Tech Experts Tapped to Fix Health Care Website

HealthCare.gov code has been updated several times

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Updated Sunday, Oct. 20, 2:42 p.m.

The Obama Administration announced Sunday it had recruited experts from the private and government tech sectors to update the code on the HealthCare.gov website, Politico reports.

About 476,000 applications for health insurance have been filed under the new system of state and federally run exchanges, according to unnamed Administration officials, the Associated Press reports.

Those are the first figures available about participation in the new system of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the push for which dominated President Barack Obama’s first term and resulted in his most far-reaching piece of domestic legislation. In the first few weeks the exchanges have been live, however, they have been marred by spotty website access, frustrating an Administration that had hoped to enroll half a million people in the insurance markets during the first month, according to an internal AP memo.

Next month, the Administration will release the first actual enrollment totals. Those figures will help determine if the program will reach the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of 7 million sign-ups during the first six months.

The President will address problems with the rollout Monday during an event at the White House. Administration officials also will visit parts of the country in coming weeks to encourage sign-ups.

Staffing in call centers has been hiked by about 50%, and the Administration is urging people to sign up via phone until the website run by the federal government is more accessible.

Republican opposition to the new health care law has been so strident that many of them pushed an effort to defund the law, leading to the recent 16-day government shutdown.

House Republicans have also called for the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius because of the problems.

[AP]

This story has been updated to reflect the announced updates to the HealthCare.gov website code.

30 comments
stevekrauss
stevekrauss

Looks like it will  Work great for me - I am able to drop family coverage, switch to husband/wife and my kid in college is able to get free coverage (he makes very little since he is in college)

JohnDavidDeatherage
JohnDavidDeatherage

Writing software is like painting.  Most the real work is prep work.  For software, that means creating a logical design before you ever write the code.  Patching a bad design is not a very good solution.

JeanLudvigsenBinder
JeanLudvigsenBinder

My concern is these skilled folks are going to get into the works and say the whole system is based on some sort of inadequate tech platform and want to redo it.  That said...might be best to redo it than patch.  Coverage doesn't start until the first of the year, but lives hang in the balance and they must get enrolled.  I imagine that originally a private company was used in order to avoid the criticism that private industry was being ignored.  If the administration has learned anything in recent times it is it pays to ignore potential criticism and stop trying to please everybody.

JugglingForCure
JugglingForCure

It is expected that a rollout of the magnitude of the Affordable Care Act would have glitches.However, with all the controversy, one would expect the Obama Administration to do a better job of making the process more user-friendly for the American people.

aztecian
aztecian

bigazz google should volunteer to fix it or maybe apple, two companies that pay very little in their fair share.

ABulletForCinde
ABulletForCinde

I suggest we start going manually instead of on-line.

MedicalQuack
MedicalQuack

Why don't they just bring Larry Ellison and Oracle in who wrote a turnkey state health insurance exchange platform as most of the technologies used are Oracle...did gov go on the cheap to have CGI write one in open source?  I like open source but darn there's a time you need to pay for some it like this..here's the link where I blogged it back in September of 2011

http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2011/09/oracle-announces-insurance-exchange.html

Microsoft created one too and as a secondary alternative not bad as their software has worked with Oracle forever and now the two companies co-market their cloud services together...duh..

http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2011/02/microsoft-announces-new-low-cost.html

I said in 2009 don't nominate Sebelius as Health It in a few years would eat her up with having a figurehead with no tech background at all...SEC and DOJ have the same problem.  It was so obvious in her personal remarks and actions like running a Facebook contest, where in the heck was her priorities...and the one about Speed Up Health IT as technologists rolled and got mad over that one in February and that was one of the big indicators to me there were big problems with the exchanges as she waited to long to get started.  Time to leave and get a better Secy in there and I can't say that I blame here for not wanting to attend the hearing as the House is just as digitally illiterate and who know what they will come up with, green eggs and ham? 

Now she has the President recusing a damsel in distress just like Holder did putting his signature on the letter than went out to all hospital and doctor organizations tell them every one lied on their billing and brought nothing to the table.  Had to hide behind Holder on that one.  Again leave with dignity and at least keep quiet when she doesn't understand something. 

http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2012/09/hhs-and-doj-send-letters-to-hospital.html

Sean_C2
Sean_C2

I enjoy how the Republicans are simultaneously attacking Obamacare as America-killing socialism and attacking Obamacare as not being implemented well-enough.

CliffHarris
CliffHarris

Wonder what the cost of the experts is? Unless they have specific ideas of where the problems are, coming into a project at this point to provide quick fixes is almost impossible

MontanaRed
MontanaRed

We voted for this? The GOP, it is a given, is deathly fearful that ObamaCare might work, and that perhaps millions of previous non-voters might suddenly become energized by this new self-interest. But what were the Demos thinking when they were planning this? Many people are in need, and now feel cynically hoaxed and betrayed by the Man in The White House. It is verging on a scandal, and is so far adhering to the archetype of corrupt, incompetent and expensive central government. Obama has three years to tweak his grand legacy.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

Here's a list of large and complicated IT projects that came in on time, under budget and working perfectly from day one:

pcowdin
pcowdin

Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act, so they are outraged that the website that is supposed to let people sign up isn't working very well??

Yoshi
Yoshi

NOW they call in the "experts"? Really? 

What did that half billion+ dollars pay for? "near-experts"? Trained bears? WHAT?

Tomedural
Tomedural

When Ted Cruze says to the net works that he represents the American people I wonder who he is talking about, at last count I heard there were over 48 million Americans who don't have or cannot afford health coverage.  He does not represent their interest, garanteed.

barneydidit
barneydidit

Only 476,000 people enrolled? Well CLEARLY Glenn Beck was right, and Obamacare is going to destroy America as we know it.  I say we scrap that evil piece of legislation and go with the Republican alternative...uhm...which is...well...wait a second. 

reallife
reallife

@Hollywooddeed "Here's a list of large and complicated government projects that came in on time, under budget and working perfectly from day one:"


fixed your post





Openminded1
Openminded1

@Hollywooddeed Ah that sense of wit in you Hollywood, always good for a laugh. i really do love the dog you know.

reallife
reallife

@pcowdin they're not outraged... they're saying "I told you so, morons"



laytonian
laytonian

@Yoshi 
The same kind of "free market Capitalists" who purposely screw up every government contract, then hold us hostage for more money.

Contracts like this should never have "over run" clauses; they should bid to provide a working service and get paid their contract amount when the job comes in accurately and on time.

icebergslim1047
icebergslim1047

@barneydidit Dude how is applying for HEALTH INSURANCE that you have to PAY FOR going to destroy anything?  And listening to an idiot like Glenn Beck?  Jesus Christ on a crouton, you are really lost.

pcowdin
pcowdin

@reallife @pcowdin It's nice to know those conservatives are so concerned about the ACA website. They don't seem to care about the millions of people who couldn't get healthcare without it.

reallife
reallife

@pcowdin @reallife we're not concerned... we know how well "you and your big governement" have taken care of them

LOL



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