Skip to comments.Builders of Obama's health website saw red flags (rewrote code to suit admin change requests)
Posted on 10/22/2013 5:14:01 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON (AP) Crammed into conference rooms with pizza for dinner, some programmers building the Obama administration's showcase health insurance website were growing increasingly stressed. Some worked past 10 p.m., energy drinks in hand. Others rewrote computer code over and over to meet what they considered last-minute requests for changes from the government or other contractors.
As questions mount over the website's failure, insider interviews and a review of technical specifications by The Associated Press found a mind-numbingly complex system put together by harried programmers who pushed out a final product that congressional investigators said was tested by the government and not private developers with more expertise.
A review of internal architectural diagrams obtained by the AP revealed the system's complexity. Insurance applicants have a host of personal information verified, including income and immigration status. The system connects to other federal computer networks, including ones at the Social Security Administration, IRS, Veterans Administration, Office of Personnel Management and the Peace Corps.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
Your health care on ObamaWare. What could go wrong?
>> What could possibly go wrong?
Lol. Cracking me up..
Our presidents first real project. How cute!
Thank god Romney didn’t get elected. This would be working like a clock.
The USPS would love that...
We should be sending the programmers/developers gifts for making this FAIL!
You know, as ditzy as this administration is, with all the
niggardly programming on the Obamacare site and getting pimp
slapped around by Putin and so on, I think the south could
take em. I wonder what the rest of the world thinks? This
has got to be the most feminized wimp of a president to
ever hold office in this country. Not that i really don’t
like the guy, because I really don’t, it’s just that he is
so indefensibly bad. It’s the peter principal applied to
a post turtle. He has risen to the level of eminent disaster.
2,000+ pages of law, plus 30,000 (!) pages of regulations cannot be programmed, period!
“2,000+ pages of law, plus 30,000 (!) pages of regulations cannot be programmed, period!”
Hay Cat. That’s a great point.
If they did not have the time to do it correctly the first time; Where will they find the time the second time around?
Now they bring in their ‘A’ team; what was the first group?
the first group? Collateral damage.
No, but billions of lines of code are going to die trying.
3 guys bidding on a Chicago job. 1st guys price is in budget, but he needs extra time to finish it. 2nd guys timeline is good and his price is in budget. 3rd guys price is 3x as high as the others, and he will need 2 extra years to finish it.
When questioned, the first guy and 2nd guy explain in real terms the details of the contract. When the 3rd guy is asked to explain the exorbitant costs, he says “well, 1 cut for you Alderman, 1 cut for me, and 1 cut to get the job done”.
Guy #3 gets the job of course.
This website thing is nothing more than the Chicago way. Of course Obama care will be put off, there is way too much money to be made from it. It will be just another white elephant that we can’t afford, and more and more white elephants will be coming, thousands of them, to be sure.
Every dem operative and supporter will be milking this for decades, if not longer (and I suspect many in the GOPe as well). At every twist and turn, someone will be making money to “correct problems”, and no matter what, conservatives will be blamed for not funding what is needed to give America the worlds greatest health care system in the universe.
But then there would not be so much time to pick through your hard drive while you are there....
Toward the end of 2009, I was hired to be a GS manager for a government agency (defense-related). Three of the four members of the office had suddenly left, and there was some hinted turmoil as I walked into the job.
My job was to clean up a million-dollar renovation project. I won’t go into the vast details of the mess....but the general issue I came to after four weeks of review (figuring how to restart the project and complete it)...was that the director and staff were continually changing the requirements after we’d noted the requirement and budgeted the project. We were three months behind, and had wasted a quarter of the budget already by redoing portions of completed work.
I simply sat there at every subsequent meeting and refused to change anything. It was....as is. There was arguments, but in the end....nothing else changed, and a year later, we completed all of the projects.
The thing about project management...you lean toward thinking over the completed image...write the requirements...and double-check it before you budget the money and sign contracts. After that point....unless a wall fails, a pipe bursts, or termites are discovered...you don’t change nothing and complete everything as-is.
I will also offer this wisdom in life...when you sign on to build yourself a house....you do the same strategy...no changes in the scheme of the house or redesigns in the middle of the construction.
People need to think long-term and know the consequences of continual changes. Nothing is free, and once you squander your budget....you are screwed. In this case....$400 million is gone, with nothing to show for it. I’d personally fire the IT manager and project manager over this database platform. Neither are competent to withstand pressure from above, and neither did their job.
Note: I quit the gov’t job at the end of June because of continued incompetence that I saw within the government. Between that and sequestration...it’s a ship run by a bunch of fools...bound and determined to hit some iceberg. Nobody can practice budget control and project management.
They can’t do market-based human resourcing either. If you bid out a contract to lowest bidder, then the high skilled workers don’t apply or incumbents flee when they cut their pay! DUH! That’s a big reason the gubmint is FUBAR.
That’s why tech employers prefer inexperienced developers !
You know the entire game is screwed up when there are “open seasons” and “closed seasons” for any changes in enrollment.
I generally agree with your assessment in Construction project management as it takes as much time to change the scope of work in a change or mod to the contract as it takes to write a new contract. Those scoping the work need to focus on usably complete finite projects instead of fixing everything as it comes along.
The healthcare industry is much more complicated.
It has at least 7 major components, in which the primary transaction parties never really complete their transactions between themselves, i.e. Dr and Patient.
Dr gets paid by the Drs Group, which authorizes a Pharmacy and Lab to work, who bill both the patient and the insurance company and the Drs Group pays to a Hospital for space and services and requires their records from Admissions, Emergency Rooms, and secondary labs and Pharmacies.
Some people think a single payer system will solve many problems, except it builds in bureaucracy where the model is overly complex already because everybody wants to be in charge of a larger system helping everybody.
Here is what is funny about the model.
It boils down to the patient and the doctor. You can double the salary of the Dr and not change the cost of healthcare by even 1%. Generally speaking, the Patient never directly pays the doctor. Many Doctor’s offices treat copays like petticash for the receptionist’s slush fund.
Each of the above entities operate and may be modeled, luckily in one relational database. Grouping them together, you need to migrate about 7 RDBMS into one system, which takes about 6mo to 5 years and half a mil in effort per hospital in a regional area, say a municipality or about the size of a county, say about 1 mil people.
These projects are not scalable.
Working in parallel, you might be able to get the entire nation working in parallel in about a decade as a goal, but realistically, you will have pockets of gross impropriety to complexity scattered on a national map, looking somewhat like election results.
It would be easier to purge all healthcare from the US, begin with a Doctor’s Corps, and start from the bottom up, than to implement the beast they seek to tangle. (no I don;t favor that approach,...govt needs to stay out of it, or confine themselves to a small part of the market,...like say,...Oh, Medicaid and Medicare.)