Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ben Domenech on Affordable Care Act's worst case scenario

Domenech lays it out here.
I'd add one further nasty step to the worst case.  People who have lost their insurance and unable to sign up timely on the exhanges, and then faced with a health catastrophe in January would face the cruelist of fates.  Sick, without insurance, and a penalty for not having it.  None of it any fault of their own.


Sunlight Group: Good enough for government work? The contractors building Obamacare

InforWorld writes,
The biggest problem with Healthcare.gov seems simple enough: It was built by people who are apparently far more familiar with government cronyism than they are with IT.

That's one of the insights that can be gleaned from the work done by the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that focuses on government transparency. In a report filed this past week, the group examined why the system broke as horribly as it did: The contracts awarded to those who built it were, by and large, existing government contractors with "deep political pockets."
Download the Sunlight Group's report for a list of all the vendors.  Yes, the lobbying and contributions explain some, but the biggest failure I suspect will be lack of imagination.  They did it the same old way.


Affordable Care Act's Software Vendors

In case your wondering the trio's "CGI Federal for the website itself,  "Quality Software Systems Inc. (QSSI) for the information "hub" that determines eligibility for programs and provides the data on qualified insurance plans, and "Booz Allen for enrollment and eligibility technical support."
Below via Obamacare site hits reset button on passwords as contractors scramble,
The result of the headlong rush to October 1 was a system that had never been tested at anything like the load it experienced on its first day of operation (if it was tested with loads at all). Those looking for a reason for the site's horrible performance on its first day had plenty of things to choose from.
First of all, there's the front-end site itself. The first page of the registration process (once you get to it) has 2,099 lines of HTML code, but it also calls 56 JavaScript files and 11 CSS files. That's not exactly optimal for heavy-load pages.
Navigating the site once you get past registration is something of a cheese chase through the rat-maze. "It's like a bad, boring video game where you try to grunt and hack your way through to the next step," one site user told Ars.
Once you get through all that, it's not clear that it's going to do you any good. Underlying problems in the back-end code—including the data hub built by QSSI—have been causing errors in determining whether individuals are eligible for subsidized plans under the program. In DC, that means health care plan prices won't be available to people registering through DC's portal until November. It may also mean that others who have registered already at the federal and state exchanges may get sticker shock later.
A Federal IT Acquistion a heck-of-a-thing to hang one's Political Legacy upon.  Administration will end up seeking a delay and that's what'll be remembered about this shutdown.