Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

How Healthcare.Gov Imploded
Accuracy in Academia ^ | July 6, 2014 | Jace Gregory

Posted on 07/07/2014 12:43:05 PM PDT by Academiadotorg

The Obama Administration continues to prioritize political success over people as evidenced in the rollout of the public face of Obamacare: As of the end of February 2014, the Administration had spent $834 million developing a healthcare website that was flawed from the outset and allowed only a few million people to enroll for healthcare coverage, according to a new report by the minority staff of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Five days before opened last year, President Obama addressed Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland, promising that Obamacare would help the economy, families and businesses. “Starting Tuesday, you can sign up,” he said, referring to the October 1 rollout, “You can go to the website; you can check it out; you can see if what I’m saying is true … If you talk to somebody who says, well, I don’t know, I was watching FOX News and they said this was horrible you can say, you know what, don’t take my word for it, go on the website.”

That’s what millions of Americans did on October 1 only to find that the website was not functional at all. The minute that the insurance exchange website was live, it flooded with traffic and major glitches were exposed. Users were prevented from setting up accounts, they were provided with faulty links, and the long list of issues weren’t resolved for days. NBC reported that only six people were able to enroll through the Obamacare website on the first day.

The public may have been surprised that the website was not as simple and efficient as—as President Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had assured taxpayers it would be—but the website’s imminent failure was actually forecasted by high level officials who, under the political pressure to launch at any cost, threw more and more money at an ongoing catastrophe.

A recently released report by the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee titled Red Flags: How Politics and Poor Management Led to the Meltdown of reveals in detail what led up to the website’s infamous implosion.

According to the report, there was a lack of leadership from the beginning of the project which inhibited unity between contractors and which omitted any sense of accountability for those charged with its construction. Due to the lack of guidelines and collaboration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other contractors were in a position to point fingers at each other but no one was ever in a position to take charge and direct the project in any set direction.

Auditors, hired months before’s debut, tested the coding and evaluated the progress of the project. At every stage they found serious technical and managerial problems. The results of the audits were recorded and reported to high level officials but they were rarely shared with those actually working on the website. Instead, the White House and HHS continually threw curveballs at the contractors by delaying crucial guidelines and rules—possibly due to the controversial nature of those rules and the upcoming elections—and made it clear that “no level of failure was too low” to merit delaying the October 1 deadline.

It was reported that as developers worked to correct problems conceived at the early stages of development, defects actually increased. Code was being written faster than those hired to fix problems could keep up and initial issues causedothers until the whole system was built upon deficiencies.

The Affordable Care Act was the centerpiece of the Obama Administration, so developers marched forward silently, trying to ignore the obvious issues buried beneath political rhetoric.

“I just need to feel more confident they are not going to crash the plane at take-off,” said Henry Chao, Deputy Chief Information Officer and Deputy Director at the Office of Information Services, in July. When Chao was asked whether he ever considered asking for more time, he said that was not possible.

The report says that “Delaying the launch was never an option. Administration leaders never wanted to hear that the website was going to implode, so the contractors and staff building the website just did their best to get across the finish line with whatever they could cobble together.”

However, the possibility of crashing on opening day was well known among top officials, so much that instead of fixing thousands of already detected errors and increasing the traffic handling capacity of the already existing EIDM (which acts as a front door to the website without which the website cannot be accessed), contractors were ordered to work on a new EIDM—a “just-in-case” backup that was never used.

Despite understanding the extent of the growing problems—not to mention the serious security risks to the system that failed the tests of multiple auditors—the Administration chose to launch anyway.

Leaders were outright misleading as they faced the public. Assistant Secretary for Legislation, Jim Esquea stated, “On October 1, 2013 a Health Insurance Marketplace will be open and functioning in every state. …HHS is extremely confident that on October 1 the Marketplace will open on schedule and millions of Americans will have access to affordable quality health insurance.”

Marilyn Tavenner and Henry Chao, top officials of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of Information Services, respectively, testified before a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee affirming that despite the reported “shortfalls that are in the GAO report”, they would be “100 percent complete on October 1”.

