Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Glitches, Bugs, and The Guys Behind the Curtain

Is this any way to run a railroad?

Mr. Daffy Duck, Esq.

Yes, who needs an off his nut republican like Mike Lee when you have battalions of tekkies who don't know their asses from holes in the ground?

This morning Kathleen Sebelius went before congress and tried to explain it all. While she apologized and claimed she was as frustrated as everyone else, she didn't get into the tangled details of what is going wrong with the site that is the home of the Affordable Care Act. It is probably best she didn't, because at this point it is becoming increasingly clear no one knows what is going on with it.

In fact, the confusion is so grand one federal health care official was quoted as saying 700,000 people have submitted applications either through the site, or over the phone, but Sebelius admitted the administration has "no reliable data" on how many people have successfully enrolled in the program.

I'm no expert, but here is an idea, Kathleen, run hard copies of the enrollments and count them.

Actually, back in the day I was involved in the roll out of a new computer program. I will admit it was far more simple than and and in truth was nothing more than a hotel rooms reservation and revenue reporting system. I signed on to lead teams into the field to train the back office personnel how to use it. When I arrived in Boston in the summer 1986 I was told the roll out was right around the corner. However, a month before the system introduction, testing began and glitches and bugs started to swarm like vast hordes of tsetse flies rising out of the swamps. We held our first training seminar in the spring of 1988, a full year and a half behind schedule.

The only reason I tell that story is because apparently the people in charge of putting the ACA site in place didn't begin testing it until two weeks before the start up. I know technology has changed, but, if true, that tells me it either took far longer than anticipated to build the site, or the rubes who designed it considered themselves so brilliant they assumed their end product would be flawless. In either case the guys behind the curtain at the Wizard's palace in Oz have proven themselves to be far more effective than Ted Cruz has ever been in gumming up the works.

The truth is probably closer to this. The Obama administration has, from day one, been confronted with a bunch of brutes who are in Washington for only one reason--to sabotage his presidency. They really don't care about governing, all they want to do is dump every thing the black guy in the oval office has proposed, or managed to get passed into the trash dumpster and if they're lucky impeach his Muslim/socialist ass. As we saw this month they are so determined to destroy this presidency they were willing to shut down the government and bring us to the point of defaulting on every treasury bond out there.

Faced with that sort of nihilistic ferocity the administration felt compelled to start up the site on time. They did so not only because they knew if they got the ACA out there people would buy into it, silencing the critics, but also because--and this is paramount--a bunch of over confident computer geeks told them, " Dudes, no problemo."

What we saw today with Sebelius ranks right up there with the most bizarre episodes of the old, "Twilight Zone" television program. Republican congressmen and women, the very same people who wanted the web site destroyed less than two weeks ago, were condemning her because people couldn't access it.

This is the very last thing Obama needs right now. The flawed site casts doubts about the entire plan and gives the GOP a platform to stand on. They can and will claim tech support incompetence is somehow directly related to the details of the ACA itself. It won't be true of course, but hey, the truth has never stopped them in the past, so why should it now?

If I had a couple of gin and tonics in me I'd blame this whole thing on republican paid tech moles who are dedicated to ruining the entire Affordable Care Act.

Oh, if it were only so.

Indeed, the current situation would be simpler and far more explainable if both were true .

sic vita est


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