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Officials Say HealthCare.gov Site Now Performing Well

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the if-your-expectations-are-sufficiently-low dept.

United States 644

The much-discussed health care finance sign-up website HealthCare.gov has benefited from the flurry of improvements that have been thrown at it in the last several weeks. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid spokesman Aaron Albright told Fox News Saturday that "[w]ith the scheduled upgrades last night and tonight, we're on track to meet our stated goal for the site to work for the vast majority of users." CMM spokeswoman Julie Bataille. "said the installation of new servers Friday night helped improved the response times and error rates, even with heavier-than-usual weekend traffic." If you've used the site this weekend, what has your experience been like?

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644 comments

Well (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564139)

It's just too hard for me.

--AOL user

Re:Well (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564207)

I know, right! "The website uses a font I don't like, let's repeal the ACA everybody! Everybody?"

*crickets*

Hmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564141)

I'll let you know when the page loads.

Re:Hmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564565)

I just tried it and it took a second or two to load, but I'm on a slow connection.

Privacy Issues (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564169)

To test it, they want you to put in all kinds of personal information. No thanks.

Re:Privacy Issues (5, Informative)

lgw (121541) | about 5 months ago | (#45564413)

To test it, they want you to put in all kinds of personal information. No thanks.

In the first release, a significant percentage of people who put in their info, checked out some plans, and then cancelled out of it all were accidentally signed up for Medicaid. Hope that bug got fixed.

But even the government doesn't claim the site is secure yet. Glad I'm not legally required to use it before they get around to they security audit they skipped (also legally required, but laws are for peons).

Re:Privacy Issues (2)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#45564635)

Oh don't worry, it connects directly to the IRS and the SSA, so there's plenty of your PII already in there in the event of a breach.

Setting the bar low (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564171)

Working for the "vast majority" is not good enough. It needs to work for "everybody who doesn't fuck it up themselves."

Officials say? (1, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 months ago | (#45564177)

If officials say it, that makes it official. No need to check.

Go forth and force men and 50-year old women to buy insurance for childbirth! Forward.

Re:Officials say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564335)

(Guy who didn't RTFS, which asks Slashdotters to comment on whether the officials are correct)

Re:Officials say? (-1, Flamebait)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about 5 months ago | (#45564409)

Sounds like an over-exaggeration of what the health care law was designed to do. Personally, as a young male, I'm tired of paying for old people to go to the doctors who don't have insurance. There are plenty of elderly and middle aged Americans who have no insurance, yet they still seem to feel that "entitlement" right to life shit. I personally don't care if someone is on the brink of death, if they can't pay, it's best to let them slip painfully (sorry, no painkillers, because those cost money too) into whatever post-life system they believe in.

I mean, that's the view you're pushing, correct? Because when some bum of a 40 year guy shows up to the ER having a heart attack and has no insurance, that hospital is going to push the costs to my insurance company which causes my rates to rise. As a young male I'm not plagued with the problems of old fucks and I shouldn't have to pay extra because middle aged and elderly people tend to die off...it's not my problem.

Re:Officials say? (5, Insightful)

ewieling (90662) | about 5 months ago | (#45564755)

I think much of the opposition to health insurance reform is because the costs to treat the uninsured are hidden. People who receive health care and do not have money or insurance cost hospitals (and patients and shareholders) a lot of money. When they pass these costs on, I think the hospitals should be required to break out these costs as separate line items on the bills they send to their patients and the insurance companies. I feel people would be much less opposed to health insurance reform when they see exactly how much they are paying to treat the uninsured. I do not think a civilized person can think "let them die in the streets" to be an option.

Re: Officials say? (0)

Entrope (68843) | about 5 months ago | (#45564859)

To make it all fair, government should also provide a detailed breakdown of where your particular tax dollars -- not just income and payroll tax, but duties, excise taxes, sales taxes, and all the rest -- went each year. Sound good?

Re:Officials say? (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 5 months ago | (#45564445)

there's no such thing as something cheaper than mandatory insurance

anyone who doesn't get insurance is someone who thinks they don't need insurance. while those who get insurance really need it. so costs are spread amongst fewer people and they go up, if you respect the "freedom" of some freeloaders to be stupid and irresponsible

then those assholes without insurance break their arm and get sick anyway, and then they avoid the bill because they can't afford it, and the taxpayer has to bail out the hospital

so you pay for it anyway, in the most wasteful, stupid way possible, and you pay for irresponsible freeloaders

that's why healthcare is such a joke in the usa and is so incredibly expensive

now forcing 50 year old to buy childbirth insurance does sound crazy so you fix that specific problem, you don't jettison the entire superior idea

any questions?

