Was Healthcare.gov Intentionally Crippled to Hide Cost Information

Having been a TRW software development lab managers and a software project development manager it is hard to believe that a professional software development organizations can create such a screwed up systems as Healthcare.gov has turned out to be.  This raises the question was the system intentionally crippled to hide the real cost of health insurance under Obamacare, or is it just a really bad design.

“Many experts believe the Obamacare website is disfunctional because Democrats don’t want you to know how expensive the plans are.”

Forbes reports:

A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.

The Gateway Pundit: HHS didn’t want users to see Obamacare’s true costs

“Healthcare.gov was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” report Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.” Why was it delayed? “An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies.” (Emphasis added.)

As you know if you’ve been following this space, Obamacare’s bevy of mandates, regulations, taxes, and fees drives up the cost of the insurance plans that are offered under the law’s public exchanges. A Manhattan Institute analysis I helped conduct found that, on average, the cheapest plan offered in a given state, under Obamacare, will be 99 percent more expensive for men, and 62 percent more expensive for women, than the cheapest plan offered under the old system.

Because you have to enter so much personal information before you receive a price quote, a well known and respected local conservative speculates that healthcare.gov could quote prices based on your income or even political beliefs.

When I heard about the problem that was my first thought.  A module has been inserted in the computer code that allow low income people to get registered without delay, but higher income registrants who will be paying higher rates, the systems shunts then into an endless loop, causing them to eventual abort the process, without learning the true cost. The applicant now have an account, the government has their private information and know the applicant is not eligible for subsidies. Could it be this private economic information was what triggered the endless loop, or some similar slow down code?  Why after two weeks of trying some people cannot get any cost estimates?

Stay Tuned – There is more to this story.

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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1 Response to Was Healthcare.gov Intentionally Crippled to Hide Cost Information

  1. Dena says:

    I have been involved in the software and hardware of a communication device starting in 1986 and most of the initial design was done by others. My job allowed me to do some new design but the most important part is cleaning up the mess others left behind. It was quite common for a bottle neck or embrace condition to be written into the code causing lockups or other performance problems to make the unit slow down or lock up. Real time coding is something not all programmers are cut out to do. In this case, the government was overseeing the project and waiting till the last minute to produce specifications on what the code should do. The code should have had far more testing but Obama needed to get it out now or risk more heat from the Republicans about ending Obama care. As the result we are trying to figure out what the Obama administration has been doing for about the last 4 years after Obama care was passed. The answer is they may not have even started coding till about a year or two ago and the specifications may have been changing as they coded.
    This code had to hit all the government computers such as IRS, all the welfare computers and possibly even the law enforcement computers to get the information needed to calculate if a person will receive assistance and how much. The correct way to do this would have been to take the initial information and then kick the application off into the background. When all the information has been accumulated an email should be sent indicating the account is ready to use. What it appears they did was to gather this information in the foreground and I don’t care how much computer power you have, you are going to choke the computer at some point. The rule in real time programming is do as little in the foreground as possible and push as much as you can into the background where the user doesn’t see it.
    By following these rules I have solved the problems in our units and under simulation (real world often is unable to provide full load) the units are able to move near the calculated maximum amount of data. This is something that takes a good deal of though and time to get right, something the Obama administration has yet to provide.


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