Obamacare

Good Enough for Healthcare.gov: "Log out and wait 30 minutes and then try again"

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The image above represents serious improvement. For the first time since early October, when I created an account at Healthcare.gov, I've actually been able to get back into my account. On a weekly basis, I had tried and failed, and could never get the system to successfully send me a reset password email. Today, I got that email, logged in, and got the message above. Two times after following logging out and waiting. 

So we're getting there, with there being the moment in time when I can actually scroll through the site.

Peter Suderman suggests that for all the hoopla surrounding the "tech surge" on Healthcare.gov and Obama admin claimes that 90 percent of users are now able to access the site successfully, it's going to a long while before even the front-end of the site is working the way it should. And then stuff gets really dicey, since 30 percent to 40 percent of the site has yet to be built. Including the ability to "make payments to issuers in January," when plans kick in. That quote is courtesy of congressional testimony by deputy hoo-had at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Something tells me my wait—and yours—is going to be longer than 30 minutes.

Related: J.D. Tuccille gets some complimentary code salad at Healthcare.gov.

This seems like a good time for a 15-second video about HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius bringing in the "The A-Team":

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  1. Good enough for government work.

  2. Suckers.

  3. SOVIET INDUSTRY IS BUILDINK MORE TRAKTORS! SHOE PRODUCTION UP 50% OVER PREVIOUS FIVER YEAR PLAN! GLORIOUS PROGRESS COMRADES!

    1. Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones. As for the third message, it referred to a very simple error which could be set right in a couple of minutes. As short a time ago as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise (a “categorical pledge” were the official words) that there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration during 1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grams to twenty at the end of the present week. All that was needed was to substitute for the original promise a warning that it would probably be necessary to reduce the ration at some time in April. (1.4.6)

      1. Except that unlike in 1984, we have those pesky interwebs, which are a bit harder to try and edit.

        1. Still doesn’t stop them from trying to re-write a previous statement. After all, you simply misinterpreted Obama when he said, “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” The fact that those were his exact words is not to get in the way of the mission. It is simply your inability to use doublethink that is the problem.

          1. Exactly. No need to modify last weeks newspaper when folks will just switch on the cognitive dissonance.

  4. And then stuff gets really dicey, since 30 percent to 40 percent of the site has yet to be built.

    Well, if they were able to produce 60% of a website with a year of work, it won’t be a stretch to expect them to produce 40% of a website in three months.

    1. The last 20% takes 80% of the time.

      1. Eyup. They’ve built all the fancy web 2.0 ajax gizmos, and all of the stuff that your average cool kid programmer these days knows how to work. The real challenge is making it work with the insurance companys’ computers.

        But, the front facing stuff all works (for a governmental value of working), so the fact checkers in the mainstream media can call out the critics of Obama care as liars when they point out the exchanges are working (Even if the insurance companies aren’t actually receiving any money, or even potentially subscriber information).

        1. The real challenge is making it work with the insurance companys’ computers.

          That might actually be easier than making it work with the computers of the IRS, Treasury, Social Security, Homeland Security, HHS, and 50 state Medicaid systems.

          1. the IRS, Treasury, Social Security, Homeland Security, HHS, and 50 state Medicaid systems.

            But all of those are government systems, so I’m sure their interfaces are well-documented and the integration will go easily. Should take a week, tops, right?

  5. And then stuff gets really dicey, since 30 percent to 40 percent of the site has yet to be built.

    And it will get even more dicey when all the hacking and identity theft stories start coming out.

    1. It’s gotta be a Christmas gift to all those Ukranian hackers.

      1. From Helathcare.Gov

        Dar Mrs. Smith:
        Records show your policies is about to cancel. Click here and submit card credit numbers please to save from cancellation. IRS is having severest penalty for allowing insurances to lapsize.

        1. I’ll bet Helathcare.Gov will work a lot better than Healthcare.gov as well.

          1. for some reason, I’m not sure that “Helathcare” wouldn’t appear on the correct site.

