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A comedy in three acts

ACT ONE: Where we be at now. The Obamacare signup software totally doesn’t work. It is possible that nobody has successfully made it through the signup process yet (the media don’t seem able to find anyone, not for want of trying).

This is pure fun to watch, this part. In some ways, this mess is a trivial sideline to the abomination that is Obamacare (though I’ve never seen an IT project this big and this fucked up get fixed successfully, have you?). My goodness I’m enjoying it.

ACT TWO: When it gets rolling — however they manage to make it work — that’s when the fun begins. The people at the bottom and the people at the top won’t see much change — I assume — but there are chitloads of people in the middle who will find their costs going up (sometimes dramatically) or coverage going down or both. Who knows how many people fall in here, but it’s likely to be many millions of really, really angry people. Lots of people in this age and class believe they can’t do without insurance.

ACT THREE: This is when the youngest, healthiest adults refuse to sign up, in droves. Obamacare is absolutely dependent on these people to fund the system. But young, healthy people don’t need doctoring (by definition), don’t have much money and believe themselves to be immortal. If the fines for not having insurance are smaller than the premiums, you’d be an utter moron to sign on. After all, if the law says they can’t turn you away for being sick, why not wait until you’re sick to sign on?

And then…well, no matter what PR hit the Wacko Birds may take right now for being obstructionist, there will come a day when they’ll be happy to say they did everything in their power to stand athwart O’care shouting halt. Which is nice and all, but what does it matter, if our entire healthcare system is a smoking crater?

p.s. Really sorry for that illustration. Brrrr, that’s creeping me out, man.


Comment from Eirik
Time: October 9, 2013, 10:41 pm

OK, that’s just NSFL… Not Safe for Lunch.

Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: October 9, 2013, 10:44 pm

It’s supposed to work like this. I just didn’t think it would work this way so soon. I figured 10 years or so before it wrecked the private insurance industry and the progtards stepped in to rescue everyone with–ta da!–Single Payer! But now it looks like some time next week.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: October 9, 2013, 10:55 pm

There is a fine for not signing up – $96. About $8 per month. Or exactly the cost of a McDonald’s Qtr Pounder w/ cheese, fries, and Diet Tea, SuperSized of course.

Most young folks will pay the fine.

If I was a young person, I just wouldn’t sign up. And make sure the withholding leaves the IRS holding the bag come tax time. Thats about the limit of my Civil Disobedience appetite, for now.

Alas, I have health insurance from the Corporate Monster. So I can’t sit at the counter in Woolworths. Or front of the bus or other civil disobedience thing you can think of.

Comment from LesterIII
Time: October 9, 2013, 11:08 pm

GADZOOKS! Barry as The Corinthian. That is truly nightmarish. You owe me sleepytime credits, Sweasey. that is sure to haunt me in the wee hours.

Comment from Veeshir
Time: October 9, 2013, 11:11 pm

It’s even worse than you thought.

The cost of that webpage

Total Dollars:

Yes, that’s more than half a billion dollars for a crappy website.
Jeez, they could have put it on blogspot and saved all that money and they would have had a site that kind of worked.

Comment from dissent555
Time: October 9, 2013, 11:57 pm

I’m with LesterIII.

I’m not looking forward to trying to get to sleep tonight.

I hope that Frodo finds Mount Doom soon.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: October 9, 2013, 11:59 pm

It’s like someone went on 4Chan and begged for programming assistance.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: October 10, 2013, 12:02 am

I’m out on Reddit a lot lately, God help me. Out of curiosity, I asked for Redditors (aka anyone who posts there) who had signed up for OBamaCare to share their experiences and whether it was cheaper or more expensive than their current coverage. I only got ONE reply from someone who signed up. He went from a COBRA plan which is insurance for people between jobs- the gov’t requires companies to offer it for x months after an employee quits. He went for $500 a month to $250. Obviously, for him, it works.

Having said that -despite the kids on Reddit extolling the wonders of ObamaCare theoretically in many many threads- that guy was the only one who responded. Posts commenting on the fine get zero response … Because it’s being ignored as it isn’t real to them: Yet.

It is going to be very interesting. As I have health insurance and popcorn, I can’t wait.

Comment from Nina
Time: October 10, 2013, 1:48 am

I have good coverage too, which I’m happy with, just like some 85% of Americans were before this debacle started. And I’m very worried that someone down the road will decide that expensive labs and radiology aren’t cost effective for this getting-close-to-sixty cancer patient and leave me to go hang.

