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‘Launch the site to find out what’s in it’: Programmer says HealthCare.gov ‘looks like nobody tested it’

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By Doug Powers  •  October 9, 2013 12:19 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

You mean the same people who ran with “pass it to find out what’s in it” didn’t properly design and test the website? Shocker!

“We’ve identified the glitches, we’ve added hardware, we’re recoding software, and I can tell you today is better than yesterday, and we are hoping in the very near future to have a seamless process that’s what we are aiming for,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.

However, computer experts say the website has major flaws.

“It wasn’t designed well, it wasn’t implemented well, and it looks like nobody tested it,” said Luke Chung, an online database programmer.

Chung supports the new health care law but said it was not the demand that is crashing the site. He thinks the entire website needs a complete overhaul.

“It’s not even close. It’s not even ready for beta testing for my book. I would be ashamed and embarrassed if my organization delivered something like that,” he said.

Poorly designed, untested and implemented incompetently — in other words the website is a fit with the rest of the law. Consistency we can believe in.

This could be the last time they let Joe Biden design a government website:

First of all, there’s the front-end site itself. The first page of the registration process (once you get to it) has 2,099 lines of HTML code, but it also calls 56 JavaScript files and 11 CSS files. That’s not exactly optimal for heavy-load pages.

Navigating the site once you get past registration is something of a cheese chase through the rat-maze. “It’s like a bad, boring video game where you try to grunt and hack your way through to the next step,” one site user told Ars.

Once you get through all that, it’s not clear that it’s going to do you any good. Underlying problems in the back-end code—including the data hub built by QSSI—have been causing errors in determining whether individuals are eligible for subsidized plans under the program. In DC, that means health care plan prices won’t be available to people registering through DC’s portal until November. It may also mean that others who have registered already at the federal and state exchanges may get sticker shock later.

The Obamacare site comes pre-hacked. They thought of everything!

Here’s a video interpretation of the Obamacare inaugural launch:

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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