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Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:11 AM

Look, I know a lot of people don't want to discuss the problems of the ACA

but ignoring those problems and going with the line "it's just the website", is silly.

It's an important issue.

I strongly support the ACA and I fervently hope that the problems plaguing it will get ironed out, but I'm concerned. Yeah, concerned, so go ahead label me as a "concern troll". That won't change a thing.

this morning I heard an interview with an Alaskan woman who is one of 36 people in Alaska who have signed up for insurance via the government website. she's a former web designer. It was an interesting interview. She was pleasantly surprised by the prices but she had a hell of a time using the website.

<snip>

Imler's degree is in computer programming, and she's even built a few websites. She thinks that experience helped her persevere through the trouble spots on HealthCare.gov.

"You get to a point where you finally get to pick what health insurance you want and all the buttons have to be double-clicked. If you don't know that or try that, it doesn't go anywhere. It just sits there," says Imler. "This website is so not user-friendly. You can't figure out what they're trying to get you to do, unless you accidentally get there."

About two hours after she started, she landed on a screen that told her she had successfully enrolled. She was pleasantly surprised by the price. Imler qualified for subsidies and chose a mid-level plan that will cost her $110 a month.

"The website sucks. I'm not going to lie," she says, "But the idea that I might be able to afford health insurance, is huge to me. It will be a huge burden off my family."

<snip>

http://www.ideastream.org/news/npr/243748519

I think there's a window within which the administration pretty much MUST get the website functioning fairly smoothly. Despite the "oh, it's just the website" perspective, it's VITAL that the website work well. It's the chief point of access for people.

John Cassidy of the New Yorker wrote an interesting and thoughtful piece yesterday:

<snip>

In short, it’s a mess—a fact some voices normally supportive of Obama are acknowledging. In a cover story for Business Week entitled “How the iPod President Crashed,” the columnist and blogger Ezra Klein argued that “the disastrous launch of healthcare.gov…has dealt a devastating blow to Obama’s vision” of healthcare transformed, and to the broader notion of activist government. Like Medicare Part D, Klein noted, the A.C.A. could “emerge from a troubled launch to become a wildly successful program. But reviving the idea that government can do big things right will be harder.”

<snip>

Perhaps the most damaging charge against Obama is that he didn’t express more interest in the building and testing of healthcare.gov, which, once so many Republican-run states declined to run their own sites, was always going to be the public face of an enormous new government program bearing his name. When well-run corporations make “bet the company” investments on a new product or acquisition, their C.E.O. is usually there to supervise and lead. Even if the C.E.O. stays at HQ, he or she will demand daily briefings and updates. For the Obama Administration, rolling out the A.C.A. was the political equivalent of a bet-the-company investment. But, as far as we can tell, making sure the new Web site was constructed in time and worked properly was, for the most part, left to a largely anonymous, and doubtless overworked, bureaucrat at the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services, Henry Chao.

<snip>

The true test of the A.C.A. will come when healthcare.gov and the state-run Web sites are up and running properly. As I’ve said previously, I think the new exchanges, and particularly the generous new subsidies that are available on them, will eventually prove very popular, and Obamacare be a success on its own terms: i.e., it will substantially reduce the number of uninsured.

<snip>

The key to success is to get all the different parts of the A.C.A. working together: the mandates, the exchanges, and the new regulations for insurers. So far, of course, this is precisely what hasn’t happened. The employer mandate has been put back; the national exchange has proved a dud, and its failings are affecting some of the state exchanges, which need to get information from the federal government; the new regulations, which set minimum standards for all insurance policies, are causing some sticker shock. And with the reform stalled, so is the big promotional campaign that was supposed to persuade young people to sign up.

Obviously, much depends on the efforts of Zients and the team of whizzes he has recruited for his “tech surge.” If they can get healthcare.gov working properly on the timetable they have laid down, this will probably prove to be a crisis that Obama can rebound from—something like the budget crisis of 2011. The number of people enrolled on the exchanges will rise sharply, reporters will find some people who are happy with their new policies, and the news cycle will move on. If, however, the technical problems persist into December and the new year, the A.C.A. saga will take on some aspects of the scandals that did so much damage to previous two-term presidents. There will be more congressional hearings and damaging news stories; the internal recriminations will begin; and Obama’s approval rating will continue to slide.

