Techie Rep. Johnson: Obamacare Website Woes 'Catastrophic'

Image: Techie Rep. Johnson: Obamacare Website Woes 'Catastrophic'

Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 01:46 PM

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The Obamacare Internet site, HealthCare.gov, has proven to be an utter failure, says  Rep. Bill Johnson, who has spent 30 years as a senior information technology expert in the federal government and private sector.

"Based on my review, the problems with the Healthcare.gov website are catastrophic," the two-term Republican Ohio congressman writes in The Hill. "They stem from a haphazard, undisciplined design and implementation process that was doomed from the start."

Johnson says the Obama administration doesn't seem to know why the $400 million website is still malfunctioning and when it will be fixed.

"This may be the most stunning example of over promising and under delivering in recent U.S history," the congressman says.

"The administration can't — or won’t — tell us how many[people] have successfully enrolled in Obamacare through the website

"But, based on reports from the states, the number of people who have navigated the enrollment process to the end are as rare as state lottery winners."

The project has numerous critical junctures, and a breakdown at any critical point can be fatal, Johnson says. "If a failure occurs early enough in the process, everything done after that failure is likely to fail as well, because subsequent tasks, equations, and software code proceed from that flawed process."

Any number of problems can bring a complex system down, Johnson says. That includes unclear or misinterpreted requirements, failure by designers to make sure the right components are included and properly tested, and incomplete or improperly formatted data.

"I’m concerned that several of these problems were present in the Obamacare website rollout," Johnson says.

President Barack Obama needs to make things right, Johnson says. First he must admit that the website "has been a complete failure . . . and that his administration wasted over $400 million of the taxpayers’ money," Johnson says.

Then "he should identify spending cuts to offset the millions of dollars that will be required to replace this flawed system."

Officials who misled Obama and the public should be fired Johnson says.

"Finally, he should delay the compliance and enrollment deadlines for the hardworking American people until he certifies that the system is fully implemented, tested, and validated. Delay the individual mandate like the delay he has already given to big business."

Related stories:

Report: Contractor Warned Obamacare Site Not Ready a Month Before Rollout

Sebelius Apologizes for Obamacare Fiasco; Site Crashes During Hearing



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