Re:Officials say? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564527)

And those younger women are paying for old people's heart attacks. The old people are paying to prevent flu epidemics from getting younger males sick. And men tend to have a part in making babies and it is much cheaper to pay for IUDs and pills than kids. Especially unplanned ones.

Re:Officials say? (2)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#45564535)

Yes, I have a question. Why is insurance on the exchange so much more expensive for so many people, than what they were paying before the law went into effect? If they were paying for freeloaders both before and after, why the huge difference?

Re:Officials say? (4, Informative)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 5 months ago | (#45564583)

Because previously, those "cheap" plans covered almost nothing and were pure profit for insurance companies:

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/Decoder-Wire/2013/1029/Millions-losing-health-plans-under-Obamacare.-Did-president-mislead-video [csmonitor.com]

People are now paying for coverage they should have been previously receiving.

Re:Officials say? (2, Insightful)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#45564643)

That's not true. At least not in my case. I was paying $165 for a better than platinum level plan. My new option for slightly worse coverage now costs $451. But I suppose you're right. I now have maternity coverage, and can get free birth control pills.

Re:Officials say? (3, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | about 5 months ago | (#45564721)

Young, rich, healthy people pay more so that the old, the poor, and the sick can get affordable coverage. Maybe you don't like that right now, but you'll change your mind if you ever get seriously ill, or lose your job, or see your retirement savings vanish into Wall Street's coffers. And if none of those things happen, then count yourself blessed and move on.

Re:Officials say? (3, Informative)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 months ago | (#45564889)

Young people are the poorest age group. Middle aged and older people are the wealthiest age groups. Why should relatively poor young folks continue to pay more and more and more to subsidize their relatively rich elders?

Re: Officials say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564787)

So what. By paying more of your fair share now, this country is better off. You are supporting the Republican's attempt to take healthcare from minorities by complaining. I'm assuming that that isn't your real agenda by complaining.

Re:Officials say? (1, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 months ago | (#45564791)

How can that be?

The president said "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan." He said it over and over, in a dozen different ways. Are you suggesting this thing the President said wasn't true?

Re:Officials say? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564811)

The President had to say that to counteract the attempts by the Republicans to take healthcare from minorities. If you object to that then you are a racist. He did what you people forced him to.

Re: Officials say? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564809)

So your solution is to take healthcare from ni****s? You are being racist by complaining.

Re:Officials say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564823)

You also have accupuncture coverage. Don't forget that!

Where you paying the entire cost (5, Interesting)

sjbe (173966) | about 5 months ago | (#45564845)

At least not in my case. I was paying $165 for a better than platinum level plan.

Were you paying the entire bill for that plan? Did you have a large deductible? Most people that get health insurance have a major portion of the tab picked up by their employer. They think they pay $165 or whatever their price is because they never see the actual full cost of the plan. I've spent a LOT of time looking at health insurance plans in recent years. I have NEVER seen anyone get a plan with that much in the way of features for that kind of price unless they were paying a huge deductible. I had a catastrophic coverage plan a few years ago that had a $5000 deductible but had pretty good coverage after that and the price was around $150/month. But that first $5000 was entirely on me.

I run a manufacturing company. We provide health insurance for our employees and have picked up 50% of the cost. Our group rate for a pretty good 80/20 HMO with a zero deductible (roughly equivalent to a gold plan) cost about $525 per employee per month. Net cost to our employees is around $260/month since the company pays half. The plans we've found under the new regulations for the Affordable Care Act will give similar coverage for about $200-300/month (varies with age but always a lot less than current cost) or almost a 40% reduction in total premium over what we pay now. Furthermore a lot of our employees will qualify for subsidies so the coverage will cost even less.

While this whole roll out has been a fiasco, at the end of the day the people who work for me are mostly going to end up with similar or better coverage for less money. Furthermore their coverage will not be tied to their employment with us which is LONG overdue. No one should EVER lose health coverage just because they lost a job.

Re:Officials say? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564887)

What do you mean by "should have"? Why is it anyone's business what type of insurance I choose for myself? Millions of people were quite content with the insurance they picked for themselves and didn't need some fatherly figure to come in and make decisions for them on their coverage choices. It's not as if they couldn't get better plans; they simply CHOSE those plans because it fit their particular needs.

