October 8, 2013
As the days of glitches, snafus, down-time and critical errors mount up, evidence is mounting that the Healthcare.gov Obamacare exchange is not actually a fully-formed online application. More and more, it appears to be a mockup of a health care exchange enrollment system.
Think about it: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, on live television with Jon Stewart two nights ago, couldn’t even answer the question of how many people have enrolled. This is a statistic you would have immediately, in real time, if the database application were actually functioning.
To date, there exists no evidence whatsoever that anyone has successfully enrolled through Healthcare.gov. The one person the Obama administration touted as being the first successful enrollee turned out to be a P.R. fraud.
Meanwhile, mainstream media journalists keep trying to enroll, and they still get nothing but error messages, frozen screens and non-functioning web interfaces.
Seriously: Has anybody considered the possibility that Healthcare.gov is just a front-end mockup of an online exchange and not actually a functioning application?
All they’d have to do is build an online engine that could allow people to “create accounts.” Big whoop, right? That’s a no-brainer in the world of online database applications. So they figured that part out and now they’ve got a couple hundred thousand people who have “created accounts” (i.e. entered their name and email address).
But what next? Are those people actually able to successfully purchase insurance policies that are confirmed as being active policies? Again, there is no evidence whatsoever that such a thing has happened.
Millions tried… did anyone actually get enrolled?
The Obama administration says that millions of people tried to sign up on the very first day. So, let’s ask a real simple question here of the administration: Out of those millions of people who tried to sign up, how many actually have insurance policies purchased through the exchange?
Anyone? …Anyone? … Bueller?
The answer appears to be ZERO. Even Kathleen Sebelius, the very top dog at HHS, can’t name a single person who has enrolled. Consider the nightmare qualities of this scenario for a second: Out of millions of people who tried, not ONE person is confirmed as enrolled? Seriously?
Obama tried to compare this to Apple rolling out a few minor updates. But that’s a laughable comparison. Apple actually produces devices that successfully function. They complete phone calls and run mapping apps. You can text people on an iPhone. By comparison, Healthcare.gov seems to have no real functionality at all. If Apple shipped a fake plastic toy phonewith a simulated screen and tried to call it a “working iPhone,” that would be more like what Obama is trying to pull off here.
Behind the curtain, is the Obamacare exchange a code nightmare?
Now, I get it that a bunch of people have enrolled in Kentucky, where that state exchange was run by a different team than Healthcare.gov. There are a few other states, too, where people are getting enrolled under standalone systems. But the main system — Healthcare.gov — appears to be nothing but a facade, a mockup of an actual healthcare exchange.
I’m not 100% sure of this, but the evidence continues to point in this direction. And what I suspect has happened is that as this project approached the rollout deadline, it became abundantly evident to the R&D team that this thing needs another couple of years of R&D to be completed. So they abandoned the idea of the exchange actually functioning as planned and, instead, decided to post a “fake” Obamacare exchange website that only lets people create user accounts but not actually enroll in competing health plans.
The idea now is for Obama and Sebelius to run cover for a few months, lying to the American people about the true status of the system, while the government frantically tries to whip up an R&D miracle by outsourcing the whole thing to India or China.
As a former owner of a successful software company, I’ve directed many R&D projects. I wrote the content management system that powers Natural News, and I engineered the algorithms that power the entire website called SCIENCE.naturalnews.com. I know what it takes to develop a complex, multi-location, multi-database relational online application. It is ridiculously complex, and my guess is that the Obama administration simply doesn’t have the R&D brainpower to pull it off.
Here are just SOME of the R&D problems likely being experienced behind the scenes right now:
• Incompatible field structures across multiple remote health insurance databases
• Incompatible data types across multiple remote databases, causing errors when, for example, alpha data tries to get slammed into numeric fields (complete with all the fun of divergent field constraints)
• Data synchronization glitches, meaning database timeouts and “transaction locks” that cause data records to be locked out of write access
• System clock conflicts that cause data handshaking to fail due to mismatched time codes across systems in different time zones
• Data field overruns due to short-sighted data structure design in legacy databases (i.e. long strings that don’t fit into short data fields)
• Security problems such as SQL injection attacks or targeted buffer overruns that compromise data integrity (and can even have the entire database stolen by hackers)
• Permissions errors where web applications do not have the proper security permissions to access the data required to populate web form fields (this is why drop-down boxes are failing)
On top of all this, there’s the even bigger problem that these contract programmers simply don’t give a s%*#! It’s a government project, after all, and the longer they can drag out the bug fixes, the longer they keep getting paid. There is literally no incentive to make the website actually work. In fact, there is a financial reward for keeping it screwed up.
