It may not mark a tectonic shift in the political landscape, but it seems significant that CNN’s Wolf Blitzer expressed support for Republican proposals to delay ObamaCare for a year:
Blitzer was then set upon by other CNN hosts while leaving the studio, resulting in a melee that escalated quickly, ending when Piers Morgan killed a guy with a trident.
This particular conversation revolved around the epic “glitches” that have plagued the ObamaCare website. “Glitchy” is a debatable term for a website that barely works at all. There is mounting evidence the people behind this fiasco knew it would bomb on Day One, which makes all those Obama Administration flacks who chirped about Healthcare.gov suffering from its popularity – “What a great problem to have!” – into abject liars, on par with the President who promised you could keep your health-care plan if you liked it.
I noticed a Fox News report this morning headlined “Glitch-filled launch of ObamaCare site decried as ‘train wreck’ by critics.” No, that was the guy who wrote the Affordable Care Act, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT).
In the article, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) asks, “How can we tax people for not buying a product from a website that doesn’t work?” The Founding Fathers would have stopped you in stunned disbelief ten words into that sentence, Mr. Speaker, and asked how your revolution against the tyrannical, illegitimate government was going. They might also ask which foreign power conquered America and forced such a regime upon us. Then they’d ask you what a “website” is. Give Thomas Jefferson a couple of days to get up to speed, and he could write a better one than Barack Obama produced.
The Washington Post reports: “Major insurers, state health-care officials and Democratic allies repeatedly warned the Obama administration in recent months that the new federal health-insurance exchange had significant problems, according to people familiar with the conversations. Despite those warnings and intense criticism from Republicans, the White House proceeded with an Oct. 1 launch.”
That’s lovely, isn’t it? These people think nothing of wasting your valuable time. They dumped a broken pile of crapware into our laps because they didn’t want to suffer the political fallout from admitting it wasn’t ready. Just wait for the life-destroying chaos that ensues when the next wave of “glitches” hits, and people discover they don’t really have the coverage they think they purchased at all, or start getting hit with that immense “tax/penalty” because they couldn’t do business with the “glitchy” website in time. President Obama will probably use another imperial decree to reset the deadlines, once again neatly bypassing the Constitution and its requirement that such a change be debated in the legislature.
Anonymous sources dished some dirt to the Post:
Two allies of the administration, both of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the controversy surrounding the rollout, said they approached White House officials this year to raise concerns that the federal exchange was not ready to launch. In both cases, Obama officials assured them there was no cause for alarm.
Robert Laszewski, a health-care consultant with clients in the insurance industry, said insurers were complaining loudly that the site, www.healthcare.gov, was not working smoothly during frequent teleconferences with officials at the Department of Health and Human Services before the exchange???s launch and afterward. ???People were pulling out their hair,??? he said.
Note: I assume that’s two anonymous, disgruntled Administration allies plus Robert Laszewski. Otherwise, the Washington Post might have just made life a bit more difficult for Mr. Laszewski. He should probably get ready for a little visit from the studiously non-political Internal Revenue Service. Wolf Blitzer might want to make sure his papers are in order, too.
Tech websites have been having a field day dissecting the ObamaCare launch disaster. “This is really playing out as a clinic in how not to launch a major website project, failing in every respect across the board, from planning, to the communications, to testing and everything in between,” writes John Casaretto at SiliconAngle. “Can you think of anything in history of the web that was worse?”
I can think of a few online game launches that came close… but then again, they weren’t funded with $654 million in taxpayer loot. And some of them had higher web traffic that the unsupported numbers Team ObamaCare is throwing out. There is no reason for a rational person to believe anything they say, absent firm documentation, since they’ve already been caught lying repeatedly.
Also, they keep claiming their mighty system needs a month to churn out a total of insurance policies sold, but it can instantly generate reliable totals for hits, visitors, and unique visitors, which is absolutely ridiculous. (A few reports from individual states continue to trickle in. Number of successful ObamaCare purchasers in Iowa: Five. The Des Moines Register dubbed them “the Hardy Handful.”
