The Obamacare Website uses 10-Year-Old Technology that is not User Friendly

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 19th, 2013

Week in Review

They say you should never send a boy to do a man’s job.  With the Obamacare website rollout we also see we should never send the government to do a job a kid can do.  Design a functioning website (see Tech experts: Health exchange site needs total overhaul by Kelly Kennedy posted 10/17/2013 on USA Today).

The federal health care exchange was built using 10-year-old technology that may require constant fixes and updates for the next six months and the eventual overhaul of the entire system, technology experts told USA TODAY…

Recent changes have made the exchanges easier to use, but they still require clearing the computer’s cache several times, stopping a pop-up blocker, talking to people via Web chat who suggest waiting until the server is not busy, opening links in new windows and clicking on every available possibility on a page in the hopes of not receiving an error message. With those changes, it took one hour to navigate the HealthCare.gov enrollment process Wednesday…

“I have never seen a website — in the last five years — require you to delete the cache in an effort to resolve errors,” said Dan Schuyler, a director at Leavitt Partners, a health care group by former Health and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt. “This is a very early Web 1.0 type of fix.”

“The application could be fundamentally flawed,” said Jeff Kim, president of CDNetworks, a content-delivery network. “They may be using 1990s technology in 2.0 world…”

Clearing the cache, which has helped make it easier for some people to enroll, could ultimately strain the system more, Kim said…

But as HHS fixes errors, the cookies may not correspond with the updated website, so rather than allowing someone to quickly log in, they instead cause an error message. And every time a person clears his computer’s cache, the government’s website has to work that much harder to grab more data…

Engates said he believes most of the problems are caused by systems integration with other sites, such as the IRS.

So much for the Obamacare website being user friendly.

Today when someone is having trouble with technology they usually turn to their children.  Or the neighbor’s kid.  In the old days parents had their kids teach them how to program the VCR.  Little has changed.  For when we have a technology problem no one ever says ‘let’s call the government’.  No.  They usually look for some kid they know.  Because kids are fascinated by technology and want to learn all about the latest new thing.  Whereas adults are just too tired to learn anything new.

Perhaps we can ask the neighbor kid to buy our health insurance for us.  They’ll know how to clear the computer’s cache, turn off a popup blocker and open links in new windows.  While us old people dream about the good old days.  When we could go to a private insurer, sit across the desk from her or him and buy insurance the old fashion way.  Without having to have a kid do it for us.

Why does the government always take something that was working perfectly fine and make it so damn hard?

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