Why the Healthcare.gov Launch of Obamacare Was Doomed To Fail

Adrianne Jeffries | The Verge | October 8, 2013

Welcome to the government's latest bone-headed beta test

The more we learn about the development of Healthcare.gov, the worse the situation looks. The site has been serving myriad errors since it launched, including preventing users from creating accounts, failing to recognize users who do have accounts, putting users in inescapable loops, and miscalculating healthcare subsidies. While the administration is claiming a 50 percent reduction in wait times after adding new servers, other serious issues persist.

"I've got an application right now that's like half done, but I have four copies of my wife in it and can’t get rid of it and can’t start a new application," says James Turner, a software engineer and former systems administrator who wrote a critique of Healthcare.gov. "It's pretty clear that they didn’t do a lot of testing, because it's easy to get into states where you can’t get any further or you have bogus data you can’t get rid of."

It’s still unclear exactly what’s wrong with the government’s new online healthcare exchange, because the code isn’t public and errors make it difficult to see even the front-facing parts of the site. However, it’s now obvious that the site launched before it was ready.