Obamacare Sign-Up Plagued by Inefficiency

Monday, 07 Oct 2013 08:02 AM

By Bradley A. Blakeman

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Obama/Biden 2012 put together an Internet software team of engineers and nerds from Google, Twitter, and Facebook that revolutionized the way targeting voters and donors was done.

The Who’s Who of technology teams that came together (mostly pro-bono) to re-elect the president and flawlessly execute an Internet software campaign through websites and data  was the envy of the GOP.

Here is what “the Atlantic” reported on Nov. 16, 2016 with regard to the successful efforts of the Obama nerds:

“The team had elite and, for tech, senior talent — by which I mean that most of them were in their 30s — from Twitter, Google, Facebook, Craigslist, Quora, and some of Chicago's own software companies such as Orbitz and Threadless. But even these people, maybe *especially* these people, knew enough about technology not to trust it.

"'I think the Republicans screwed up in the hubris department,'" Reed told me. "'I know we had the best technology team I've ever worked with, but we didn't know if it would work. I was incredibly confident it would work. I was betting a lot on it. We had time. We had resources. We had done what we thought would work, and it still could have broken. Something could have happened.'

"In fact to test their system in advance of Election Day, Obama’s tech team ran an exercise to test their systems, they called it live action role playing (LARPing!) that the campaign's chief technology officer, Harper Reed, was inflicted on his team. 'We worked through every possible disaster situation,' Reed said. 'We did three actual all-day sessions of destroying everything we had built.'"

Hatch was playing the role of dungeon master, calling out devilishly complex scenarios that were designed to test each and every piece of their system as they entered the exponential traffic-growth phase of the election.

Mark Trammell, an engineer who Reed hired after he left Twitter, saw a couple of game days. He said they reminded him of his time in the Navy. "You ran firefighting drills over and over and over, to make sure that you not just know what you're doing," he said, "but you're calm because you know you can handle [it]."

Jason Kunesh was the director of UX for the tech team that was responsible for the Obama/Biden 2012 Internet Site. He had many years of consulting under his belt for big and small companies like Microsoft and LeapFrog.

He, too, from an industry perspective knew what he was doing. So, he ran some user interrupt tests on the website to determine how people were experiencing www.barackobama.com.

The brains that Obama used for his own selfish purposes were nowhere to be found for the reported over 300 million dollars spent on the Obamacare website and Obamacare rollout.

How is it possible that the Obama folks who were so tech and Internet savey are AWOL in the implementation of the president’s signature piece of legislation?

It has been extensively reported that the online registration for Obamacare has been riddled with glitches. This is what USA Today reported:

“The opening of state- and federal-run insurance marketplaces Tuesday saw a combination of huge interest and balky technology that led to a series of glitches, delays and even crashes that marred the first hours of the centerpiece of President Obama's health law.

"One frustrated American who tried unsuccessfully to sign up, John Sanders of Wisconsin, called the system's launch 'reckless at best. I will not accept the "heavy traffic" argument. What else would be expected on the national launch date?'"

The Obama administration had years to work on the launch of Obamacare with the same thought and determination as was exhibited in his re-elect. Yet, none of the nerds who surrounded candidate Obama was to be found in the planning and execution of the president’s signature piece of legislation.

Every day that Obamacare exists there will be pain felt by the American people because it costs too much, cares too little, and is plagued by red tape and technological dysfunction.

The Democrats ultimate solution to healthcare — don’t get sick.

Doug Wead is a presidential historian who served as a senior adviser to the Ron Paul presidential campaign. He is a New York Times best-selling author, philanthropist, and adviser to two presidents, including President George H.W. Bush. Read more reports from Doug Wead — Click Here Now.

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