Crashed in Testing Days Before Launch (White House Went Ahead Anyway!)

October 22, 2013

Unbelievable. According to the Washington Post, officials and the IT contractors tested just days before the site was set to launch. The test failed (after just a few hundred people logged on), and yet the government decided to proceed anyway.

From Yid With Lid

“In another indication of the Obama Administration’s Obamacare or Bust attitude, the Washington Post is reporting that day’s before the exchange marketplace website opened, officials and tech contractors, tested the site to see if it could handle the expected tens of thousands of consumers who will be visiting the site.” 

It crashed after a simulation in which just a few hundred people tried to log on simultaneously. 

Despite the failed test, federal health officials plowed ahead.

“Shortly after midnight on October 1st, the day the site went live, about 2,000 consumers tried to complete the first step toward registering for the site causing the site to freeze.

“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency in charge of running the health insurance exchange in 36 states, invited about 10 insurers to give advice and help test the Web site.”

About a month before the exchange opened, this testing group urged agency officials not to launch it nationwide because it was still riddled with problems, according to an insurance IT executive who was close to the rollout.

“We discussed . . . is there a way to do a pilot — by state, by geographic region?” the executive said.

It was clear at the time, the executive said, that the CMS was still dealing with the way the exchange handled enrollment, federal subsidies and the security of consumers’ personal information, such as income. 

One key problem, according to a person close to the project, was that the agency assumed the role of managing the 55 contractors involved and had not ensured that all the pieces were working together.

Some key testing of the system did not take place until the week before launch, according to this person. As late as Sept. 26, there had been no tests to determine whether a consumer could complete the process from beginning to end: create an account, determine eligibility for federal subsidies and sign up for a health insurance plan, according to two sources familiar with the project.

People working on the project knew that Oct. 1 was set in stone as a launch date. “We named it the tyranny of the October 1 date,” said a person close to the project.

“ was a disaster before it went live but it went live anyway, making the President’s declaration of yesterday:

“No one is madder about the Web site than I am, which means it’s going to get fixed,” he added.

“Seem a bit disingenuous.”