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Author: feedmeNOWhuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1954917  
Subject: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 3:54 PM
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Facebook, I mean. It was down half the day yesterday. In fact, it was down for about a full minute right before I posted this.



I could also be talking about TMF, which loads extremely slow much of the time.


Or I could be talking about my bank's website, which was down for much of the day yesterday.



On the other hand, the ACA website was working just fine every time yesterday each of the several times I checked it out.
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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907777 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 4:00 PM
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On the other hand, the ACA website was working just fine every time yesterday each of the several times I checked it out.

Does that mean that you successfully completed an application to enroll for health insurance, which application was accurately transmitted to the insurance company whose plan you were applying for?

Most of the chatter from the technorati class has been that the front-end systems (ie. the customer experience) are going to be far easier to fix than the back-end systems. The real heavy lifting will come from trying to pull accurate information from the various databases necessary to confirm customer information, and in delivering accurate information out to the insurance companies. Fixing the e-commerce interface with the customer is the smaller problem.

Albaby

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Author: xLife Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907779 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 4:17 PM
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The only reason there even is a federal exchange website is that a bunch of Republican-controlled states were too obstreperous to create their own, right?

Read an article or blog recently that said all the state-run exchanges are working just fine.

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907780 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 4:30 PM
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Read an article or blog recently that said all the state-run exchanges are working just fine.

That's not accurate. Some of the states are working well, some of them are not:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/10/04/us/opening-wee...

For example, Oregon's exchange website has yet (as of yesterday) to enroll a single person:

http://www.katu.com/news/local/Cover-Oregon-woes-could-mean-...

Albaby

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Author: xLife Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907782 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 4:36 PM
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Read an article or blog recently that said all the state-run exchanges are working just fine.

That's not accurate. Some of the states are working well, some of them are not:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/10/04/us/opening-wee......

For example, Oregon's exchange website has yet (as of yesterday) to enroll a single person...


Thanks for the correction. But doesn't that suggest the website problems aren't necessarily a federal government screwup, that getting websites like these up and running isn't that easy?

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Author: SGIZ1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907783 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 4:38 PM
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"But doesn't that suggest the website problems aren't necessarily a federal government screwup"

OMG stop carrying the water for the Obama administration... They effed up, admit it, move on.

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Author: laissezFaireOne Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907784 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 4:41 PM
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"
OMG stop carrying the water for the Obama administration... They effed up, admit it, move on.
"

Thank you! You saved me from having to say something that I might regret.

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Author: xLife Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907785 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 4:43 PM
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"But doesn't that suggest the website problems aren't necessarily a federal government screwup"

OMG stop carrying the water for the Obama administration... They effed up, admit it, move on.


Huh? I think they did eft up. I just wrote a post saying how they screwed up in several ways.

But it stands to reason that if a bunch of states bungled the website launch too, that perhaps it's not as easy as some people seem to think.

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907786 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 4:53 PM
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Thanks for the correction. But doesn't that suggest the website problems aren't necessarily a federal government screwup, that getting websites like these up and running isn't that easy?

I agree that this demonstrates that getting websites like these up and running isn't that easy. Selling insurance takes effort and resources, both for marketing and the administrative back-end of just getting people enrolled. Using a website can be an efficient way of doing that, but you still have to do it well, or it can be a 'debacle.'

I'm not sure I understand your point about the federal screwup though. It certainly means that state governments are also capable of screwing up an exchange website - but I'm not sure that means that the website problems on the federal government website aren't a federal government screwup.

Albaby

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Author: xLife Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907787 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 5:01 PM
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I'm not sure I understand your point about the federal screwup though. It certainly means that state governments are also capable of screwing up an exchange website - but I'm not sure that means that the website problems on the federal government website aren't a federal government screwup.

My point wasn't that they didn't screw up. They did. It's that screwing up on something like this isn't as exceptional as I'd thought.

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Author: GrumpyOldGuy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907788 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 5:07 PM
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OMG stop carrying the water for the Obama administration... They effed up, admit it, move on.

They can't admit it because then they would feel a personal failure. Of course that works for the Left and Right as both are guilty. Silly, but humans hate to admit failure.

