In another indication of the Obama Administration's Obamacare or Bust attitude the Washington Post is reporting that day's before the exchange marketplace website opened, officials and tech contractors, tested the site to see if it could handle the expected tens of thousands of consumers who will be vising the site.
It crashed after a simulation in which just a few hundred people tried to log on simultaneously.Shortly after midnight on October 1st, the day the site went live, about 2,000 consumers tried to complete the first step toward registering for the site causing the site to freeze.
Despite the failed test, federal health officials plowed ahead.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency in charge of running the health insurance exchange in 36 states, invited about 10 insurers to give advice and help test the Web site.
About a month before the exchange opened, this testing group urged agency officials not to launch it nationwide because it was still riddled with problems, according to an insurance IT executive who was close to the rollout.Healthcare.gov was a disaster before it went live but it went live anyway, making the President's declaration of yesterday:
“We discussed . . . is there a way to do a pilot — by state, by geographic region?” the executive said.
It was clear at the time, the executive said, that the CMS was still dealing with the way the exchange handled enrollment, federal subsidies and the security of consumers’ personal information, such as income.
One key problem, according to a person close to the project, was that the agency assumed the role of managing the 55 contractors involved and had not ensured that all the pieces were working together.
Some key testing of the system did not take place until the week before launch, according to this person. As late as Sept. 26, there had been no tests to determine whether a consumer could complete the process from beginning to end: create an account, determine eligibility for federal subsidies and sign up for a health insurance plan, according to two sources familiar with the project.
People working on the project knew that Oct. 1 was set in stone as a launch date. “We named it the tyranny of the October 1 date,” said a person close to the project.
“No one is madder about the Web site than I am, which means it’s going to get fixed,” he added.Seem a bit disingenuous.
The situation with healthcare.gov reminds me of an old tale:
There is the story of three Texans who were on a trip to France in the 19th century, They ran afoul of the Government and were sentenced them to death by guillotine. When the first was placed under the blade, it fell then stopped just short. The executioner excitedly declared this to be divine intervention and freed the prisoner. The same happened to victim number two and again the astounded executioner felt that it must have been the work of God so the second victim was set free. As the Texan was marched toward the guillotine, he proclaimed loudlyThe fact that the site doesn't work is bad for America, but if it does get fixed it will be just as bad.
"Just hold on a damn minute. I'm not putting my neck in that damn thing until you get it fixed!"