            1. Halalcare.gov

              Take one suicide vest and you won’t need to call anyone in the morning.

              Allahu Akbar! Death to the Great Satan!

            2. Oh no they’ll get that right.

              They have plenty of bureaucrats who are useless and will pedantically scan every word of text for spelling and grammar mistakes to prove how invaluable they are all while the servers are in full meltdown

        2. “Tim|12.2.13 @ 9:55AM|#

          From Helathcare.Gov…

          The really horrible-funny part is that message could in fact really be from the Government, the way things are going.

  6. Just for the record, when they get the exchange website up and running, ObamaCare is still gonna suck.

    The website failures are kind of a distraction.

    1. A distraction from what? The coverage cancellation stories have gotten play far and wide at the same time as the website failures, and they’ve done some serious damage. I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive.

      1. Well, the coverage cancellation is more of a core O’care failure than a website failure, so I think that actually speaks to what Ken is saying. The website sucks, but the policies suck even harder.

        1. is the cancellation an O-care failure or a feature? Suckage seems an integral part of the law.

          1. It is both.

            Entirely intended feature that the Obamacare designers thought people would like because the new insurance would be “so much better” than the crap insurance they believed everyone on the private market already had.

            Or to keep things in the IT terminology the cancellations are working as poorly designed.

            Just wait till people get a load of next years round of cancellations when the employer mandates kick in.

        2. Yeah, and if Jordan is saying that the coverage cancellation stories have gotten as much press as the website failures, well I don’t think that’s so.

          That may be the case here at Hit & Run, but I don’t think anywhere near as many people know about the insurance cancellation stories as they know about the website problems.

          1. Sure the website failures have gotten more press. But the coverage cancellations have done a lot of political damage. I just don’t see the reporting on the website displacing any bad news. There’s no reason not to emphasize that the administration that wants to centrally plan your healthcare is not even capable of rolling out a website.

            1. I’d rather we used this story to focus people’s attention on the real problems with ObamaCare.

              I have no doubt about there being a lot of swing voters out there who think the primary problem with ObamaCare is the exchange websites.

              They must be disabused of that misconception, and that ain’t gonna happen by continuously focusing on the website problems.

              And I think the MSM really is focusing on the exchange failures at the expense of telling people about the other problems. Let’s not help them.

              1. That will just leave people all the more shocked and angry when the rate increases and other problems hit.

                You could make the case both ways. Overplaying cancellations will soften the blow when the employer mandate kicks in.

                Also the website problems interact with the coverage cancellations, since the people whose policies are expiring can’t buy new ones.

                1. Rather than double-post, I’ll just point to my response in the other thread, over here:

                  https://reason.com/blog/2013/12…..nt_4163798

          2. Big-O publicly excoriated the scotched rollout, true, but he also publicly walked back the cancellations. It’s pure fluff, of course, the damage is likely irreversible, but I doubt he’d make the concession unless the story was getting some play.

          3. I made a “if you like your health insurance, you can keep it joke” last week and no one got it.

  7. And then stuff gets really dicey, since 30 percent to 40 percent of the site has yet to be built.

    Look, nobody uses 100% of what an application implements. The private sector doesn’t understand this, which is why it writes 100% of an application’s features, rather than being more efficient, like the government, and just writing 60% of them.

  8. “Wait 30 minutes” is effectively equivalent to “fuck off and come back tomorrow”. People do not have time to sit on their computer for 30 minutes killing time so they can make another attempt. There isn’t much useful you can do in 30 minutes. This is like asking people to wait around all day for the website to work. They aren’t going to do it.

    1. When I lived in southern Mexico, the people there used to say ma?ana a lot. It was pretty confusing.

      …’cause ma?ana doesn’t really mean “tomorrow”. It just means sometime other than today.

      Ma?ana! Ma?ana! I love you, ma?ana.
      You’re always a day away.

      Anyway, 30 minutes, here, is like ma?ana like that. If you come back in 30 minutes and have the same problem, it doesn’t tell you to come back in 27 or 36 minutes next time. It tells you to try in another 30 minutes–in perpetuity until it finally happens.

