#Obamacare: site code needs a “minor rewrite”

**Posted by Phineas

"Obamacare has arrived"
“Obamacare has arrived”

Somehow, I think untangling a warehouse full of tangled fishing line would be easier. According to that noted radical conservative, Tea Party rag The New York Times, there’s no way the Obamacare web site’s problems will be fixed by November 1st:

From the sluggish websites to garbled enrollment information, the flaws require the extensive rewriting of code: “One specialist said that as many as five million lines of software code may need to be rewritten before the Web site runs properly,” the Times reports — that’s out of a total of approximately 500 million lines of code, according to another expert. 

And these are just the problems they know about. It’s a sure bet that there are other giant bugs lurking in the code, waiting to be revealed by the fixes — or created by them. (1)

Fixing the problems may not be as simple as rewriting millions of lines of code; don’t forget, a great deal of the problem lies with the political decision to make people register for the site, create an account, and be verified in order to determine their subsidy eligibility before they’re allowed to browse the available policies. This was done to “protect” people from seeing the true, skyrocketing costs of coverage, so they wouldn’t run screaming at the start. (But, they’re screaming now…) Fixing the code probably requires undoing that, but good luck getting the White House and HHS to sign off on it.

I hope the programmers have plenty of coffee on hand.

via JWF

(1) Ever done a major plumbing renovation for a house? Installing new pipe to fix one leak seems to almost always reveals weaknesses elsewhere.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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