A Long List of Problems with Obamacare Rollout

White House officials were warned early on that it would be “impossible to open a fully functioning [healthcare] exchange on October 1”, according to a the New York Times investigation. Nevertheless, the warnings were ignored and “Government officials …insisted that Oct. 1 was not negotiable.”

The investigation reveals a number of contributing factors to the troubled rollout of Healthcare.gov:

Unrealistic Goals: “The online exchange was crippled, people involved with building it said in recent interviews, because of a huge gap between the administration’s grand hopes and the practicalities of building a website that could function on opening day.”

Technical Glitches: “An initial assessment identified more than 600 hardware and software defects — ‘the longest list anybody had ever seen,’ one person involved with the project said.” As late as September, “the system failed a test of only 500 simulated users [and] the site was still down more than half the time in mid-October.”

Inexperienced Management: “The president’s signature initiative was effectively left under the day-to-day management of Henry Chao, a 19-year veteran of the Medicare agency with little clout and little formal background in computer science.”

Inexperienced Technical Management: Although CGI was selected as the prime contractor, “the Medicare agency reserved the role of general contractor, or system integrator, for itself, even though it lacked the necessary in-house software engineering resources to handle such a task.”

As “one computer expert with intimate knowledge of the project said, “Literally everyone involved was at fault.”

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