Was Software Crash a Good Excuse for Health Exchange Delays?
Four years, millions of people affected and one fatal flaw. Those were the final tallies on the day when Americans were supposed to finally be able to reap the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Nearly four years after Congress approved an overhaul of health care laws in the United States, the federal government launched a website designed to give them access to affordable, quality health insurance. It was supposed to work seamlessly, providing people with more options, better coverage and financial savings. Unfortunately they never had a chance because the website wouldn't work. Apparently there was a problem with the software that was supposed to allow millions of Americans to create "user accounts," which is one of the very first steps anyone seeking to use the website to find health insurance needs to complete. According to President Obama's top technology adviser, the software would have worked perfectly if fewer people had logged on. This doesn't make the inconvenience to the American people any more tolerable--nor does it make the public relations nightmare for the president any less horrible. The administration messed up the launching of the national health care exchange, and they messed it up big time. They can try to hide behind a "software crash," but in the end there is really no excuse for launching a website (which many Americans were mandated to use) without first fully proofing it to make sure it could withstand millions of visits. What did the administration expect, that there would only be moderate interest in the website? Hardly. The President ran on a platform of passing health care reform. The Democrats rammed it through Congress--even though it was extremely controversial. Their spokespeople appeared on the major news networks day after day to explain the benefits of the new law. They forced millions of Americans to use the program by threatening to impose tax penalties on those who chose not to. And then they failed to develop a website that works. Amazon, Google, Facebook and Wal-Mart all have websites that can accommodate millions of users. Why can't the federal government?