Tuesday, December 3, 2013

ObamaCare.com Might Be The Worst Rollout Since New Coke.

I haven't really weighed in on the botched implementation of ObamaCare much, because... seriously, what is there to say? A terrible contractor was hired to do the job, those responsible for holding the contractor accountable ignored every blatant red flag that arose, and to the surprise of nobody who works in the software/IT field, the site came out with a million bugs. There's nothing here to defend. When you're introducing a once-in-a-generation government program, you should probably make sure your QA team has done their job first, or simply delay the rollout. The President has taken the requisite battering in approval polls as a result. Again, nothing to defend here, ObamaBots. The sky is blue. Bears crap in the woods. A bad rollout is a bad rollout. Period.

With a 2nd deadline apparently just reached, you'd assume the problems of Healthcare.gov are over. Nope.
The enrollment records for a significant portion of the Americans who have chosen health plans through the online federal insurance marketplace contain errors — generated by the computer system — that mean they might not get the coverage they’re expecting next month.

The errors cumulatively have affected roughly one-third of the people who have signed up for health plans since Oct. 1, according to two government and health-care industry officials. The White House disputed the figure but declined to provide its own.

The mistakes include failure to notify insurers about new customers, duplicate enrollments or cancellation notices for the same person, incorrect information about family members, and mistakes involving federal subsidies. The errors have been accumulating since HealthCare.gov opened two months ago, even as the Obama administration has been working to make it easier for consumers to sign up for coverage, the government and industry officials said.

Figuring out how to clean up the backlog of errors and prevent similar ones in the future is emerging as the new imperative if the federal insurance exchange is to work as intended. The problems were the subject of a meeting Monday between administration officials and a new “Payer Exchange Performance Team” made up of insurance industry leaders.

Some of the errors in the past forms were generated by the way people were using the system, another senior official on the project said, such as clicking twice on the confirmation button or moving backward and forward on the site.

Through more than a dozen bug fixes over the past week, the team has managed to reduce the instances of when data was not generated on 834 forms from 3 percent last week to 0.5 percent now, according to senior officials.

The heightened attention to enrollment errors follows a five-week technical blitz to improve consumers’ ability to use the site.

Federal health officials announced Sunday that they had met that goal. By 6 p.m. Monday, the Web site had had close to 800,000 unique visitors — one of the administration’s targets for the site’s performance — and was set to pass that mark by the end of the day, according to administration officials. And the site processed 18,000 enrollments in the most recent 24-hour period, nearly double the previous record.

Still, not all was smooth. By mid-morning Monday, some Americans trying to use the Web site were running into a logjam. And by late morning, when the number of people on the site was roughly 35,000 — or 15,000 fewer than administration officials had said it could handle — some consumers encountered a “queue,” a new feature intended for times when the site was too crowded. The feature limits the number of people on the site and notifies others by e-mail when it’s a better time to log in.
As a guy who (sorta) does this kinda stuff for a living, it's rather infuriating to watch the level of incompetence and excuse-making here. Either the site works, or it doesn't. And it should have been fully tested well before it was made public. That didn't happen, and it's casting a huge shadow over the many legitimate ACA success stories thus far.

Question: Which product had the worst rollout? ObamaCare of The New Coke?

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