able to cover some or all of the cost of their treatment.
          Your comment about the rich is probably the only accurate and correct statement in this post. Your comment about the government being exempt is far from true. As a matter of fact, they are REQUIRED to go into the exchanges to get insurance, unlike the rest of us that have a choice. Here is a decent analysis of the whole situation: http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/fixgov/posts/2013/10/04-aca-vitter-amendment-federal-workforce-hudak
          Finally, the government has NO control over the insurance companies canceling policies. The fact is that the policies that are getting dumped are the junk policies that cover nothing, and are nothing but profit centers for the insurance company. The ACA's requirements for amounts to be spent and such make these unprofitable, so, the insurance companies are dropping them. However this has little or nothing to do with the ACA. The companies were doing this on a yearly basis for decades, in an attempt to force customers into higher profit policies. So...do not blame the greed of the insurance companies on the Government. Also, your opinion about premium amounts is meaningless, since these folks are likely to qualify for subsidies. So far, the reports that have come in that have been verified as true show that the monthly cost of insurance has either stayed the same (but, with much better coverage), or dropped quite a bit.
            Just because you do not like Barak (the CORRECT spelling of his name), for whatever reason, is no call to lie and spread mis-information.
          pleasant dreams
          dave

Re:As an outsider. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356419)

It seems like a giant project that was hurried, kind of like a Windows Vista. Isn't it getting gradually fixed?

Think about what Windows Vista would be like if the specifications came from Congress and the White House. At the last minute.

Re:As an outsider. (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about a year ago | (#45356445)

I just wonder how they will maintain security protocols with all these different entities they are bringing in last minute to the help fix the code. If they screw up and don't protect user information, things will get a lot worse.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356783)

Wasn't Vista in development under the codename "Longhorn" for like 6 years? I remember it being the butt of vaporware jokes for a long time.

Internet archive damaged (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356297)

Have you ever used the Wayback Machine [slashdot.org] ? The building that houses the Internet Archive was damaged in a fire and the group the runs the operation is making a plea for donations. The content is backed up in multiple locations and so is not in danger, but the $600,000 worth of damage is a tremendous blow to the organisation. Please consider donating [archive.org] a little today.

Re:Internet archive damaged (0)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#45356453)

Perhaps fire insurance would have covered this. It's what insurance is for. Why should I give $600k to someone dumb enough not to insure his asset/content/art/whatever. He's only going to have another fire later...

Re:Internet archive damaged (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356523)

A) No one is suggesting you give $600k. The intent would be to have many people donate a little each.
B) Insurance typically would cover the structure and contents, but not things like lost time or labor. Furthermore, it is likely that they did not own the facility that burned but were simply tenants.
C) Why are you so sure they're going to have another fire later? Do you know something about the first one that you'd care to share with us?

Entering the private sector?? (5, Funny)

FearTheDonut (2665569) | about a year ago | (#45356323)

I hear Microsoft is looking for a CEO..

Re:Entering the private sector?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356427)

And suddenly Elop sounds competent.

Obama's an Idiot. He lied and people died. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356349)

Pretend for a second this disaster happened under Bush.... you can see the comments.... Bush...errr... Obama is a idiot. He's a doofus. He's incompetent. He had low grades in college.. He couldn't write code if his life depended on it..... For all the independent contractors out there that voted for this disaster, good for you.... My healthcare comes from a large multinational corporation that got a waiver....ha ha ha... all the way to the bank...err doctor.

Private sector job (1)

ynoref (3297285) | about a year ago | (#45356351)

By chance is he going to Oracle?

Seems fitting...

project management. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356357)

project management. (Score:?)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2013 @10:21AM
I would think plenty of people know the answer to this question.
What are your chances of succeeding in delivering a software project with.
1) ambiguous and changing requirements that are not yet settled.
2) massive need to co-operate with hundreds perhaps hundreds of thousands of entities.
3) all kinds of requirements for security and audit from various federal regulators
4) A hard fast deadline that has no way of being slipped?
Any guesses ? Anybody ?

The only 'possibly' unexcusable thing is that nobody seems to have been told that it wasn't going to happen.

But you tell me, if you are a cook who cooks great 3 min omlets and some smuck comes in
and gives you $1000 for a 1 minute omlete , what do you do ?

Re:project management. (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#45356727)

>

But you tell me, if you are a cook who cooks great 3 min omlets and some smuck comes in
and gives you $1000 for a 1 minute omlete , what do you do ?

I tell you what I wouldn't do - give him a salmonella-inducing, raw fucking egg and call it an omelette. Because I'm not a moral-less piece of shit who values profits over the health and safety of my customers.