Comment from PatAZ
Time: October 10, 2013, 2:17 am

Obuma’s lying eyes. Creepy.

Comment from mojo
Time: October 10, 2013, 5:18 am

Three years, almost a million bucks, and – bupkis.

Comment from Davem123
Time: October 10, 2013, 5:39 am

It looks to me like everything is going according to plan. Let’s see:
1. Private Insurance Companies headed for disaster. Check
2. Media standing by to blame everything on a “Failure of Capitalism”. Check
3. Democrat Party ready to step in and institute a Glorious People’s Revolution. Check

Just like Ayers, Choom-boy and Axelrod planned it out years ago. What could go wrong?

Comment from Davem123
Time: October 10, 2013, 5:45 am

That image is creepy, all right. It does remind me of a juvenile dirty joke from High School, though. Something to do with a one-eyed hooker promising to “keep an eye out for you”.

Comment from jic
Time: October 10, 2013, 8:40 am

“The people at the bottom and the people at the top won’t see much change — I assume — but there are chitloads of people in the middle who will find their costs going up (sometimes dramatically) or coverage going down or both.”

Exactly. For all the talk about ‘compassion’ and ‘the poor’, “the middle” is the real target of schemes like this. The poor already get help from various state and federal programs, and the rich will get the very best available healthcare (one way or another) no matter what system is in place. It’s “the middle” who make up the bulk of voters, it’s “the middle” who fret about the cost of healthcare, and it’s “the middle” who worry about going bankrupt if their coverage runs out. And who are going to be the losers from Obamacare? “The middle”. Nice going, Barry.

Comment from Pupster
Time: October 10, 2013, 9:44 am


Comment from Deborah
Time: October 10, 2013, 11:28 am

Chicago-style protection racket takes over the country. Imagine being fined for not buying something that you don’t want. How soon will Obama’s goons start breaking legs?

Comment from GIL
Time: October 10, 2013, 1:21 pm

Can’t resist adding a Drudge headline for those who can’t bear to read the news these days–I read the headlines only. That stoopid website cost more to put together than FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Having lived over here in the UK for many years, I wonder if my fellow Countrymen back home realise to what degree ALL of the media, from now to eternity, will be filled with airtime devoted to bitching about how awful this mistake is?

Comment from drew458
Time: October 10, 2013, 4:58 pm

mojo – No, more than half a BILLION dollars.

And no load testing done. OMG. Who the heck designed this, a 7 year old? At the very least, it should start with “enter the first 3 digits of your SSN” which then takes you to one of a thousand sub servers. Or first 2 digits and 100 sub servers. That’s a no brainer solution. But no. This thing was written to handle no more than 50,000 users at a go. When the entire country is out there trying to sign up on day one.

For fifty or sixty thousand bucks, you could hire the software guys from Visa, Discover, or even Amazon.com to show you how to build a system to handle a million users at a go.

Idiots. As usual, all that time and money, and no time or money left for proper testing and repair.

On the third hand, there are free tools available that work similar to LoadRunner (commercial load testing tool) that naughty people could mischievously use to hammer the heck out of the website. 1000 folks, each running a script that tries to log in 1000 users all at once … slam. Dead system. Mwhahahahahaahahaa!!

Comment from AliceH
Time: October 11, 2013, 12:27 am

I bow to no man in my horror at how shoddy and incompetent this design and rollout has been, but.

There really are some seriously complicated and horrible elements involved in making this work in the backend. For 37 states (I think) they needed to develop custom product information and algorithms to calculate pricing and subsidies based on state-level medicaid and health care administration, interface with ancient Medicaid, Medicare databases written in incompatible languages on incompatible DBMS, spawn real time queries out to numerous external systems to verify identity and finance details… and who knows what else.

They were stupid to require registration/authentication in front of “shop our products”, and they were stupid to require the portal support 150 languages… but the best design team and managers and coders in the world would have been hard pressed to make a go of this monster, given the actual regulations (which means specs) were still being made up as late as July this year.

No pity for the administration, nor congress, nor the consulting firms that raked in the dough (and influence), but spare a thought for the talented and dedicated programmer who has been working his heart out 20 hrs a day and only take time out to see his new psychiatrist to get a refill on his valium to help manage the stress.

Comment from AliceH
Time: October 11, 2013, 12:31 am

(In case it wasn’t obvious, I’ve been a programmer, an app developer, and an IT project manager, and worked my share of clusterf**k projects – though, thank god, none this close to this big and visible.)

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