The Obama administration claimed the website would be a simple, easy to use, one stop destination for uninsured Americans to find affordable health care. However, on the launch date for the website, October 1, 2013, hopeful enrollees encountered all sorts of problems ranging from ranging from error messages to misinformation to tedious delays. 1 million users visited the website from October 1 to 4, with less than 1% being able to register (1). Through our due diligence we have discovered management ignored various red flags indicating the website wasn’t ready for release. We propose that administrative officials form a task force, consisting of the brightest minds Of the technological world, in order to get the site back on track. First off, the problems associated with HealthCare-gob reach far beyond technological failures.
In order to implement Beamer, administrative officials had to first come to a consensus on how exactly the federal exchange loud work. After achieving this consensus, these regulations would enable the contractors to design the site to fit the proposed model. Unfortunately, administrative officials lingered in establishing these regulations, ridding contractors of critical time necessary to prepare the website (2). This imposed time crunch prevented SIS, the firm responsible for testing, from adequately checking the systems.
To be specific, only 23 percent of the units code had been tested by the launch date, this number should have been 100 percent (2). In order to discover the exact issues associated with this site, each element must be tested appropriately and in a timely manner. This will allow the task force to determine the roots of the problem and being working to fix the issues. With personal information being entered into the site with each registration, this site must have the utmost security features. However, although implemented, these security features failed to have been tested before the launch date.
Approximately 40 percent of security controls were not tested before launch, simply unacceptable for a site of this magnitude (3). Jeopardizing the private information of American citizens cannot stand, romping us to once again emphasis halting the site until the proper protocol is enforced. The task force can then determine if the security features are appropriate given the circumstances. In order to implement an IT project of this caliber, officials should have elected one organization or party to oversee the entire project. In the preparation of HealthCare.
Gob, no party possessed the authority to oversee the project or to hold each department accountable for completing their assigned tasks in a timely manner. This lack of centralized leadership obstructed communication across all departments, leaving department officials with little understanding of their responsibilities. In fact, communication developed into such an issue that a critical meeting between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (SMS) officials and contractors took place on August 22 and 23, nearly a month from the launch date (2).
Department officials were shocked at the realization that other departments had been working on the same tasks or discovering they had unknowingly been assigned a task. This meeting amplified the importance of having central leadership, with the power to coordinate, supervise, and make any big decisions necessary to success. The task force will have this authority, giving the project the central leadership it needs for a quick recovery. As with any major endeavor, especially on this scale, problems will arise.
However, most of the issues that plagued the launch of HealthCare-Gob could have and should have been prevented. Although fingers can and have been pointed to a number of parties, the real culprit of this debacle resides with the politicians. These men and women allowed their empty promises to trump the reality of implementing such a massive project in a short span of time. This will lead to millions Of dollars Of taxpayer money being wasted way to fix issues that could have been prevented if the project had been conducted in a professional and timely manner.
However, the pressure of political success forced the incomplete website to launch, leading to the inevitable crash. We propose the site should be shut down until the task force can implement solutions to the already existing foundation. By not restarting the project completely, we hope to save millions of taxpayer dollars, while still giving uninsured Americans the most convenient and easy to use website possible.