<snip>

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/11/the-politics-of-obama-and-obamacare.html

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Reply Look, I know a lot of people don't want to discuss the problems of the ACA (Original post)
cali Nov 2013 OP
JoePhilly Nov 2013 #1
IdaBriggs Nov 2013 #2
cali Nov 2013 #6
IdaBriggs Nov 2013 #11
JoePhilly Nov 2013 #13
IdaBriggs Nov 2013 #21
PasadenaTrudy Nov 2013 #25
cali Nov 2013 #3
JoePhilly Nov 2013 #18
cali Nov 2013 #27
sabrina 1 Nov 2013 #82
alc Nov 2013 #43
JoePhilly Nov 2013 #52
tridim Nov 2013 #4
cali Nov 2013 #8
tridim Nov 2013 #16
cali Nov 2013 #41
tridim Nov 2013 #53
IdaBriggs Nov 2013 #14
Capt. Obvious Nov 2013 #19
IdaBriggs Nov 2013 #34
tridim Nov 2013 #20
IdaBriggs Nov 2013 #37
tridim Nov 2013 #48
IdaBriggs Nov 2013 #66
seveneyes Nov 2013 #40
tridim Nov 2013 #44
seveneyes Nov 2013 #47
tridim Nov 2013 #49
tridim Nov 2013 #28
IdaBriggs Nov 2013 #42
Capt. Obvious Nov 2013 #5
virgogal Nov 2013 #9
Capt. Obvious Nov 2013 #12
stevenleser Nov 2013 #22
virgogal Nov 2013 #24
Capt. Obvious Nov 2013 #35
Blue_In_AK Nov 2013 #78
pnwmom Nov 2013 #86
Capt. Obvious Nov 2013 #87
scheming daemons Nov 2013 #30
uponit7771 Nov 2013 #38
Capt. Obvious Nov 2013 #45
Yo_Mama Nov 2013 #70
Scuba Nov 2013 #7
cali Nov 2013 #10
B2G Nov 2013 #51
stevenleser Nov 2013 #15
KittyWampus Nov 2013 #17
cali Nov 2013 #32
Dawgs Nov 2013 #23
scheming daemons Nov 2013 #26
cali Nov 2013 #33
scheming daemons Nov 2013 #39
BlueStreak Nov 2013 #29
Demo_Chris Nov 2013 #31
uponit7771 Nov 2013 #54
B2G Nov 2013 #55
uponit7771 Nov 2013 #60
B2G Nov 2013 #62
uponit7771 Nov 2013 #64
B2G Nov 2013 #68
uponit7771 Nov 2013 #69
B2G Nov 2013 #71
uponit7771 Nov 2013 #72
B2G Nov 2013 #74
uponit7771 Nov 2013 #76
B2G Nov 2013 #77
uponit7771 Nov 2013 #79
B2G Nov 2013 #80
uponit7771 Nov 2013 #81
B2G Nov 2013 #85
Demo_Chris Nov 2013 #58
uponit7771 Nov 2013 #61
Puzzledtraveller Nov 2013 #65
HereSince1628 Nov 2013 #36
bluestate10 Nov 2013 #46
Puzzledtraveller Nov 2013 #56
rickford66 Nov 2013 #50
L0oniX Nov 2013 #57
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2013 #59
cali Nov 2013 #63
Pretzel_Warrior Nov 2013 #67
cali Nov 2013 #73
Pretzel_Warrior Nov 2013 #75
cali Nov 2013 #90
Boudica the Lyoness Nov 2013 #83
pnwmom Nov 2013 #84
cali Nov 2013 #89
AceWheeler Nov 2013 #88
cali Nov 2013 #91

Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:20 AM

1. Most of the pundits talking about how a web site works know nothing of how they

work, or how they are developed.

As a simple example, the complaining that the testing schedules were too short is hilarious. That complaint is true for EVERY software roll-out. And its especially true when the launch date is fixed. It always takes longer to write the code than anyone predicts, and so the test schedule gets compressed.

Always.

The Web site had to go live on Oct 1st. If he did not, the freak out would be 1000 times worse.

As for the delays. Please. For years, those who get insurance through their company got about 3 weeks to compare plans and select. 3 weeks. The ACA is giving people almost 6 MONTHS to compare and select a plan.

The media hyperventilates because that is how you get eyeballs to your site. OMG! Its a disaster!!!

As soon as the site works, the media will move on to the next topic of outrage.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:23 AM

2. Some of the website stuff is an absolute embarrassment.

And I know how websites are developed.