Here, let me fix that last sentence for you:

People are now paying significantly higher premiums for coverage they don't want but are required by law to receive in the face of financial penalties.

Re:Officials say? (2, Interesting)

nbauman (624611) | about 5 months ago | (#45564731)

The main reason the premiums of those health insurance policies cost less is that they were bad policies. They didn't cover you for some of the problems you would be most likely to have, and when they did cover you, you wind up with enormous deductibles, co-payments and exclusions.

In the insurance industry, they used to call them "herd of buffaloes" policy. They only cover you if you get run over by a herd of buffaloes, and then only if it's on Main Street, and only if it's at noon.

But actually, most people will pay lower premiums for equal or better insurance, and most of the Obamacare horror stories aren't true. http://www.salon.com/2013/10/18/inside_the_fox_news_lie_machine_i_fact_checked_sean_hannity_on_obamacare/ [salon.com]

Re:Officials say? (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 5 months ago | (#45564543)

any questions?

Yeah, two! What are you? A moron?

Why should I be forced to engorge some dick full of money when I know they will spend most of their time and efforts denying their payment obligations when I do get sick?

Okay, three...

Re:Officials say? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 5 months ago | (#45564693)

Why should I be forced to engorge some dick full of money when I know they will spend most of their time and efforts denying their payment obligations when I do get sick?

you really didn't read my comment did you?

Re:Officials say? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 5 months ago | (#45564647)

Making people pay for their own medical bills would be fair only if nobody got hurt unless it was completely their fault.

What if someone else hits you on the road, or makes you sick, or passes germs to you?

I think it's fairer for the pain to be spread in that case, to make it more bearable.

Hell, sickness is a common enemy because of the contagion factor and it's in the public interest to pay for it at public expense.

"Vast Majority"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564271)

Given government practices, I believe the term "Vast Majority" was defined in a rider clause to some obscure "Save the Children-Feed up Pork" bit of legislation as:
    * A number which can be interpreted as positive based on the needs of the agency which is quoting it, so long as it meets at least the 2 of the following (642) requirements:
        i. Must be a real number. ("Real" having been defined in line 18, paragraph ZB, page 382, section N, subsection(s) c.,d. of the "Feed Really EgrEgious Denominations Of Money to the Republican Or Conservative Klingon Species ("FreedomRocks) Act.)
        ii. Must be able to obfuscated in no less than 40 (double spaced) pages of irrelevant statistics and methods hiding the method whereupon the number was derived.
        iii.......
        iv. PROFIT!

define "performing well" (-1, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 5 months ago | (#45564285)

If "performing well" = "selling the American people down the road to slavery, and making them pay for the privilege" then yes.

Re:define "performing well" (1, Insightful)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 5 months ago | (#45564369)

Hate to break it to you, but this country was founded on, and continues on, as a slave based economy. The South won the Civil War by having the North agree that we would enslave all colors of peoples by calling it minimum wage. You know, minimum wage, which means if we could legally pay you less, we would. Now get back to work, slave.

Re:define "performing well" (0, Troll)

msauve (701917) | about 5 months ago | (#45564399)

We have property taxes, income taxes, social security taxes, now medical taxes. The plan to force everyone to participate in the dollar economy instead of being able to subsist on their own takes another step. We can't have anyone think they're responsible for themselves. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The usurers and overlords are pleased.

Re:define "performing well" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564505)

We've already had medical taxes, but they came in the form of income taxes for everyone to pay for the uninsured who were guaranteed benefits. About time they paid their fair share.

I still think we should have had a single payer system, with perhaps an optional Rolls Royce version available to cover extras.

Re:define "performing well" (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#45564539)

Oh stop it. You can go off into the wilds and stay away from the IRS, UPS, AT&T and likely the NSA. Very, very few people stay completely off the grid. If you want to have the benefits of civilization, then you have to pay for it. That said, the ACA isn't going to help (or hurt much), the entire system is screwed up six ways from Sunday, but if you want to have any chance of reasonable rates you have to spread the costs as far and as wide a possible.

Perhaps there should be a way to opt out - you sign a form (and get branded, RFID'ed, tatooed or whatever) and you don't get to go to the ER. You don't get Police or Fire protection. You don't get mail. You can live your life in whatever rugged fantasy world you create for yourself. Goodluckwiththat.