Reports, emails, and subsequent testimonies show despite the fact that those involved with were well aware of its flaws, they gave the public a false sense of security based on political motives—or possibly, but not likely, just unreasonable hopes—but their comments were in no way based on facts or professionally predicted outcomes.

In any large undertaking such as national healthcare, imperfections are expected, but is unique in that its long and desperate struggle for functionality, mired by arbitrary deadlines, poor management, denial, and most noticeably, political interference, is reflective of this Administration’s legacy: to allow political concerns to trump operational decisions and blur the truth.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 0carenightmare; healthcaregov; history; obama; obamacarewebsite

1 posted on 07/07/2014 12:43:05 PM PDT by Academiadotorg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg
'I can't be responsible for every under-capitalized small business in America!' Hillary Clinton when told that HillaryCare would bankrupt small businesses...............

I just got my termination of insurance notice letter from my BCBS provider.

At this point, what difference does it make?

2 posted on 07/07/2014 12:48:45 PM PDT by Red Badger (I've posted a total of 2,756 threads and 85,113 replies................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg

In my long career every case where a major implementation has failed senor management responded with, “Failure is not an option.” I’ve had vice presidents tell me, “I don’t want to hear about problems.” When I continued anyway I was told to “make it happen.” You can’t change the laws of physics. Nine women can not birth a baby in one month. Some things take however long they take unless you change some parameter which, in the case of projects, is simply not “politically” possible. (The problem is generally more money, more time or more people. You can often tradeoff one for the other.)

Incidentally, when you’re a manager it’s your job to determine what the problems are and provide (or fight for) whatever is necessary to resolve them. You don’t simply ignore them. They don’t go away even if people stop telling you about them.

3 posted on 07/07/2014 1:00:21 PM PDT by Gen.Blather
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg

obamacare is in a stall. when the new premiums hit we’re gonna see a big fireball.

4 posted on 07/07/2014 1:04:05 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man ( Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Apparently the scheme has not imploded nearly completely enough yet.

It is still around, and has not been totally abandoned by the Current Regime, who continue to brag it up, without ever providing any authentication of that assertion.

The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010” has been responsible for more loss of coverage and displacement of medical services, than would have been the case if it had never been implemented. More people are without coverage today than when the program was rolled out, and what coverage they do get, is either inappropriate, or is so restricted in scope they may only go to certain participating medical services practitioners, who may or may not provide the quality of care they previously enjoyed.

And the promise it would “save money” is the biggest part of the BS associated with this whole scheme.

Take a chance on getting fined by the IRS if you cannot (or will not) obtain coverage, then, because they cannot take more than your income tax refund as payment of the fine, deliberately change your withholding so you have to PAY when you file taxes.

5 posted on 07/07/2014 1:06:47 PM PDT by alloysteel (Selective and willful ignorance spells doom, to both victim and perpetrator - mostly the perp.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg

I believe that liberals want it to fail.

I believe that in their view, the price paid by the failure of the site is more than offset by the irreparable damage done to insurers (or at least to the way insurers had been doing business)

Cutting off millions of people from their plans whose access to previously stable insurance and Billions of dollars to cripple private insurance is not too high a price to pay, in their view.

Can’t make liberal utopian omelets without breaking individual rights, capitalistic and Big Medical eggs.

6 posted on 07/07/2014 2:24:03 PM PDT by rlmorel ("A nation, despicable by it"s weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral." A. Hamilton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

In my opinion, many liberals see this the same way some of them saw the death of Mary Jo Kopechne in Chappaquiddick in July of 1969.

If she hadn’t been killed, Ted Kennedy would have run for president and not directed his energies to liberalism that he did as a legislator. Mary Jo Kopechne’s death, while regrettable, was a good thing in the end.

I am not kidding, there are people who believe that.

7 posted on 07/07/2014 2:29:16 PM PDT by rlmorel ("A nation, despicable by it"s weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral." A. Hamilton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Thanks Academiadotorg.

8 posted on 07/19/2014 4:52:23 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson