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+ - Administration Admits Obamacare Website Stinks

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The WSJ reports that six days into the launch of insurance marketplaces created by the new health-care law, the federal government acknowledged for the first time Sunday that design and software problems have kept customers from applying online for coverage. The website is troubled by coding problems and flaws in the architecture of the system, according to insurance-industry advisers, technical experts and people close to the development of the marketplace. Information technology experts who examined the healthcare.gov website at the request of The Wall Street Journal say the site appeared to be built on a sloppy software foundation and five outside technology experts interviewed by Reuters say they believe flaws in system architecture, not traffic alone, contribute to the problems. One possible cause of the problems is that hitting "apply" on HealthCare.gov causes 92 separate files, plug-ins and other mammoth swarms of data to stream between the user's computer and the servers powering the government website, says Matthew Hancock, an independent expert in website design. He was able to track the files being requested through a feature in the Firefox browser. Of the 92 he found, 56 were JavaScript files, including plug-ins that make it easier for code to work on multiple browsers (such as Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer and Google Inc's Chrome) and let users upload files to HealthCare.gov. "They set up the website in such a way that too many requests to the server arrived at the same time," says Hancock adding that because so much traffic was going back and forth between the users' computers and the server hosting the government website, it was as if the system was attacking itself. "The site basically DDOS'd itself." The delays come three months after the Government Accountability Office said a smooth and timely rollout could not be guaranteed because the online system was not fully completed or tested. “If there’s not a general trend of improvement in the next 72 hours of use in this is system then it would indicate the problems they’re dealing with are more deep seated and not an easy fix,” says Jay Dunlap, senior vice president of health care technology company EXL."
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Administration Admits Obamacare Website Stinks

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