So they’re telling people that if they’re having problems signing on to healthcare.gov to search for plans or to apply for insurance, they can always call that 800 number to speak to a representative who can take down your information for you. You can apply by phone or by snail mail. In other words, we’ve got options if the internet isn’t doing it for us.
But it turns out, all that information has to be entered into the same web portal that you’d have to otherwise do yourself. These reps have to connect to the same website as the rest of us, and they’re not having any better of a time doing so. Politico reported:
With the supposedly state-of-the-art $600 million HealthCare.gov portal malfunctioning, President Barack Obama is urging Americans to go ahead and try to get health coverage by mailing in a paper application, calling the helpline or seeking help from one of the trained “assisters.”
But the truth is those applications — on paper or by phone — have to get entered into the same lousy website that is causing the problems in the first place. And the people processing the paper and calls don’t have any cyber secret passage to duck around that. They too have to deal with all the frustrations of HealthCare.gov — full-time.
What an absolute disaster. And to think all this trouble cost $600 million. Actually, some are estimating the cost of the rollout to be around $1 billion. Who in their right mind would pay that much for such shoddy workmanship? (Answer: no one. But we’re not talking about people in their right mind, are we?)
It turns out that out of the 16 companies that bid for the contract, the Department of Health and Human Services only considered CGI Federal’s, who went on to build this travesty of a website. They didn’t even look at anyone else’s bid. They saw CGI Federal and gave them the job.
And then we find out that one of the executives at CGI Federal was one of Michelle Obama’s classmates at Princeton. Is this all a random coincidence? Maybe. But not likely. Why else would they just give CGI the green light without checking the other bids?
The Onion isn’t far off in their satirical view of things. They had an article parodying the Obamacare website debacle, in which they “report” that the Obama administration has released a “new and improved” Obamacare program, which will be released on 35 floppy disks. They go on to “quote” Obama:
“Just fire up MS-DOS, enter ‘A:\>dir *.exe’ into the command line, and then follow the instructions to install the Obamacare batch files—it should only take four or five hours at the most. You can press F1 for help if you run into any problems. And be sure your monitor’s screen resolution is at 320 x 200 or it might not display properly.”
You can read the rest here. It’s actually not far from reality.