If the job can't be done under the criteria set forth, it can't be fucking done under the criteria set forth. You tell the fuckers that, and when they say, "well, we'll pay you extra to make the impossible happen," you politely decline, tip your hat, and be about your fucking business. Because guess what? When shit hits the fan and people start to suffer actual harm, who do you think is going to end up on that cross - the assholes that paid for it, or the idiot who tried to make a quick buck by willfully poisoning his customer base?

Accountable? (4, Insightful)

jamesl (106902) | about a year ago | (#45356359)

Sebelius added that she was ultimately accountable for what she termed the 'excruciatingly awful' rollout.

Accountable how? Will she get a black mark on her annual review? She still has her job.

Re:Accountable? (2)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about a year ago | (#45356533)

I want her, and everyone else in this debacle, to work for free until the site is fixed, with no back pay later on.

*That* is accountability.

Re:Accountable? (5, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | about a year ago | (#45356683)

She still has her job.

Senate Republicans refuse to allow any Obama appointments to move forward as it is, none of them are as high-profile a target as HHS Secretary right now.

It's either Sebelius or leaving the job vacant until 2017.

Re:Accountable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356735)

You miss the point. Obama placed unrealistic deadlines on a large and complex project. It was then subject to feature creep and spec changes on the whim of politicians and lobbyists. The project wasn't going to be delivered on time anyway, bean counters and MBAs have no idea how long a large project well take, you can't just throw more staff at it. Factor in the moving target, and you have a recipe for a disaster. This failure should be used as a showcase for what happens to project when you drift off spec and work to meaningless deliver dates. Sack the government, not the staff that did as they were told.

Private unemployment? (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#45356393)

"will reportedly join the private sector"

Is that what unemployed people are called nowadays? No wonder reported unemployment is so low, contrary to all observable evidence. Certainly he won't be going into a "job" straight away - who in their right mind will hire him?

Re:Private unemployment? (5, Insightful)

slew (2918) | about a year ago | (#45356509)

As with all politically connected people, I'm sure a soft landing "place" was made for him in one of the companies owned/operated by one of the generous political donors to the current overlord administration's party, so he would be comfortable vacating his current cushy post before he became a total embarassment.

This is probably not too dissimilar to how some dictators seem to find themselves living with an annual stipend in some remote area of the world...

Exactly (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356585)

First, he has CIO on his resume.

Secondly, his Government contacts alone are worth a six figure income.

I see CSC, IBM or some other big outsourcing/Government contracting firm picking him up real fast.

List kids, employment at this guy's level is nothing like ours where a little fuck up makes unemployable.

Re:Private unemployment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356511)

I don't think you understand how the world works...

Re:Private unemployment? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#45356537)

Oh I do, but sarcasm and tone of voice are notoriously hard to transmit over the internet.

Contractors (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year ago | (#45356717)

I'm sure one of the many contractors they paid 600 million bucks to will take him.

Re:Private unemployment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356729)

I'd hire him. As the office fool.

Re:Private unemployment? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#45356791)

"will reportedly join the private sector"

Certainly he won't be going into a "job" straight away - who in their right mind will hire him?

Medical industry lobbying organizations.

Re:Private unemployment? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356819)

who in their right mind will hire him?

Bain Capital

SOMEONE HIRED HIM?????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356405)

After a big disaster some company is actually going to hire him?

For most of us "little people" it would be the end of our career.

"So, why did you leave your previous employer?"
"Well, I oversaw a giant public project that went terribly wrong, so I resigned out of shame."
"Hmm, ok. Pending a criminal background check, could you start Monday?"

Re:SOMEONE HIRED HIM?????? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#45356653)

He likely signed off on deliverables from a bunch of crooks/contractors...I think he'll be fine.

I've seen people in similar positions get hired at 4x their previous salary. By the company they had just finished purchasing a large pile of very expensive shit from.

Re:SOMEONE HIRED HIM?????? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#45356695)

The project was a near-impossible one. Rushed deadlines, a constantly changing specification. Plus he has a lot of government connections - he's worth hiring, though he may end up taking a pay cut.

Re:SOMEONE HIRED HIM?????? (1)

tubs (143128) | about a year ago | (#45356701)

Its the public sector learning from the private sector.

Clusterfuck (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356437)

Everyone involved needs to be fired.

Watched that Kathleen Sebelius yesterday. She basically read the marketing spiel for 20 minutes. Anytime she was asked a question she had no real answers.
She has no clue at all what shes doing. How long it's really going to take. Or how broken it really is. She has failed completely at her JOB.
And this wasn't some last minute thing. They have had YEARS and a huge pile of money to get done a simple task.

Fire her.

And then start an investigation to find out where all of the money actually went.

Re:Clusterfuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356535)

Her "job" is to read the marketing spiel and answer questions without really answering them.