Re:define "performing well" (2)

nbauman (624611) | about 5 months ago | (#45564751)

Oh stop it. You can go off into the wilds and stay away from the IRS, UPS, AT&T and likely the NSA. Very, very few people stay completely off the grid. If you want to have the benefits of civilization, then you have to pay for it.

Or as Adam Smith said, those who benefit from society have an obligation to pay for the costs of running society.

Re:define "performing well" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564843)

They are Obama is dealing this health care cost is all wrong though, he even admitted that obamacare will not decrease costs because it dose nothing to do decrease it. I have not gone to the hospital for 20 years, but when I'm forced to pay the health insurance tax (courts said it was a tax), then I'm going to the hospital as much as I can and needed to get my value out of it, so my money will not be used by someone else.

Police and fire is paid by property taxes in most states, and you can avoid it by not owning a house. This is the first time you will be taxed for NOT doing something, and should not happen if the courts were not full of corrupt democrat judges.

Re:define "performing well" (5, Insightful)

Aighearach (97333) | about 5 months ago | (#45564405)

Canada has more health care than Americans do, and they're not slaves.

Are you completely sure that health care is slavery?

Re:define "performing well" (5, Informative)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 5 months ago | (#45564607)

Not only does every first world country other than the US have some sort of universal healthcare/single payer system, the US spends more than every other country for healthcare for a lower level of care/poor outcomes.

USA! USA!

Re:define "performing well" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564663)

I'm interested in your theories. I have a deadly cancer treated successfully in the US, all paid for by private insurance with nearly no wait times on any treatments or anything ever denied.

Which of these other countries do you speak of that I would have gotten better treatment or a better outcome?

Reality doesn't seem to match your rhetoric.

Re:define "performing well" (5, Insightful)

Aighearach (97333) | about 5 months ago | (#45564759)

Which of these other countries do you speak of that I would have gotten better treatment or a better outcome?

In any modern developed country other than the US, you would have gotten similar treatment and since we know you responded well to treatment, you'd have the same outcome. Obviously you can't get a better outcome than successful treatment.

For people without insurance, of course, the outcomes are often vastly different because in the US that means they'll likely have to delay treatment.

UK (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564789)

My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year. Prognosis without treatment was 5 years tops. Was taken in to hospital a week later, had an operation to remove the cancer, had further treatment, support afterwards to make sure everything was working, and regular checks until he was finally given the all clear.

Reality very much does match the rhetoric, it's just that you seemingly choose to ignore it.

Re: define "performing well" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564815)

France, England, Japan, Norway....shit even Cuba....adds up just fine

Re: define "performing well" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564913)

He said his treatments were fully covered and that he had no problem accessing treatments. We have the best doctors in the world, so I'm not sure how any of those countries could be *better*. He's statistically more likely to have a worse experience in those countries.

Re:define "performing well" (2)

nbauman (624611) | about 5 months ago | (#45564757)

Are you completely sure that health care is slavery?

War is peace.
Ignorance is strength.

Re:define "performing well" (1)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about 5 months ago | (#45564431)

So you're proposing to pay for the increases in health insurance I've had to pay for over the last 10 years? By my approximation you owe me an additional $50,000 plus interest. So were you going to pay with cash, gold, silver, cashier's check, or money order?

Re:define "performing well" (0)

nbauman (624611) | about 5 months ago | (#45564801)

So you're proposing to pay for the increases in health insurance I've had to pay for over the last 10 years? By my approximation you owe me an additional $50,000 plus interest. So were you going to pay with cash, gold, silver, cashier's check, or money order?

You were paying twice as much as the Canadians did because we don't have a government-run health care system like the Canadians do.

Send your bill to the insurance companies who overcharged you.

Send your bill to the politicians who got campaign contributions from the insurance companies.

Hope it works well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564301)

I hope it works well now and that millions sign up for healthcare insurance.

Here's What I Know (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564309)

I'm unemployed and without insurance. If I go to the dentist's office to get a small no-anesthesia filling, as I did last week, they will accept $116 from an insurance company but will charge me $167 for exactly the same procedure because I'm a cash payer. When an insurance company pays them, they deduct the difference between $167 and $116 as a "loss" to reduce their taxes. Obviously, they've got quite an incentive to do that.

It's not just dentist's offices. Those are the shenanigans going on with tens of thousands of health care providers across the US, it's to the tune of tens of billions of dollars of "losses" pulled out of thin air, and it has to fixed before any of this is going to improve. Subsidizing private insurance companies with taxpayer money and mandating that people sign up with them while allowing insurance companies to keep skimming profits out of the system and penalizing cash-payers is the wrong thing to do.

Re:Here's What I Know (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564353)

They really need to just ban health insurance completely. It is the only thing that will fix things at this point.

Re: Here's What I Know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564395)

Here's what you don't know. The reason the cash rate is so high is so that the vast majority of payments (that are from insurance companies) are at least reasonable. If it takes $100 for a procedure to be reasonably profitable without gouging the consumer, the "cash price" has to be set at $175 so that the final cost of $100 can be "negotiated". If the cash price were set at $100, the insurance company would negotiate an untenable price point. Welcome to the ridiculous world of for-profit insurance.

Re:Here's What I Know (2, Interesting)

6ULDV8 (226100) | about 5 months ago | (#45564641)

I saw the same issue when I turned 50. The cash price for a colonoscopy was between 3 & 4k (didn't get an exact figure), but they settled for $1000 from my insurance company.

Re: Here's What I Know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564703)

The write off is not tax deductible. It's just that insurance companies can negotiate with scale whereas you are a single individual
Of course, you could offer less prior to receiving the service and see.

/. has gone full right winger... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564313)

with all of these anti-ObamaCare stories. By recognizing the problems, YOU are supporting the Republicans in their war against allowing minorities to have healthcare. The editors here should be ashamed of themselves.

Re:/. has gone full right winger... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564417)

with all of these anti-ObamaCare stories. By recognizing the problems, YOU are supporting the Republicans in their war against allowing minorities to have healthcare. The editors here should be ashamed of themselves.

You sir, are a fucking idiot.

Re:/. has gone full right winger... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564437)

Uhh.. sorry to break it to you, but the guy who left Dick Cheney's rollback of habeas corpus in place, has been killing thousands of women and children with flying killer robots, and defends the violation of the constitutional rights of hundreds of millions of Americans is a full-on right wing Republican by any other name. If you don't see that the core premise of "Obamacare" is to subsidize the profits of a bunch of private insurance companies with taxpayer money and make it illegal to not buy their products, you should try taking off your party blinders.

Translation (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564323)

"We instructed the IETF to change HTTP, 4xx now means the same as 2xx".

Overheard at CGI... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564325)

BOSS: Our mandate is to make this site work for the vast majority of users in two weeks. Otherwise we don't get a bonus. And by "we" I mean "I".
ENGINEER ERNIE: But there are millions of users! Right now the site can only handle 200 simultaneous users, and we just don't have the hardware for more. If we work our asses off and spend a bunch of money on servers, we might be able to get it up to ten thousand. That's nowhere near the vast majority.
BOSS: Damn it, I promised my son I'd buy him a Cessna for his birthday. I need that bonus! You guys had better think of something quickly.
ENGINEER DAVE: I think I have an idea...
BOSS: Spit it out, man!
ENGINEER DAVE: ... well, I just thought you could hire a few competent engineers for a change. That might get the job done.
BOSS: Look, I tried that. It was nixed by the big shots -- they don't want to develop a reputation for competence, okay? You've gotta figure something out that works with our current human capital.
ENGINEER ERNIE: Uh, I have an idea. Say again what the mandate was?
BOSS: We have to make the site work for the vast majority of users in two weeks.
ENGINEER ERNIE: That's what I thought. So if we just drive away all the users right now, then we will have no users in two weeks, right?
BOSS: Yeah... how does that help?
ENGINEER ERNIE: Well, what's the vast majority of zero?

[Silence]

ENGINEER DAVE: But... but...
BOSS: Shut up and start sabotaging the code, or you're fired.
ENGINEERS: Yes, sir!

Yeah sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564351)

Healthcare still sucks ass and is expensive and semi-useless. But at least the website works now!

Now it can deny useful coverage and overcharge people as intended.

great.

I played with it just now (4, Informative)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 5 months ago | (#45564365)

Zippy and responsive. Each page was uncluttered, and what little info I had to give to "see plans in my area" was reasonable. I got back a dozen quotes in under a minute just clicking through things.

Now, the actual registration process is probably more complex, but if the rest of the website responds as beautifully as it did for me during those dozen screens I saw, then they really did a good job fixing it.

Re:I played with it just now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564419)

Zippy and responsive. Each page was uncluttered, and what little info I had to give to "see plans in my area" was reasonable. I got back a dozen quotes in under a minute just clicking through things.

Now, the actual registration process is probably more complex, but if the rest of the website responds as beautifully as it did for me during those dozen screens I saw, then they really did a good job fixing it.

Good, then that's one less thing Fox News has to whine about.

Re:I played with it just now (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564519)

Right. Because bitching about how the page was dysfunctional was just something that Fox complained about. Oh, that's right, the leftist "news" agencies refuse to question the Dear Leader so we're fucked when it comes down to getting an honest response for them when it comes to the corruption and contempt that this administration has for anyone but their closest allies.
 
So, yeah, fuck Fox news... give me filtered bullshit from the left that still scoffs at Bush making grammar errors but gives Obama a pass on shit like using the IRS like an attack dog.
 
This nation is truly fucked.

Re:I played with it just now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564687)

Foxnews.com now is running China v. Japan airspace/Biden as their lead story. I guess they checked out the new ACA website too!

lol - Ailes
lol - Rove
lol - Murdoch

Re:I played with it just now (4, Informative)

BLKMGK (34057) | about 5 months ago | (#45564433)

Okay, I tried it based on your post. In Chrome it brought up no quotes at all, I saw Ghostery block some Google analytics. I fired up the dreaded IE and after entering my zip and hitting enter I had a series of potential quotes in seconds.

Yup, this is WAY better than it was before when I couldn't get past the front page. I'll be pinging a few of my friends who need this to check it out too.

Re:I played with it just now (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 months ago | (#45564475)

It seems to be rendering strangely for me [picpaste.com] in Firefox. The text "Find Health" is bleeding into the top blue bar, or maybe it's just a strangely designed page. I guess that's not enough to break things, though.

In any case, that's just the front end. Apparently there's another 30% that needs to be completed. [nytimes.com]

Re:I played with it just now (1)

chill (34294) | about 5 months ago | (#45564689)

Nice troll. That article was published on 11/19, which is 11 days ago.

And he was talking about needing to build the accounting, reconciling and payment systems -- which won't really come into play until January. They have nothing to do with the general public who is signing up.

Re:I played with it just now (1)

Shados (741919) | about 5 months ago | (#45564523)

That part of the site was never all that bad. Its the registration process that had issues.

performance? try getting the back end working. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564377)

I'm not sure I care about site performance if I can't get past the verification step. The first time I called they said try back in 24hrs. The second time I called they said "Try it on a weekend!", the third time, "Try back after the 1st of the month"...

Officials... (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#45564427)

...have said a lot of things about the ACA and Healthcare.gov, the vast majority of which turned out to be false. I would not expect anything different now.

Resolves as 127.0.0.1 everywhere outside the US? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 5 months ago | (#45564459)

C:\>ping www.healthcare.gov

Pinging bh.georedirector.akadns.net [127.0.0.1] with 32 bytes of data:

Re:Resolves as 127.0.0.1 everywhere outside the US (1)

gmueckl (950314) | about 5 months ago | (#45564605)

Same here, strangely enough. Looks like a measure to avoid load caused by foreigners that got curious from all the bad reporting that this website got.

Re:Resolves as 127.0.0.1 everywhere outside the US (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#45564803)

It resolves to e8132.dscb.akamaiedge.net (23.7.74.194) in the U.S. if you care to take a gander. Not to say it won't reject you when you get there via IP too.

I tested it two weeks back (4, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 5 months ago | (#45564467)

It was already doing better. Since I knew I would not qualify for subsidy and already had employer provided insurance it was just a dry run. But still it worked mostly. Quite a few quibbles. Help opened a new tab and I did not realize I was on a different tab and spent a while looking for way out of the maze of helps and explanations. A few clickable links did not change the mouse pointer. But I was able to go all the way and compare the plans and prices and see that my employer is giving us gold coverage, and the cost was comparable. I was actually surprised by the "low" prices. Was expecting a sticker shock because "must take all comers", "no lifetime cap", "mental health coverage" etc. But not bad. Plans went from 600$ a month to 900$ a month for gold. So it was not bad even when there was this huge media frenzy.

Basically all accounts created in the first week ten days must be abandoned and fresh account created. If you try to continue with the old account, it would retrieve an old incomplete corrupt data file and you are screwed. But start a new account, new email id, and it would be a breeze for most people. If you want to check your subsidy etc I heard there were trouble. Also heard that most troubled were older people unfamiliar with internet and web pages and were intimidated by all the new fangled terms and legalese.

Two days back got an email saying, "why don't you try again?". I logged in opened a chat window and asked "williams" to cancel that account. He said dont bother it will time out and die by itself.

