Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Health care website...in 2 weeks; for nothing$$??

Obama "wanted to go in there and fix it myself but I don't write code.."   Really, Obama? :-) 

Well, 3 young men did it ... In two weeks, they designed a website where Americans could find a plan available for your zip code.   Lots cheaper than the anywhere between $90-118 MILLION we've been charged for a site that doesn't work, huh? 

Of course, this woman wouldn't have made her millions screwing things up for us, but.......it wouldn't have been nice if the government had known what they were doing.  You'd have thought they could have got it together in 3 1/2 years.   No?

Politicians keep saying "There's nowhere to cut the budget," but we keep hearing of such outrageous over spending that maybe we do only need a committee of  3 to clear things up....like the 3 who designed the website so painlessly, quickly and cheaply?

WHY NOT?   Oh, I know..........Democrats would think most of those 3 were too conservative and the Republicans would say they're too liberal.  

What do we DO?



Rita said...

To be fair, healthcare.gov isn't just a website. Well at least it shouldn't be just a website. The exchange should have allowed the user access to all the detailed information at a glance, we all know it's not just about the premiums. You need to know the deductible and max out of pocket and whether your doctor is in the plan.

Then when you are ready to buy, the exchange should gathered your information and sent it, along with all the others to the insurance carrier.

It sounds easy, but there are a lot of backend operations that would increase the complexity.

I wrote a post a couple weeks ago about implementing a project like this. I agree the money they spent is outrageous, but I highly doubt that the project had enough time to be completed.

They didn't have 3 years on just created a website, there is a significant amount of time spent getting this type of project off the ground.

And I guarantee you there were many contractors on the project screaming it wasn't ready, but the client (Sebillius) has the final say.

Elmers Brother said...

These three guys built this site so you access the info you need first which is what was recommended to the gubmint also. Their site does everything but purchase the insurance. This kind of waste goes on in gubmint bureaucracies a million times a day.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Bill in Kentucky in a message that was sent to Bret Baier during the Special Report. Read on the air.

"Putting things in perspective: March 21st 2010 to October 1 2013 is 3 years, 6 months, 10 days. December 7, 1941 to May 8, 1945 is 3 years, 5 months, 1 day. What this means is that in the time we were attacked at Pearl Harbor to the day Germany surrendered is not enough time for this progressive federal government to build a working webpage. Mobilization of millions, building tens of thousands of tanks, planes, jeeps, subs, cruisers, destroyers, torpedoes, millions upon millions of guns, bombs, ammo, etc. Turning the tide in North Africa, Invading Italy, D-Day, Battle of the Bulge, Race to Berlin - all while we were also fighting the Japanese in the Pacific!! And in that amount of time - this administration can't build a working webpage."

Jim at Asylum Watch said...

Progressives are so not progressive!

Mustang said...

There must have been a reason for constructing the government website “backwards.” Hmmm. I wonder what that reason could have been …. Surely it is not merely a matter of bureaucratic incompetence. No, there must have been another reason. Hmmmm.

JonBerg said...

Any law that starts out with a reported 2,700 pages of legalize and 20,000 pages of regulatory gobbledegook is doomed from the beginning! The internet fiasco is but the "tip of the iceberg"!

DaBlade said...

What should we do??? Don't accept the premise of this entire BS and simply refuse to play the game. Period.

Anonymous said...

This is a joke. As someone in IT, I don't understand. I would've happily taken 90 million dollars and they would've gotten a kick ass website.

Can you imagine what a startup company could do with 90 million dollars in funding?


Anonymous said...

You can be glad doctors are not gov employees :( A buggy website is one thing, but a "buggy" surgery is another thing.


Anonymous said...

Plus honestly, it's not as if there was not already insurance marketplaces online. I've used them for life insurance, car insurance and health insurance in the past.

But I don't think they're that interested in having this site function. I think they're more interested in messing up the system to the point everybody comes begging.


A Obama Voter said...

I was all for ObamaCare until I found out I was paying for it.

Bob said...


With all due respect, the Healthcare.gov website is just another website.

Thousands of sites of equal complexity are created every year. Check out any department store website, Best Buy, Staple, etc. These vendors sell hundreds of thousands of products, bill them, and ship them them 24 hours per day, 365 days per year

Occasionally, there are problems, but the Healthcare.gov problems are simply the result of gross incompetence. I know because I have managed large projects, and have been in the web business. I know how to do the job.

There was no magic involved in the site, and there was plenty of time and money. Instead, we get something done not by companies in the business, but by cronies of the White House, and large donors of the Administration.

In one respect you are correct. Healthcare.gov is much more than a website. It is the face of an incompetent bureaucracy.

Rita said...

Bob. With all due respect, I was comparing what these guys built in three weeks to what was needed in healthcare.gov. I looked at their website, it will give the the policy name and the premium amount with a link to the insurance company.

