Healthcare.gov launched a couple of weeks ago. I’ve yet to be able to sign up for the service, though I admit I’ve been a mix of nervous and eager to do so. Self-employed as I am, I tend to earn more than the ACA would like to provide a discount on a care package at any “medal” level.
Nonetheless, the wankers in Congress and the technically uninitiated have been griping and complaining that it’s broken, and are pushing for either sweeping changes, or the abolition of the program altogether.
I remain unconcerned, unphased, and disinterested in their complaints. I am much more ticky-tacky about the fact that the contractors on the program, suckered into appearing before Congress today are passing blame to higher powers in the hierarchy.
While it’s true Kathleen Sibelius is head of HHS, it’s hardly realistic to expect her to understand the inner workings of the technical components of the program. It’s likely she was assured by those under her that it looked good, and on track for launch, and she would have been satisfied by simple demonstrations of being able to sign up and log in.
It’s also unlikely the contractors are completely to blame. They probably built exactly what was designed and spec’d for them to build.
So who then do you blame?
I blame the planners. The requirements masters were supposed to completely map the system out and deliver to the contractors actionable blueprints with which to construct the system we were to depend.
But it’s not the end of the world. The system will be fixed.
Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo of California said “Amazon and eBay don’t’ crash the week before Christmas, ProFlowers doesn’t crash on Valentine’s Day.”
I think this comparison is deliriously blind to the fact that those sites have “grown” over time to be able to handle that traffic. Fifteen years ago, those sites barely existed and certainly didn’t handle the volume of traffic or commerce they do today. Nobody knew how much traffic to expect on day 1, and I can tell Congress from my experience that systems do some pretty wonky things when overloaded.
I blame no one for the “debacle” that is Healthcare.gov. It sucks it broke from day 1, but the interest and traffic are something any brand-new service would kill for.