Re:I tested it two weeks back (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#45564557)

Did you actually apply for enrollment, or were you just looking at the Kaiser estimates? In other words did you actually give them you income data, age, zip, SS number, and wait for the status email containing the pdf notifying you of your acceptance or rejection? Because only then are you allowed to actually look at plans, and only if you were accepted.

Re:I tested it two weeks back (4, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 5 months ago | (#45564901)

No. By that time, they have removed the restriction and allowed me to browse the plans, save the plans and compare the plans. Only thing was the prices shown were the "full retail" price and there was a nagging side bar that kept saying "your actual cost could be lower please complete this form", "click here" "please please please click here".

The reason for the whole fiasco was they decided not to show the full retail price till people actually complete the eligibility because the politicians thought the sticker shock would be too much. That last minute change to hide the price till the income verification was done was the root cause of all problems. The income verification involves social security number, getting info from the hub etc etc. They could have rolled in income check and eligibility check even before the plan pricing was finalized. But that is all monday morning quarterbacking.

One of the first thing they did was to just open it all up for comparison shopping to reduce the load of window shoppers. Even now I am not sure how well the subsidy eligibility portion of the site is working. But for straight up comparison of plans and pricing, you could do it anytime. This alone is going to change the landscape of medical plans for everyone. Many small companies, people with "trustable" friend/broker etc were all buying health insurance blind. Pricing was very opaque and plans were not comparable at all. Right now so many people are figuring how trustable their friendly neighborhood broker had been.

Subsidy is nearly 100% at 32K income for a family of 4, sliding down to zero at 96K for a family of four. The median family income in USA is around 50K and around 75% of the people make less than 100K. Very few people with more than 100K were without health coverage prior to ACA/Obamacare. So vast majority of the 40 million Americans without healthcare would be eligible for subsidy. It is not going to be easy for the Republicans to roll back this program. No matter how bad the web site is, it would be impossible to go back to the bad old days of preexisting condition, "we will collect premium and cancel your policy if you get sick" health insurance company days.

DoubleClick and Optimizely in use. (2)

Animats (122034) | about 5 months ago | (#45564555)

Watching the home page load [healthcare.gov], this shows up:
[17:06:07.510] GET https://stats.g.doubleclick.net/dc.js [doubleclick.net] [HTTP/1.1 304 Not Modified 40ms]
[17:06:06.192] GET https://cdn.optimizely.com/js/166688199.js [optimizely.com] [HTTP/1.1 304 Not Modified 40ms]

Hm.

Re:DoubleClick and Optimizely in use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564615)

Yeah. I saw that too. WTF?

Re:DoubleClick and Optimizely in use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564833)

Looks like they found a tool to combine and compress all of their javascript files so each client isn't making 35-40 HTTP requests to load a single page the first time. I'll bet it also caches well now. Looks to me like this was managed by someone who either didn't, or wasn't allowed to, build in the minimum of a month of additional testing and optimization this thing needed.

Tried to Sign Up, Already Frustrated (4, Informative)

thepainguy (1436453) | about 5 months ago | (#45564573)

So I'm in the process of trying to sign up for healthcare.gov. I'm already having problems, because it won't accept my e-mail address as my username, even though it would appear to fit the criteria.

"The username is case sensitive. Choose a username that is 6-74 characters long and must contain a lowercase or capital letter, a number, or one of these symbols _.@/-"

If they are having problems explaining the most basic things, I'm not hopeful.

The site is also less secure for me because none of my standard, extremely secure, never before had a problem with them passwords will work for it. That will force me to write it down, making the site inherently less secure.

5 Minutes later...

LOL. What an absolute piece of garbage of a web site. I tried to change my username to just the username of my email address and the site says it's invalid. It should be valid based on the instructions, but no joy. If they actually want the username to contain a number, then that's a joke; it's something I've never seen before on ANY website EVER.

WHO LAID OUT THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THIS SITE? JOE BIDEN? HAVE THEY NEVER EVEN USED THE INTERNET?

When sites come up with new, unusual standards for usernames and passwords (e.g. must contain a %, *, or ^), then they are making the site less secure because they are increasing the odds that people will have to write down their usernames and passwords.

Re:Tried to Sign Up, Already Frustrated (3, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | about 5 months ago | (#45564681)

it won't accept my e-mail address as my username, even though it would appear to fit the criteria.

"The username is case sensitive. Choose a username that is 6-74 characters long and must contain a lowercase or capital letter, a number, or one of these symbols _.@/-"

If they are having problems explaining the most basic things, I'm not hopeful.

It looks like the period is the invalid character. Interestingly, having a period in the username gives a different error message than the one used for any other invalid character. I'm guessing they're scanning the string in two separate places, and forgot to remove the one that doesn't like periods.

When sites come up with new, unusual standards for usernames and passwords (e.g. must contain a %, *, or ^), then they are making the site less secure because they are increasing the odds that people will have to write down their usernames and passwords.

What are you talking about? The site doesn't require you to use special characters in your password. It just says 8-20 characters, containing one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and one number. That's pretty standard.

Re:Tried to Sign Up, Already Frustrated (1)

thepainguy (1436453) | about 5 months ago | (#45564725)

The password requirements state...

"It can't contain your username or any of these characters = ? ( ) ‘ " / \ &"

It just so happens that I use one of those characters in my standard secure password. I've never had a problem with that character before except for one site (which ironically is my bank, and which forces me to use a password that is less secure than my standard password due to its banning special characters.

Seriously, all of these different password standards are a huge cause of security problems.

Re:Tried to Sign Up, Already Frustrated (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 5 months ago | (#45564785)

That's very different from "must contain a %, *, or ^", which is what you said in your first post. Lots of sites have similar requirements.

Why do you have a "standard secure password"? That's an oxymoron. If you're really concerned about security, you shouldn't be using the same password on multiple sites. Just get a password safe.

Re:Tried to Sign Up, Already Frustrated (1)

thepainguy (1436453) | about 5 months ago | (#45564867)

Sites that rule standards characters in or out are driving down security because all of the standards vary. Maybe that is by design, to prevent standard passwords, but the end result for 99% of the population isn't something that is more secure.

In terms of standard passwords, I'd like to introduce you to the ordinary person who can't handle a different password for every site. I can't for sites that I don't regularly visit, like healthcare.gov.

Re:Tried to Sign Up, Already Frustrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564855)

my standard secure password

*head explodes*

Re:Tried to Sign Up, Already Frustrated (1)

thepainguy (1436453) | about 5 months ago | (#45564883)

Welcome to the real world where people can't remember different username and password combinations for different sites.
Deal with it.

Re:Tried to Sign Up, Already Frustrated (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 5 months ago | (#45564903)

It just so happens that I use one of those characters in my standard secure password.

Why are you using the same password (or even very similar passwords) on multiple sites, especially for sites that involve sensitive personal healthcare and financial data? Are you aware that this very practice is the source of greatly increased rates of personal information compromise and identity theft, as compromising one set of credentials makes it much easier to access other systems? Further, are you aware that you're rolling the dice every time you create an account anywhere when it comes to whether the password you supply will even be properly hashed? Have you managed to entirely miss the nastier cases involving large organizations storing passwords in plaintext, or using deeply flawed hashing measures (outdated/weak algorithms, failing to use salt, etc) that fall to analysis within seconds?

With practices like yours, why are you dispensing security advice?

Who Cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564579)

No one.

Obama lost the "hearts and minds" even thought he got the numbers for the election 2012,

Now prancing and masturbating around a bookstore "Politics and Prose" ... I'm glad he went to Politics and Prose! Sad, it is his first visit and sad that he will never visit again! Like much of the U.S.A. Obama wrote it off and damn'ed it washing his hands and wishing for it a nuclear grave. That has not happened ... much to his dislike and disdain of Obama "Our Hero ... NOT!"

QED

How Much Would Obamacare Cost the First Family? (1, Informative)

theodp (442580) | about 5 months ago | (#45564659)

If one plugs the First Family's income and ages [staticflickr.com] into the web-based DC Health Link Calculator [dchealthlink.com], the annual health care cost estimates for the Obama household come out to be $20,125 (Bronze), $19,537 (Silver), and $21,902 (Gold) [staticflickr.com], not a good deal at all when compared to the starting-at-under-$200-a-month family health coverage [opm.gov] available to the President and Congress through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program [opm.gov]. By the way, if the Obama family members were 10 years older and their combined household income was reduced to $95,000, the estimated cost would be a staggering $26,339 (Bronze), $25,728 (Silver), and $29,021 (Gold) [staticflickr.com].

Not for me just now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45564723)

Well, I just tried it out for the third and final time and well, if you consider "working well" the same
as calling a passed-out stoner as sober then it is working just fine dude.

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