If it were only a matter of heavier-than-expected traffic, the problems would be easy to resolve. But the site is asked to accomplish many complicated functions, and the early word from what seem to be disinterested parties is that it simply doesn't function very well. Things will undoubtedly get better (they have already), though "if Apple launched a major new product that functioned as badly as Obamacare's online insurance marketplace, the tech world would be calling for [CEO] Tim Cook's head," writes Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas in the Washington Post. By the way, why isn't there any kind of logo for the new health care law? Another flaw. Here's more:
IT consultant Robert Moss, who has helped both states and insurance companies prepare for the launch, explains the issues for the Post:
These are large IT projects being conducted by government agencies, by large contractors with large teams. There are a lot of layers of project management, of requirements, design, coding. It looks very different than your small start-up where you've got 10 people in the room working closely together and rapidly developing things. Even though in this type of setting the development teams are using what you might call agile methods, there's still a huge layer of requirements and review and sign-off. There's lots of policy decisions that have to be made that shape every step of the way. There's much more overhead involved in this sort of thing than if you're trying to have a small set of people developing the Web site. The [bottom] layer is the Affordable Care Act, which laid out the parameters. Then on top of that are all the regulations that HHS issued over the course of two years. Then it goes to contractors who have to build it. If you look at the contract, there's usually a prime contractor and subcontractors. And I think that just adds to the complexity and adds to the number of parties involved. The state governments had to comply with CMS mandates and then work with their contractors. So it's a pretty complicated structure of trying to roll out.