As Casaretto notes, the Administration’s claims about anticipated site traffic are also ludicrous. They claim they expected only 50,000 simultaneous users, which is nothing compared to what those online game companies are handling at a fraction of the cost, and with far more data flowing between system and user… but it’s also ridiculous given the claims Obama and his allies have been making for years about the size of the uninsured population. They threw out numbers as high as 50 million when pushing the Affordable Care Act…. but now they tell us they only thought 50,000 of them would check out the website? That’s only a thousand people per state, and these are supposed to be state exchanges. Nothing these people are saying is believable.
Reuters demolished the “so popular we can’t keep up with the traffic!” excuse by having some IT experts use simple diagnostic tools (which the ObamaCare squadron of B.S. artists apparently didn’t know about) to pick apart the website, and what they found was a horrifying mess of sloppy coding that basically tears itself apart when you try to log in:
Five outside technology experts interviewed by Reuters, however, say they believe flaws in system architecture, not traffic alone, contributed to the problems.
For instance, when a user tries to create an account on HealthCare.gov, which serves insurance exchanges in 36 states, it prompts the computer to load an unusually large amount of files and software, overwhelming the browser, experts said.
If they are right, then just bringing more servers online, as officials say they are doing, will not fix the site.
[…] One possible cause of the problems is that hitting “apply” on HealthCare.gov causes 92 separate files, plug-ins and other mammoth swarms of data to stream between the user’s computer and the servers powering the government website, said Matthew Hancock, an independent expert in website design. He was able to track the files being requested through a feature in the Firefox browser.
It is not clear why the upload function was included.
That is a good question, isn’t it? What little chunks of our private data are they planning to demand from us in the future? And what sort of bumbling fool writes a website that dumps so many programs into your browser to perform such simple operations – effectively multiplying the traffic load many times for each individual who tries to use the site? Security companies should be flagging Healthcare.gov as a dangerous malware swamp and warning users to stay away from it.
This is what happens when a bunch of Obama donors and glad-handing cousins of top officials are handed bags of our tax money and given three years to design a website. It’s like the ghost of Solyndra coming to haunt your browser. How much are they going to charge us to “fix” this disaster? Thus far, the “fixes” have included setting up a “waiting room” to hold users at bay – the kind of crap we haven’t seen since the dial-up modem days – and a complete dump and reset of all user passwords, which had knowledgeable IT people spitting their favorite beverage onto their monitors in disbelief.
And the punch line is that once this expensive pile of stinkware is “fixed,” you get into ObamaCare, and discover just how badly you’ve been lied to.
Update: The CBS News report on the ObamaCare disaster (CBS uses that term) quotes another IT expert who calls B.S. on claims that the site collapsed under higher-than-expected traffic, calls it “not even ready for beta testing in my book,” and says he’d be embarrassed if he was responsible for something like this. (Hat tip: The Right Scoop.)
Update: Right on cue, Wolf Blitzer tries to back away from his comments – can’t imagine what his email from the rest of the media herd looked like this morning! – and claims he didn’t actually say what he clearly said.
“Context matters,” Blitzer declared on Twitter. “Earlier I said the govt shouldn’t launch a website before it works. I did not express a view about the individual mandate.” Um… yes you did, Wolf. You said the President should accept GOP proposals to delay ObamaCare for a year. They’re not talking about merely taking the website offline for a year.
And… help me out here, Mr. Blitzer… if we took the website down for a year but left the individual mandate in place, how could people comply with the individual mandate?
Update: Hawaii is going to “relaunch” its craptacular exchange on October 15. Buried deep in this Associated Press account is the revelation that the Hawaii Health Connector will become “self-sufficient by 2015 by charging customers a 2 percent fee on plans sold through the exchange.” More taxes! Enjoy your lousy new socialized health insurance, America. It won’t seem so bad in retrospect, once you get a load of the socialized medicine coming next.
Update: It turns out the parent company of the primary ObamaCare website contractor used to do similar work for the Canadian government… until they got fired in 2012, having “missed three years of deadlines and failed to deliver the province’s flagship online medical registry,” according to the Washington Examiner. But the geniuses of the Obama Administration figured they’d be a swell choice to handle the most expensive website launch in human history!