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Healthcare.gov: Unrealistic Technology Expectations

Gee, ya think?

The fiasco with the $600 million federal health insurance website wasn’t all bureaucratic. Forcing slow and disparate databases run by government and insurance companies to work together in real time—and then launching the service all at once—would have challenged even technology wunderkinds.

In particular, the project was doomed by a relatively late decision that required applicants to open an account and let the site verify their identity, residence, and income before they could browse for insurance. That meant the site would have to interface in real-time with databases maintained by the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies.

Like so much of the popular science press, though, they’re still being too generous in their assessment.  The decisions that led to these problems were bureaucratic, and the article closes on a wholly unwarranted optimistic note for the administration.

Posted in Health Care, SciTech.

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