As such she is performing her job perfectly. She's a shoe-in for a cozy ambassador position as a reward for her hard work.

It was SUPPOSED to be a failure (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356475)

Obama never envisioned Obamacare actually working. It was just a means to an end - single payer. It was designed to be an utter failure from the get-go.

Re:It was SUPPOSED to be a failure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356545)

I wish. In the US, our medical costs are far greater than anywhere else where the level of care is mid grade. Eliminating the middlemen should reduce the cost somewhat. Unfortunately I think its more likely a power play by the insurance industry to force everyone to buy insurance.

Re:It was SUPPOSED to be a failure (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#45356623)

You think the grand plan to get public buy in on government run single payer was to completely botch the roll out of government directed public healthcare? I'm not sure I follow the logic there.

Recapping an old post. . . (4, Insightful)

Salgak1 (20136) | about a year ago | (#45356489)

My previous analysis [slashdot.org]

Simply:

One: Schedule Fail. Compounded by late award of the contracts to develop/influence:

Contracts Awarded Dec 2011 [wsj.com]

Two: massive requirements base to develop specification for development and implementation: The PPACA was 1800+ pages, and the associated regulations are 10,000+ pages, and are STILL changing. Can't develop without a spec and design, with big parts of requirements still changing.

Three: inadequate testing. The above-referenced link states that security testing BEGAN in August 2013, less than two months before rollout. There's no mention of load testing.
UPDATE: There WAS load testing, Radio reports say it was tested with a 1000-user simultaneous load. EXPECTED was 60K simultaneous users. . .
However, the only CONCRETE numbers I've found [mediaite.com] say it crashed at several hundred simultaneous users. . . .

Four: Integration issues. The Obamacare Exchange system combines data from numerous agencies and systems, and integrating between them is always a difficult task.

Five: Identity-management. This is in parallel to Integration, somehow all identities need to be federated into a single overarching system.

Twenty-three (now 25) months, even with a top-flight team, would simply not be enough to do this: this is a 5-7 year job. . .

Misread (3, Funny)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#45356505)

I misread it as "healthcare.gov officialLY resigns". I was about to throw a party.

Re:Misread (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356593)

I'm glad I'm not the only one that read it that way. I was confused on how a website could resign...

Shut it down get it right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356507)

Isn't the sane thing to do is to shut down the website, grant an extention on the mandate, and then work properley to get the damn thing right? Politics aside whether you agree or disagree with Obamacare as a whole just shut down the damn website and put it back up when its tested and working. Might take a month might take longer but don't rollout a disaster.

Re:Shut it down get it right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356807)

What?!? Shutdown the web site? Delay the mandate? That's un-fucking-acceptable! We have to shut down the entire national government right fucking now to prevent that catastrophe!

" aggressive schedule " mean impossible schedule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356519)

I love the how the bureaucrats make these schedules without being the ones staying up all night/all weekend to do the work....

Sacrificial Lamb found.... Website still broken (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#45356563)

So they finally found their sacrificial lamb? Who-rah...

I got to say, that took a LONG time. Just not as long as the fix is going to take.

Typical political decisions making a bloody mess out of what should have been a simple thing to build. This is why government needs to NOT be doing this kind of thing. Anybody remember the $200 hammer, or the $500 toilet seat from decades past? Well, now instead of just being a feature of the DOD, it's going to be a part of every citizen's life (and many of their deaths) though health care. It's going to be insanely expensive and not work well, if at all. Just like this website project.

shocking (1)

niado (1650369) | about a year ago | (#45356567)

A politically-unimportant official falls on his sword over the failure, and the heavy-hitters claim some kind of ephemeral notion of "accountability" with no actual repercussions for anyone's careers.

Who is surprised?

Typical big outsourced project... (4, Insightful)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about a year ago | (#45356625)

I've been on enough big-bang massive IT projects to know that this is no different from anything we've seen before.
- Ambiguous requirements that aren't settled, and constantly changing (stuff that even "agile" can't account for): This is always a killer. Even an "agile" project can't have the framework ripped down and rebuilt at the last second...some decisions have to be permanent.
- Contractors who just want to collect money : Outsourcing is always more expensive and produces worse results than if you do it in house. The only thing you save is the cost of employees, but you pay more in the long run.
- Entrenched groups who don't want to see it succeed: ERP implementations often fail because the business processes that need to be changed are held up by people or groups that don't want their job changed or automated away, and have powerful friends.
- Massive time pressure: I don't know why software development and IT are so different from engineering projects, but there is still the persistent myth that you can throw bodies at a late project to make it come in on time. You can't do this with a construction project of any reasonable size...there are still dependencies. Yet, there's always pressure to make arbitrary dates.