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907789 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 5:11 PM
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My point wasn't that they didn't screw up. They did. It's that screwing up on something like this isn't as exceptional as I'd thought.

I wouldn't necessarily draw that conclusion - some of the techie dissection of the website issues has been scathing. Certain types of screwups in health.gov might be unexceptional, but other types (like the complete lack of end-to-end testing until the last minute, or the requirement to create accounts before browsing) seem to be rather rare among e-commerce sites in this day and age. And of course, even the concept that the federal government would check your eligibility for subsidies for you was stretching the capabilities of some of the databases and IT infrastructure that are needed to pull that info together, given the time frames.

From that one news article, Oregon's site seems to have failed for other reasons.

Albaby

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Author: xLife Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907791 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 5:13 PM
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OMG stop carrying the water for the Obama administration... They effed up, admit it, move on.

They can't admit it because then they would feel a personal failure.


I don't know about "they," or admitting it. I can only speak for myself and I've always thought Obamacare was an overcomplicated piece of crap legislation.

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Author: xLife Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907793 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 5:18 PM
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(like the complete lack of end-to-end testing until the last minute, or the requirement to create accounts before browsing)

Forgive me for focusing on the parenthetical, but I just listened to an MIT prof (who advised both Romney and Obama) explain that you can't have a "browse-first" system because pricing is determined by an individual's financial details. In other words you have to create an account before being able to shop. The old private insurance system was this way too, as learned when I was between jobs not long ago.

The insufficient testing is inexcusable.

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907796 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 5:26 PM
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Forgive me for focusing on the parenthetical, but I just listened to an MIT prof (who advised both Romney and Obama) explain that you can't have a "browse-first" system because pricing is determined by an individual's financial details.

Why not? You can ask the person to enter their financial details without creating an account - heck, that's what you do when you go to the Kaiser subsidy calculator. Of course, that puts some responsibility on the individual to enter their data correctly - but there's no reason that you can't start there and save the confirmation stage for when they've decided to purchase enrollment.

And by the way, "pricing" is not determined by an individual's financial details. The premium for the policy is the premium - the price doesn't change. The individual might be eligible to receive subsidies from the government, and the government would prefer that the individual see only the price net of subsidies - but that doesn't mean that the insurance company is offering the policy at different prices to different people.

Albaby

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Author: feedmeNOWhuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907804 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 6:03 PM
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Facebook just crashed again!


Then for the first time, I checked out BitStrips, which is all the rage. It crashed, too.


That damn Obama!

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Author: xLife Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907815 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 7:53 PM
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You can ask the person to enter their financial details without creating an account...

Well, then you haven't really solved anything.


And by the way, "pricing" is not determined by an individual's financial details. The premium for the policy is the premium - the price doesn't change. The individual might be eligible to receive subsidies from the government...

I clearly meant the price to the consumer.

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Author: InconclusiveFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907845 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 9:47 PM
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"that perhaps it's not as easy as some people seem to think."

So why did the administration rush into it?

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Author: FoolishWaldo Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907859 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/30/2013 11:10 PM
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Facebook, I mean. It was down half the day yesterday. In fact, it was down for about a full minute right before I posted this.

I could also be talking about TMF, which loads extremely slow much of the time.


And TMF is down often enough that it's no longer surprising.

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Author: Stonewashed Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1907874 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/31/2013 4:48 AM
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Thanks for the correction. But doesn't that suggest the website problems aren't necessarily a federal government screwup, that getting websites like these up and running isn't that easy?
_______________

I beg to differ.

Example when I tried to use the NY exchange this morning:


Attention:

We apologize for the inconvenience. The Marketplace is currently unavailable due to the unavailability of Federal Services data. The Marketplace is scheduled to be available at 8am.

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Author: HMALETTER Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1908123 of 1954917
Subject: Re: The website is down! Date: 10/31/2013 6:36 PM
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On the other hand, the ACA website was working just fine every time yesterday each of the several times I checked it out.
________________

You sound like some of the political types appointed to master this wonderful system. You type in the website, and BAM, there it is.

Most of them have as much technological knowledge as a head of lettuce.

Even the appointed turnips admit it doesn't work, because it doesn't.

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