      1. “It tells you to try in another 30 minutes–in perpetuity until it finally happens.”

        Sign in a local bar:
        “FREE BEER”
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        “tomorrow”

      2. Insha’Allah the website will work.

    2. “People do not have time to sit on their computer for 30 minutes killing time”

      the existence of icanhascheezburger.com proves the fallacy of this sentence

      🙂

  9. AP: “Officials: Worst tech bugs over for Healthcare.gov”
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/pol…..025380.php
    Yes, folks, what you see there is only the not-worst tech bugs.
    Credit Charles Barkley, talking about a golfer’s clothes: ‘If he’s wearing that, what clothes DIDN’T he buy?!’

    1. Yeah it is a wonderful platitude completely devoid of any meaning because he can simply define any bug they got fixed as “the worst ones” and any bug which didn’t as being not quite as bad.

  10. Any historians out there who can comment on similar difficulties with rollouts of other federal programs such as Social Security? I know from research that, for all practical purposes, Civil War vets had to hire lawyers in order to file the paperwork to get qualified for their pensions. In my gggrandfather’s case, his legal bill was three
    months worth of pension income.

  11. “Log out and wait 30 minutes and then try again”

    As the actress said to the bishop

  12. “Log out and wait 30 minutes and then try again”

    As the actress said to the bishop

  13. I pity the fools who liked their current insurance plans.

    1. +1 Tank made out of a ’76 Pinto and some scrap metal.

  14. The media lies are unlikely to work. This affects too many people personally. The media are very effective liars about something like Bengazi or the overall state of the economy. But they can’t lie about things that everyone sees in front of their face. People can go to the website and try it. People know someone who has lost their insurance and can’t buy it now or if they can get through has to pay a small fortune to get new ones. This is really the media lying to themselves as much as anything.

    1. “The US will never elect a former ACTOR as President!”

      “The American People? would never elect a no-talent, no-expeience ‘community organizer’ as President!”

      “The public will never stand for…” every fucking law and restriction foisted on them in the last 100 years…

      I no longer underestimate the tolerance and stupidity of the public at large.

      1. This law really is different in that there has never been a law that has so directly and adversely and attributively effected so many people. Who knows what will happen. Maybe people will just accept being poorer and having much worse health care as the new normal. I won’t say that is impossible. I will say that getting them to do that will require a lot more effort than anything the media liars have ever attempted.

  15. This is interesting. The administration claims that the website is working for 80% of all users. Assuming that yours and JD’s website experience was drawn from a representative sample (and I can’t imagine why the two of you would be more likely to experience a failure than anyone else), I *think* the chances of you both falling into the 20% pool of people having problems on your first try with the website is (0.2)^2 = 4%. If I’m interpreting this all correctly, I can reject with greater than 95% confidence that the administration’s 80% figure is wrong. Any statisticians want to comment?

    1. Depends on how you define “work”. I suppose you could say that if you are persistent and come back in 30 minutes and finally get through, it “worked”. It is just sort of lie these people are adept at. When someone says “this works for 80%”, the assumption is 80% of the users get in on the first try. But it is an unstated assumption and one the mendacious are free not to make.

      1. Stop injecting subjective reality into my math!!!

      2. Also, while your 4% number is correct that doesn’t mean you can say with 96% certainty the administrations figures are wrong. The alpha values and 95% certainty to which you’re referencing assume a number of factors regarding distribution and sample size.

        Basically, with a sample size of two, you can’t draw too many conclusions because statistical power is lacking. You’d need a larger sample size. 2 is just anecdotal.