Seriously, replace "government healthcare insurance marketplace connecting people with thousands of insurers" with "SAP implementation", and you see the same problems.

I can see why they made this guy resign though -- someone has to be the scapegoat. At one of the companies I worked at, the much-loved founder of the company was thrown out by the board (it had grown into a public company) after a massive operations disaster that forced him to go out and publicly apologize. Some of it might have been willful blindness, but executives tend to say "I'm paying millions of dollars, just make this happen and don't bother me with details." Consulting companies love these kind of executives....

Re:Typical big outsourced project... (2)

tubs (143128) | about a year ago | (#45356749)

"Entrenched groups who don't want to see it succeed: ERP implementations often fail because the business processes that need to be changed are held up by people or groups that don't want their job changed or automated away, and have powerful friends."

I've been reading a report on the London Ambulance Services fiasco in 1994, and the final report mentioned something similar - you can't expect a computer system to change working practices, the practices have to change first.

one call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356651)

one call to Jeff Bezos. Couldn't we have just had Amazon develop and host all this?

And this is only sign-up (2, Insightful)

CodeInspired (896780) | about a year ago | (#45356659)

If it's this big of a mess just to sign-up for a healthcare plan, imagine how bad it would be if the government was tasked to run all of healthcare as some politicians would like.

Re:And this is only sign-up (2)

MarkWegman (2553338) | about a year ago | (#45356855)

Yup. Imagine something as terrible as social security. It seems to many people, who've been trying to repeal it for many years that it can't possibly work at all. Or even worse the concept that other governments who have better mortality figures than the US have medical personnel on their salaries and somehow the cost to their GDP is much less than the US. This law is in fact complicated because we decided that rather than having the government directly run things, we'd have the government pay insurance companies to run things, and extract a profit from running things, and yet have the similar impact on citizens as if the government was running things. The healthcare market has not for a long time been an example of free market where people choose their doctors, especially as they are dieing and when they have insurance in order to make an informed decision about how to save money. Adam Smith's invisible hand has not worked in the context of our system to keep prices down for a long time. The law is a kludge, to fix some of the problems. But it is probably better than what it replaced.

Bureaucrats != engineers (4, Insightful)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about a year ago | (#45356731)

Here's the root of the problem and would explain why Obama, Sebelius, and other bureaucrats are sticking to their guns. They believe that they are smarter than the software engineers charged with building this monstrosity. From my own experience, I once got into a pissing contest with a senior VP over something I had developed for the department. He had no background in software or computers. None. Even though the guy had a Mac on his desk, he didn't understand the concept of windows and insisted on using a single one to view his files opening hundreds of turn-down triangles. Hundreds. But I digress. The guy only understood image, flash, and how things looked. His precious weekly schedules had to look pretty rather than be functional to the point where the secretaries were spending an entire day putting together a weekly schedule in QuarkXPress. So I built a database system (with the assistance of one of the secretaries) to generate these schedules. But the database engine we had available to us, while it could use fancy fonts, didn't understand variable character widths. So printing schedules using dingbats was a nightmare. During a presentation, some flunky asked if we could make some changes. The secretary said "Well I don't know. We're jumping through a lot of hoops to make it do what you're seeing now. I don't know if it's possible." The VP said "It's possible" without even asking me. I nearly quit that day. As a matter of interest, a few of my coworkers and I had a daily reading from The Dilbert Principle.

Point is that Obama and his minions don't understand that you can't set arbitrary deadlines for technology when they know nothing about it. It's the same as ignorant politicians setting lofty fuel economy standards without talking to automotive engineers to find out if the goal is realistic or even possible. The politicians believe their own hype in that they think they are smarter than the engineers. At the very least. One can also make the case that unrealistic goals aren't set out of ignorance but by design to suit their ideology. E.g. Set a pollution standard bar so high that it either isn't possible or that it's so expensive that nobody will bother and voila, the source of that pollution is gone taking all the benefits (jobs, consumer savings, useful product) with it. To the politician, the ends justify the means because in their mind, the citizenry is too stupid to understand it.

I hope he used plenty of soap (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#45356741)

When washed his hands of this mess and walked away.

Inevitable (0)

The Cat (19816) | about a year ago | (#45356755)

He was the guy that pointed out the problems in meetings. Everyone else joined forces to get him fired.

This happens in every "corporate culture." There are no exceptions. The competent are destroyed to protect the liars.

America: We defeated the Third Reich, we feed the world and we landed on the moon.

Now we can't build a web site.

Who would hire hime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356843)

What company would hire that guy after the health site fiasco?

Ironic, yes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45356849)

Isn't this ironic? The AI machines behind the elections worked like a charm but the healthcare system is a mess.

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