As we shop for insurance we have to know more than just the premium and their website is not collecting data, it is simply pulling data. Static data.

I'm certainly not suggesting that healthcare.gov couldn't be built, but certainly not in three weeks.

I know, I've spent the last six years as in independent IT project manager. On some very large projects.

I went into great detail about successful projects on my post a few weeks ago. There are important steps to take and it was clear that a significant portion of those were not done, including gathering the correct requirement from all the players involved, development and testing. Each of these steps takes months and months in a large successful project.

Just the time it takes to select appropriate vendors can takes months. And of course the way the government screws up everything, I read they used FIFTY-FIVE vendors. That's simply unmanageable. And I'm more than certain unnecessary.

I know I everyone wants to believe it's just a website, but it's not. All of the sites you mentioned did not immediately demand heavy traffic use. One of my clients was a retail shop much like Best Buy. They do not start out getting millions in traffic on their first day. Best Buy's website has been around for years. Many years ago, they were nit tied to the shipping companies, they were processed just like their regular in store purchases that needed to be shipped. Seamless to the consumer doesn't mean seamless on the backend.

I'm am not defending this POS legislation or the website but I am a professional project manager. I know how long projects like these take. And it's not three years and certainly not three weeks.

Z said...

Great input, Rita...thanks for that.

You know, Mr. Z used to go berserk when lefties blamed Cheney and Bush for getting Halliburton involved in big important projects in Iraq. They blamed the 'no bid' stuff...

Mr. Z'd worked in Iraq many times and did HUGE project in many other countries. He knew that, for what had to be done, it would have taken forever for ANY company not 'in country' (over there) to build a profile there and be able to do a good bid without knowing the lay of the land. They needed to act immediately.

It sounds like there are SO many companies who know what they're doing that my post of a few days ago highlighting an old friend of Hillary whose company got BIG millions for screwing up the website is more true than ever. WHY HIRE HER? Psst..because she's Michelle's friend.

It sounds like YOU, Rita, could have done this website with the right crew. Would you have charged a hundred million dollars?

AREN'T there companies, like in the Halliburton analogy, which KNOW HOW TO DO SOMETHING THAT BIG CORRECTLY?

i'll admit there might be NO site that's ever had to be up and running for THAT big an immediate crowd...but it COULD have been done, right?

Bob said...

Rita: Since you are an IT person, you know that the problems are not technological. The problems deal with project management. Yes. Almost any organization could have gotten the system off the ground in less than a year. it is not that difficult.

Having been in the network and web site business, I have experience in managing these kinds of projects. All the backend stuff is not magic. We do it everyday. The results depend on architecture and execution. There's just not any magic, there.

The primary technical problem is scaling the operations to handle the traffic. There are many ways to handle this, from managing the traffic flow to staging the roll out to accommodate the huge influx of initial users.

Thanks for your clarification.

Rita said...

The multi millions spent is outrageous. From conception to a successful launch always takes a lot longer than expected.

One client estimated a year and a couple millions dollars, when all said and done it was 4 years and closer to 5.

Just because the legislation passed doesn't mean that the project got started immediately. I've read that's the requirements were being changed up until the launch. This guarantees a failed launch.

My last client thoroughly botched their project. I kept insisting they could not go live without testing. But they did anyway. Their failure, which was huge, is only topped by healthcare.gov.

As a third party contractor, you can only give your professional opinion. If the client thinks they know more than you do, you have to let them live with the consequences.

The problem with the gov website is likely no one understood the law well enough to be able to provide the app developers and the architects with the needed information to properly develop the site.

I've read they also used ancient architecture and likely built the database that supports the backend in an extremely inefficient manner. That happens when you don't understand how the data will be used.

That also meant they took too much time with all the initial project tasks that then allowed no time for the creating test scripts and completing the tests and fixing the bugs that were found.

We've all heard the load test failed. But they load tested too late for fixing.

Then there should have been thousands of functional tests to determine if the system could function in the way it was intended. I'd bet those tests were never done or if any were done, none of the fixes were made because they said October 1st deadline and like every poor project sponsor (the exec of the company who is the "go, no-go" decision maker) they insisted on going forward.

And that gets us where we are today.

And I would tell you Z, that it wouldn't matter who the project manager was, you cannot make the client get the work done they need to do. In this case it's giving the vendors the information they needed to make it work correctly.

And throwing more and new people int he mix and expecting it all to work perfectly in 6 to 8 weeks isn't going to work either.

Because so many people have now had their insurance cancelled they have to leave the site limping along so at least people can get some ideas of what's available.

I am now going directly to the insurance companies website. I also got the name of a small insurance agency that found me a policy that is much better and less expensive than Anthem, which is the only insurance offered on the exchange for Indiana.