Obamacare sucks so far. There, I said it. But before you go and get your panties in a bunch, I want to make it clear that I don’t think Obamacare, in general, sucks. It’s way too early to say that. Besides, the intent of the law is noble; the US has been in desperate need of healthcare reform; and millions of previously uninsured Americans should now be able to afford and eventually obtain coverage. I just think Obamacare sucks so far. Here’s why.
1. Obamacare is Built on Ten-Year-Old Technology
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted that the launch of the federal healthcare exchange website “was rockier” than she would have liked.
That’s putting it mildly.
You don’t have to be one of the millions of Americans who spent hours and hour and hours fruitlessly trying to navigate HealthCare.gov to realize that we’re well past what constitutes a “rocky” start. Suggesting otherwise is a gross understatement of the scale and severity of the problems plaguing Obamacare’s rollout.
For starters, the federal exchange, where Americans can shop and enroll for coverage, and which up to this point has been a glitch-ridden catastrophe, is built on 10-year-old technology that has proven incapable of handling the demand coming through the front end of the website. As a result, the system may require frequent fixes and updates throughout the open-enrollment period, which ends in March, before demanding a complete overhaul thereafter. It’s so bad that huge tech companies, like Microsoft, are already offering their emergency assistance.
That’s not “rocky.” That’s broken.
2. You Basically Have to Be a Hacker to Enroll
Users currently hoping to enroll in coverage via HealthCare.gov must often navigate a twisted, virtual, obstacle course of obscure workarounds, including turning off their pop-up blockers, opening links in new windows, clicking multiple menu choices in a desperate attempt to avoid error messages and most heinous of all, clearing their computers cache several times.
“I have never seen a website — in the last five years — require you to delete the cache in an effort to resolve errors,” Dan Schuyler, a director at Leavitt Partners health group, told USA Today. “This is a very early Web 1.0 type of fix.”
3. The Government Never Really Bothered to Test HealthCare.gov
You’d think with so much on the line for both the Obama Administration and uninsured Americans, HHS would have tested and retested the exchange, then taken the results of those tests and tested them against the results of other tests in order to test the effectiveness of the testing process, then retested everything one more time, thus ensuring the integrity of all the tests, which ideally would have shown that Obamacare was ready to go.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
No, seriously. The US government didn’t have time for that. Turns out HealthCare.gov wasn’t tested until a week before it launched.
“Normally a system this size would need 4 to 6 months of testing and performance tuning, not 4 to 6 days,” an individual with knowledge of the project told the Washington Examiner.
Hm. I don’t remember President Obama saying anything about a beta version?