Today was the deadline for applying for Affordable Care Act coverage... and they CRASHED!
There's no way around it, regarding the Affordable Care Act, our government has not performed well. Such cliche's seem to be appropriate as: "not running on all 8 cylinders" and "one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing" and "couldn't manage their way out of a paper bag" and "isn't fully aware of the facts"... I'm downright angry at them for their mismanagement and apparent lack of knowledge, which is obvious from the results we've seen.
When in October we first learned that they spent hundreds of millions of dollars and could not even handle a few 100 simultaneous users, I was fully convinced then that a government-run health system - at least in the United States - was a really bad idea. In my mind, we already have a "safety net" for people with low incomes. (That is Medicaid.) And Seniors are covered by Medicare, which they paid into for decades during their working years. Insurance companies were competing for individual and group policies to cover everyone else. There seemed to be plenty of room for improvements, but one questions whether it is smart to tear down the entire existing systems to make way for a government run mandatory approach. Alas, it doesn't seem (at least to me) that the ACA had anything to do with the facts. I won't speculate on the political motivations of either side of the argument. I just wanted to be informed!
I also want to be assured that our tax dollars are being used wisely. Look no farther than today March 31, 2014 to see further proof we should be concerned. (If we needed any more proof.) Today is the big day. No surprises. The schedule has been known. Big shots in the government have stated "there will be no extension". Apply or be threatened with fines by the IRS. Apparently only 6M people in the entire country have so far been willing to even try. And these government masterminds "don't know" how many of those have actually completed the application and paid for their insurance. Huh? Again, requires us to pretend we are idiots to believe them.
But getting back to today, on the big day that we all knew was coming up, the healthcare.gov website crashed this morning. They reported a couple hours ago that they won't be taking any new applications! This is almost laughable!!! They can't be any more incompetent. IF - and this is such a big if that's it is impossible to believe - they were competent, then a couple weeks ago they would have been doing massive "load testing" on the site to determine its ability to handle concurrent users. (That's our term for people using the system at the same time.) The testing tools are out there to do this, and the process is well-known. Then, when you see your results, you can make adjustments in the system to handle the load. Or, if you the adjustments are not possible within the time you have, then you can announce a delay (in this case, an extension on the deadline to apply). Well, where is the truth? Did they perform load testing a week or more ago? If they didn't do proper testing, then they are incompetent. (AGAIN.) If they did, then why didn't they either a) fix the issues (and re-test to ensure the issues are fixed) or b) announce an extension? Did they want it to crash so they can proclaim that people really really want healthcare? I'm going to get sick, thinking about people that we entrust with running the government being willing to act this way!
For those of you that are not trained in the field of systems development, you may be giving these organizations and agencies a "pass". Thinking to yourself, "well, this must be really difficult", I can't hold them accountable. I assure you, YES WE CAN and WE SHOULD! Don't buy their excuses any longer. We give our hard earned dollars to the government to DO GOOD. Wasting it without regard is a crime. Let's hold them accountable.