Wednesday, October 16, 2013

No, It Wasn't Like Apple Maps




White House officials declined to identify the private contractors who had built the acclount creation function, citing a decision to keep that information private. They said the contractors had moved that part of the new system to beefed-up hardware and were busy rewriting the software code to make it more robust and efficient.

Computer systems are not new. They have been around a while: banks manage to have systems that serve millions of people without a glitch; even government has programs that work.  Social Security checks arrive on time, Medicare pays thousands of doctors, hospitals, and labs.  The VA runs arguably the best health care system in the U.S.  So why was the roll out of Obamacare just a disaster?

The success of this program depends on millions of people signing up, so shouldn't that have been a basic priority - that the system could handle that amount of traffic. Hell, ask Zuckerberg how to do it!  I think it's important for us to know how this happened.  Was there simply not enough time for any company to complete this task successfully?  Do we not have enough computer programmers?  Did the government hire a company who outsourced the coding, so that no one ends up taking responsibility?

If anyone out there (inside the beltway, perhaps) knows WHY this happened, I would appreciate a response.  I don't really care about the WHO, but I don't see how we can trust the government to do anything much if we think this can happen again and again.
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