My personal favorite - hit the SUBMIT button - and nothing happens. I hit it three times, and ended up with three emails all saying "You have a message." (I wouldn't have hit it three times if there had been a little message saying "Thank you for submitting your information - you will be contacted shortly" - and coding that would have taken five minutes, if I stopped for a potty break.)

Oh, did I mention the email didn't actually contain a link that took me anywhere?

I posted about it here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023983177

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:25 AM

6. that's what this woman said in the interview I heard on NPR this a.m.

She also talked about the problems with the submit button.

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Response to cali (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:30 AM

11. Woo hoo! I beat out NPR - lol!

It is such a silly thing to have to complain about because it is such an EASY fix. I support the whole thing, but some of this should have been fixed already.

And if you need to "wait until the databases are updated" then just TELL PEOPLE THAT -- "Please come back in an hour for your results" would have been a perfectly acceptable answer.

It is all about managing my expectations. Getting my brother-in-law health insurance is a big deal to us - we can wait a few hours if necessary.



I used the "live chat help" and got a little testy at one point. "Thank you for your feedback" they said. "THIS ISN'T FEEDBACK!" I replied. "I AM LOOKING FOR THE LINK! WHERE IS IT?"



Sigh.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:32 AM

13. Then you know the "multiple submit" problem is a common one.

Lots of sites have it. You can end up submitting multiple orders, or making multiple on-line fund transfers. Most sites include a warning right on the UI telling you to be patient and NOT hit submit multiple time.

I'm not excusing their mess. I'm simply not surprised by it AND I know most of it isn't very tough to fix. Particularly now that they have thousands of people pounding on it. You shake out bugs much faster with a large, active, user base.

Lastly, most development teams undervalue human factors and usability testing and reviews. They are always sure that they know the users well enough, because after all, developers are people too. So clearly, a design that they like will be perfect for regular people. Rarely true, but most developers believe they know better than UI designers.


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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:37 AM

21. "Most sites include a warning right on the UI telling you to be patient -- " EXACTLY.

And this one doesn't have that. Or even the "thank you for submitting" message.

I use it as one easy example that should have been fixed on day 2.

Don't even get me started on the "directions for creating an account" stuff.

The word is AND not OR as in, "you need an uppercase letter AND a lowercase letter AND a symbol from this list."

Not OR. How many seconds would it have taken to fix those directions already?

Shaking my head.

BUT (and I will repeat this endlessly) the problems *will* be fixed, and this is better than the "Shut Up & Die" alternative.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:41 AM

25. Glad it's not me

I tried ordering some stuff from a site last week, Bath & Body Works, entered all my shipping and CC info, hit submit - - nothing. No spinning beach ball ( Mac ), no refresh, nothing! Thought it was on my end. Tried it thru PayPal...same thing. I ended up ordering almost the same stuff from Amazon in the end. Grrr.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:24 AM

3. The administration has been clear that there are significant problems

with the website. I'm not saying it didn't have to live, but there were obviously a lot of problems in its development and in oversight.

And there is a limited amount of time to get it working properly. Perceptions are a big deal in politics. Pretending they aren't is absurd.

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Response to cali (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:35 AM

18. Perceptions also change ... I remember when the war in Syria was going to destroy Obama's

legacy.

You recall that?

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:42 AM

27. yes, perceptions change and hopefully this one will

but why do you have such an animus toward discussing this? Why do you think silence here is better than discussion of these issues?

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:09 PM

82. What changed that was not perception. It was facts that emerged showing

that had the US and NATO gone there they would have been supporting Al Queda terrorists. Once that became clear, even our closest war supporting ally, the UK, refused to get involved being that they are still trying to extricate themselves from the lies they told their people about Iraq. Their constituents wanted no more fake 'wars'.

Iow, facts, not perceptions, are what change things.

The best way to fix something that is broken is to admit it and then fire those who have messed up and hire reputable people to do the job right.



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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:01 AM

43. that's just not true

It always takes longer to write the code than anyone predicts, and so the test schedule gets compressed.


I write websites for small non-profits in my spare time (CMS-based and from scratch). I also work for a fortune 100 company on many global sites with traffic peaks of over 1 million users/day (many different sites for different brands, with technologies including CMS-based, java, dotnet, and php).

Many times things go exactly as planned (schedule, scope, budget) on a 12+ month project (12+ is the web dev, done after 6-12 months of site design). Other times the schedule, scope, or budget are modified. But we ALWAYS pass a complete set of user acceptance tests.