      3. Perhaps the 20% it won’t work for are those identified as Tea Partiers, libertarians, and GOP donors.

  16. Mikey Klaus who has spent five years supporting this monstrosity, has a pretty good take on the whole thing.

    It would be one thing, after all, to tax everyone who made more than 400% of poverty and use the money to finance health care for the poor. It’s another to say that in any particular situation where the government has to charge for a service it can almost reflexively charge those who make over “400%FPL” more than other citizens. The first is standard broad-based redistribution (whatever you think of it). The second is a sort of branding, in which better-off people?and 400% of poverty, $62,040 for a couple, is not that better off?are presumed fair targets for adverse discrimination on any given occasion.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/12…..n-reverse/

    1. He continues


      The ultimate extension of this principle is a sort of reversed image of the world Eddie Murphy memorably sketched on Saturday Night Live, in which white people don’t have to pay for newspapers or food etc. the way anyone else does. In this reverse-Murphy world, the affluent pay more for everything. Every individual good is means-tested.** They pay more for health care?why not also for auto licenses and parking violations and pet tags and meals and newspapers? They aren’t taxed?if they stay home and count their money, they’re safe. They’re just punished for their income classification every time they venture out into the community. Redistribution gets turned into a pervasive, day to day form of social inequality and disrespect?an effect multiplied by the apparent assumption by Democrats that the semi-affluent don’t really have a right to bitch about it. They’re supposed to be unseen and unheard?almost non-citizens.

      1. I seem to recall a story out of Denmark where traffic fines are meted out based on one’s affluence. Some wealthy guy was fined some astronomical amount for a simple speeding ticket. So there is precedent for exactly what Klaus is describing.

        1. I don’t know if John was being funny or just typo-prone, but it’s “Mickey Kaus.”

  17. I was completely unaware until this morning (because Fuck you, Obamacare!), but apparently you have to register and create an account before you can even get past the WELCOME TO THE FUTURE! page. But don’t worry, we won’t share this information with anybody who doesn’t need it to make the trains run on time.

    The more I think about this, the more I see it as a gigantic information capture exercise for the Total Control state, particularly when you consider the integration of the IRS into the web. The IRS has previously been separated from the rest of the government FOR A VERY GOOD REASON.

    Successful totalitarianism depends on effective intelligence gathering.

    1. The reason they did that is that they didn’t want people nosing around and running hypothetical numbers in order to find out just how much it costs. You find out how expensive and horrible the insurance policies are only after you have completed every other step.

      1. But they are also giving the info to OFA/ACORN types for vote drives.

  18. Who cares? A shitty website isn’t going to stop this train wreck from being implemented.

    Forget the website. Focus on the effects…lost plans, lost doctors, increased costs…

  19. All this bullshit about Dear Leader’s Great Healthcare Achievement is just distracting everyone from what should be the REAL priority of the American People?: helping OJ find the REAL killers.

    Priorities, people. Priorities.

  20. The sort of people who are in a position to sit around twiddling their thumbs for thirty or ninety minutes before trying again are, more likely than not, people who have jobs which allow them to sit in front of a computer all day; people who have employer provided insurance. A self-employed plumber or carpenter or landscaper is too busy working.

    1. And lets not forget they are unlikely to be poor or immigrants. How many poor people don’t have home internet access? How many new immigrants don’t speak or read English well enough to navigate an English website? And don’t tell me “we have a Spanish site” because a lot of immigrants don’t speak Spanish and the ones who do often can speak it but can’t read it. Hell, for that matter a good number of native born poor are illiterate. Yet, these clowns think creating a website is the way to provide insurance to the entire country.

      1. Just set up a window at the DMV – problem solved.

    2. You’re forgetting all the people who have substantial healthcare costs due to pre-existing conditions. I’m sure they’re checking the site a couple times a day.

  21. Or, of course, people who work for the fucking government. People who can forward a few e-mails, or post a few updates to the First Lady’s twitter account and call it a day; you know, the people in charge of this monstrosity, who believe everybody is ( or should be) just like them.

  22. My mother is going through the exchanges now, and is crying delicious tears about how she isn’t getting some magic unicorn fart powered deal, but all the plans are just what she could get otherwise but with government money to pay for it.

    1. Tell her to keep looking.

      There’s gotta be a free lunch in there, somewhere.

  23. Just remember when the Chicago gangster Politics website gets running give all your personal information see how fast someone uses it and that’s not a good thing for Americans!!

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