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Healthcare.gov problems largely structural, transmits too much code

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The Obamacare website bogs down because it transmits too much code, says an expert. These Healthcare.gov problems and slowness were made worse by a last minute decision to make applicants open an account before shopping for healthcare plans, the opposite of how most ecommerce sites work, which let you shop first.

Grafting major new pieces onto a big system just before launch is asking for trouble, as there probably won’t be time to test it properly. Plus, it indicates bad design and planning. I’m not quite sure why large amounts of code would have to be transmitted, usually it’s data that is transferred.

Obama’s presser today about the problems said, by Golly, they’re working hard on fixing it without really explaining what went wrong. Computers programming bugs are usually easy enough to fix. Structural problems are not. They require changing underlying database structures, revising sometimes large chunks of code, re-testing everything, then roll the changes out while millions of people are on the system.

Congress plans an investigation even though Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says she’s not available, a reason that might appear a bit more plausible had she not recently appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

I support Obamacare and hope they fix the problems fast. Well, they have to fix them fast. They may be calling in lots of experts, however a system this big takes a while to learn. You don’t just start bashing away at code, hoping you’ll fix the errors. And it you do the fixes too quickly you’ll undoubtedly introduce more problems.

It’s difficult to understand how a system this botched was allowed to go live.

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