ObamaCare website glitches and a president on the defensive: Three weeks ago, and to considerable fanfare, US President Barack Obama launched Healthcare.gov, the website at the heart of his administration's flagship domestic policy, the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. ObamaCare. The rollout has gone anything but smoothly. Frequent outages and problems with the site's user authentication system have provided Obama's political opponents — recently wounded by their defeat over the national debt ceiling limit — with a new angle of attack.
After the president boldly compared the insurance exchange website to the iPhone and Amazon.com, generational tech success stories, the thing has proved an embarrassment. What were brushed off as "glitches" stemming from enthusiastic demand have been upgraded to "unacceptable ... technical problems" and they have marred site, Obama's management of the brand, and left consumers who want to use the service out in the cold.
The website contains a staggering 500 million lines of code. That is five times more than a large bank's computer system. This certainly goes some way to explaining why Heathcare.gov is beset with problems.
Obama has said a team of the "best and brightest" will be brought in fix the problems. But the best and brightest are in Silicon Valley creating value instead of wasting it.
Meanwhile, the project's costs have ballooned and its architect, Canadian firm GCI, is growing fat from yet another government contract. Perhaps the president should hand the lemon to those who've proven they can build complex information tools, like the NSA.