However, in typical political style, he said no one was more displeased than himself then moved on with the positive spin.
The president was flanked in the Rose Garden by people who had slayed the mighty portal beast and managed to enroll. Good thing since one lady in the group passed out during the conference. I’m guessing it was for dramatic effect; an ambulance hauling her away as she waved her insurance card to the cameras.
His opening words included, “You may have heard there are problems with the web site,” but did you know that…
- 19 million people have visited the site
- 60% of those uninsured can now get coverage for less than $100 a month
- there are 10% fewer uninsureds in Oregon (huh?)
- seniors now get a better discount because of ACA
- young people can now stay on their parents plans longer
- if you have preexisting conditions – you’re covered now
- and finally, mammograms are now covered, which is good news as we’re all down with the boobies
No, Mr. President, it’s not, but the website is what’s given the program a figurative black eye the past two weeks.
I found it interesting that in his earlier press conference, Obama compared the glitches to iPhone bugs. But if something this ugly had happened on Steve Jobs watch, there would be blood running in the streets of the Apple campus.
Oh wait, I almost forgot about Apple’s mobile maps mess up that did in fact cost one of the company’s top execs his job.
I’ve built 16 full blown data centers with live agent assistance, all combined, capable of handling a larger volume of traffic than this program. But I make that claim absent confirmation of what the volume of traffic has been because actual figures are being kept under lock and key until November.
Which also begs the question, why? Why would you want to hide the real numbers unless you’re concerned about it under performing?
CNN’s Jake Tapper interviewed former White House chief of technology staffer Aneesh Chopra who indicated the site had been designed to handle 60,000 simultaneous applications, when in reality it got digitally spanked with 250,000.
This remains a mystery to me as it’s all pretty simple; you forecast the expected traffic load, compute what you expect your busy hours to be, design and build to meet the need.
So how did the man who orchestrated the most tech savvy campaign of all time get caught with his bandwidth pants down on the most significant program of his administration; the one that anecdotally carries his own name?
If it was me, I’d have asked for the most wildly optimistic forecast available, added 20%, then scaled it back if I found I was over equipped. Far safer and the investment would offset the humiliation they have suffered over its first two weeks.
With somewhere in the neighborhood of$500 million spent and three years in development, they underestimated the “success” of a program they expected to be wildly successful?
Let’s try to put this into perspective.
- Facebook received its first funding in June ‘04 and ran six years before hitting the $500 million mark in June 2010.
- 1.6 Billion total FB users – worldwide
- 699 million active daily users – worldwide
- 142 million active daily users – US
- 20 billion minutes spent on FB per day worldwide
- Twitter opened its doors in 2006 running on $360 million until a $400 million infusion in 2011.
- Average number of tweets per day – 58 million
- Number of active Twitter users every month – 115 million
To be fair, neither didn’t hit the ground running at anywhere near those levels – Facebook was initially limited to Harvard students only for example – the companies had years to prepare for those volumes. Still in theory it CAN be done. And don’t bother commenting they are different transaction types, apples and oranges; the point is, you forecast, design, build.
Our government has a long history of doing thing poorly, but in a country made up of some of the most successful Internet ventures ever and a plethora of subject matter experts willing to come to the aid, you have to ask yourself how has this happened?
With all of the technical problems, the vast majority of visitors to healthcare.gov did not enroll in ObamaCare during the first week. Less than 1 percent of the people who attempted to enroll reportedly completed the enrollment.
However unnamed administration officials told the Associated Press that about 476,000 health insurance applications have been filed through new “Obamacare” exchanges.
According to one estimate, there was an 88% drop in traffic after weeks one and two. However Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters challenged the idea that traffic had dipped as much as the analysis suggested.
I logged on today and got the home page in about 4 seconds, not great, but totally acceptable. I navigated on to “Kansas” and it popped up almost instantly.
Second question, what’s the chance of this program filling up with the customer demographic they need to make it successful? Rather than just people with pre-existing conditions.
I’d love to see the program work. At one point – a decade ago – it would have been a great option for me. Health care in our country needs a solution, I’m just not certain this is the fix.