If you go to healthcare.gov to sign up for one of the healthcare exchanges, you will be greeted with a smiling young woman and the happy message that ‘The Health Insurance Marketplace is Open!’
You will be told to ‘Enroll now in a plan that covers essential benefits, pre-existing conditions, and more. Plus, see if you qualify for lower costs.’
The reality is something quite different. Even though HHS and healthcare.gov weren’t hurt by the government shutdown, you wouldn’t know it from their performance today.
Healthcare.gov in New York crashed but when it came back up, I decided to enroll.
I got to the first screen to sign up and this is what it said:
Error 500: org.springframework.core.task.TaskRejectedException: Executor [java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor@20495dc9] did not accept task: org.springframework.context.event.SimpleApplicationEventMulticaster$1@b6368cff
Then I tried to find the list of people in New York who could assist me and I got this message:
Due to overwhelming interest in the NY State of Health – including 2 million visits in the first 2 hours of the site launch – the health exchange is currently having log in issues. We encourage users who are unable to log in to come back to the site later when these issues will be resolved.
I pressed live chat and got this message in two languages:
Chat with someone who can help
Sorry, Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat isn’t available right now.
We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again later, or call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-318-2596. We look forward to helping you.
Hable con alguien que pueda ayudarle
Lo siento, la Charla en Vivo del Mercado de Seguros Médicos no está disponible en este momento.
Pedimos disculpas por el inconveniente. Por favor, inténtelo otra vez más tarde o llame a nuestro Centro de Servicio al Cliente al 1-800-318-2596. Esperamos poder ayudarlo.
I tried to sign up for an account on the marketplace but they left ‘New York’ out of the selection box and couldn’t go any further.
I tried to sign up as a small business and I again got this message:
Error 500: org.springframework.core.task.TaskRejectedException: Executor [java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor@20495dc9] did not accept task: org.springframework.context.event.SimpleApplicationEventMulticaster$1@7e115d8a
I tried to sign up in Spanish and got the same message:
Error 500: org.springframework.core.task.TaskRejectedException: Executor [java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor@20495dc9] did not accept task: org.springframework.context.event.SimpleApplicationEventMulticaster$1@99059375
Supposedly they have so many people interested in the exchanges that they can’t handle it and have a few glitches. Maybe Mr. Obama should have jumped on the opportunity to delay Obamacare for one year.
Mr. Obama had three years to get the website up – THREE!. Billions of dollars spent!
To make it worse, on June 28th The Atlantic interviewed the government techs who set up the site. It’s embarrassing in hindsight.
“It’s fast, built in static HTML, completely scalable and secure,” said Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer of HHS, in an interview. “It’s basically setting up a web server. That’s the beauty of it.”
The new site has been built in public for months, iteratively created on Github using cutting edge open-source technologies. Healthcare.gov is the rarest of birds: a next-generation website that also happens to be a .gov.
The people that helped to build the new Healthcare.gov are unusual: Instead of some obscure sub-contractor in a nameless office park in northern Virginia, the site was iteratively created by a cross-disciplinary team of developers and editors at HHS, and contractors at Teal Design, Edward Mullen Studio, and Development Seed, a scrappy startup in a garage in the District of Columbia.
“This is such a lean site,” said Jon Booth, head of the web and new media group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in an interview. [Too lean perhaps?]
“The work that they’re doing is amazing,” said Sivak, “like how they organize their sprints and code. It’s incredible what can happen when you give a team of talented developers and managers and let them go.”
The new healthcare.gov will fill a yawning gap in the technology infrastructure according to The Atlantic.
An unfortunate interview.
The company enrolling people for Obamacare is a a British company under investigation for fraud. A Canadian company has been contracted to create the software to calculate subsidies but it can’t calculate accurately yet. The government can’t verify eligibility so, for the next year, they decided to go with the honor system when people enroll.
The GOP might as well send a clean bill to the Senate and wait for the debt ceiling debate to go to battle. This Obamacare system might implode on its own