California spent seven years and $200 million on an abandoned DMV program
Not long ago, in fact, California blew $200+ million on a DMV overhaul program that was such a complete screw-up, the whole thing ultimately had to be scrapped. The project took seven years to reach its point of implosion, wasting over $200 million in the process and leaving the California DMV in a state of legacy chaos.
Obamacare seems a lot more complex than a driver’s license system, and it has to talk to hundreds of insurance companies, financial institutions and many other databases stored in remote locations. The complexity of this program is quite literally beyond the comprehension of any one engineer. Socialist government people, in particular, can’t make this work precisely becausethey tend to be delusional thinkers about reality. They literally believe they can wave a magic wand and decree something into existence. So they pronounce their plans with great fanfare — “Every person will have affordable insurance!” — but they have no idea that such promises actually require dedicated, intelligent work to transform into reality.
The Obama administration doesn’t have a reputation for attracting dedicated, intelligent people. It’s better known as a gang of professional liars, shortcut takers and con men whose real skills lie in making promises, not keeping them. It’s far easier to make a bunch of lofty-sounding promises than it is to deliver on them, and right now, Obamacare isn’t anywhere close to actually delivering.
Perhaps I’m wrong on all this and there actually is a magic wand that can transform the broken Obamacare exchange system into a functioning, streamlined web application. If such a magic wand were truly possible to develop, I’m pretty sure Microsoft, Apple or Google would have come up with one by now. Compared to Obama engineers, Google engineers are like superhuman geniuses. And even they accidentally break their own code from time to time. To expect a bunch of government contractor grunts to actually build a system that meets a hard deadline is a lot like visiting a pig farm and expecting to see those pigs sprout wings and take flight.
At what point will the Obamacare exchange hoax become obvious?
If this Obamacare exchange system really is one big con, it’s going to be the biggest embarrassment ever for the democrats. This system was supposed to be their slick, reliable answer to the entire health insurance debacle. It was supposed to make health insurance “affordable,” right? And it was supposed to give you a “free market” of competitive choices to keep rates low.
What it has actually delivered is nothing more than an email and name registration function that then leads you into a total dead end. The White House cannot name a single person who has successfully enrolled through this system. Kathleen Sebelius is lying when she says it’s “functioning.” She’s running cover for Obama while he plays a delaying tactic, hoping nobody will notice his cornerstone legislation is built on a failed IT infrastructure that simply cannot function anytime in the foreseeable future.
Again, I’m not yet 100% certain of just how deeply flawed this system is, and I may yet be surprised if an R&D miracle occurs, but based on what I’m seeing right now — and based on my many years of R&D experience running high-level projects — this project looks to me like it’s dead in the water. Critical design flaws. Structural data failures. Data synchronization impossibilities. These are problems that can take YEARS to resolve, even when tackled by competent, experienced programmers. You cannot simply throw money at such a project and magically make it whole.
I do not see the Obama administration demonstrating any legitimate level of R&D competence here. I see it lying, covering up the truth, and trying to tell people something is working when it clearly isn’t. This is the Obama administration handing you a pile of dog crap and telling you it’s a blueberry muffin with whipped cream on top. Perhaps some of the most deeply-indoctrinated worshippers of the failed Obama dream can actually eat that crap and convince themselves it’s a blueberry muffin, but the rest of us know what crap smells like the minute we get a waft. And this Obamacare exchange system smells like a handful of really ripe crap being decorated in Obamaspeak language.
Question: How many Obamacare programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: NONE. Obama simply declares darkness to be a new “energy-saving feature” of green living.
Another programming joke
An architect, a hooker and a programmer were talking one evening, and somehow, the discussion turned to which profession was the oldest.
“Come on, you guys! Everyone knows mine is the oldest profession,” said the hooker.
“Ah,” said the architect, “but before your profession existed, there had to be people, and who was there before people?”
“What are you getting at, God?” The hooker asked.
“And was He not the divine architect of the universe?” The architect asked, looking smug.
The programmer had been silent, but now he spoke up. “And before God took upon himself the role of an architect, what was there?”
“Darkness and chaos,” the hooker said.
“And who do you think created chaos?” the programmer answered.