Acceptance criteria is specified before the project starts and test are run by a combination of the development team (load tests), the security/privacy team (which is completely separate from the dev team), and a team created by the business stakeholders (functionality, usability). Some of the criteria is non-negotiable (not meeting load criteria, or security issues) and a failure means we don't release on schedule. Other tests may fail but not result in delay (misaligned elements, occasional functionality errors with a useful message)

When there is a multi-million dollar campaign associated with the launch (e.g. a non-negotiable release date) we put the best project managers on it from the start and they get ahead of any problems early. They increase budget (dev, qa, equipment), decrease scope, pay for additional contractors working for our partners (e.g. if we need to interface with a 3rd party service that's having issues). We may change the business test criteria and usability test cycle length, but never the load or security criteria and we never shorten the time required for load and security tests.

Yes, some sites do have problems after release. But they've always had a very thorough test and the problems do not take 2 months to fix. And I am talking about sites with heavy database needs, integration with many legacy systems and 3rd party services - not simple static marketing sites.

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Response to alc (Reply #43)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:29 AM

52. Very few projects run the way you describe. Ideally, most would ...

but the reality is that most do not.

The problem of large technology / software projects over running budgets, schedules and scope is so pervasive, resolving that problem is a multi billion dollar business all by itself. I know because the company I work for makes a ton of money repairing these broken systems.

The problem with your 2nd paragraph is that for the ACA roll out, schedule, scope, and budget could not be modified. Those were all fixed. It had to go live on Oct 1st. It had to enable people to enroll. And there was not going to be any extra money provided by congress (GOP made sure of that).

Your 3rd paragraph sounds like something I might write in describing for a company what they did wrong. While it does happen at times, rarely do the QA or test groups have the pull to stop the ship or change project directions in a significant way. Ironically, the business stakeholders often make things worse because they can't / won't prioritize their requirements sufficiently. Everything is a top priority, must have, feature. Frequently, individual developers end up making their own decisions about which features are the most important. Development team leads decide that their components are the heart of the system, more important than anything else. A good usability design team can help mitigate lots of this, but those teams are rare, and often overlooked.

In your 3rd paragraph, you indicate that if certain criteria are not met ... "we don't release on schedule". That was never going to happen here. There was never going to be a slip in this schedule. The fire storm over moving the go live date would have been far worse than anything we're seeing now. The decision to go live was made because doing that would be far less disastrous than slipping the go live date.

Finally, with regard to error messages, one of the other realities is that developers rarely have a full understanding of the potential error situations, what causes them, and how a user should respond to them in various situations. At least not at the point of "go live". That's why most systems include a rather sad set of error messages ("please try again later") during the first few releases. Its only after the error situations meet the real world that support engineers identify the complete universe of situations that cause them and come to know what responses will be most effective.

Bottom line ... if this wasn't a common problem, the company I work for, and dozens of others who work in this same space, wouldn't be making a fortune dealing with this issue every day.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:24 AM

4. Have you ever purchased a complex service that didn't take several DAYS to process?

I haven't. And no, auto insurance isn't complex.

Two hours is nothing when the end-product is inexpensive, legitimate health insurance for millions of formerly uninsured people.

But keep complaining Cali, you're very skilled at it.

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Response to tridim (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:28 AM

8. I'm not complaining, but keep being an apologist who can't analyze anything

because they refuse to admit that this administration could do anything but a stellar job on everything under the sun.

people like you are trying to create an environment here at DU where even the most mild and sympathetic criticism is repudiated as being a bad, bad thing to do.

It won't work, dear.

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Response to cali (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:34 AM

16. Have you ever purchased a complex service that didn't take several DAYS to process?

Since you ignored my direct question on your first try, I'll give you another chance to answer.

Your example purchased a complex service in two HOURS, and both you and her are doing nothing but complain about it. It's pathetic.

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Response to tridim (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:57 AM

41. What's pathetic, tri, is your apologist nonsense about everything

It makes discussion with you on anything pointless.

As for your question, I didn't answer it because I don't think it's clear. What is an example of "a complex service that takes several days to process"? What do you mean when you use the word "process"?

Once again, this isn't about complaining. It's not about slagging the President or the administration. It's about political realities and how the public perception of the ACA is important.

In any case, I find you so _ _ _ _ and so _ _ _ _ _ _ that it's not worth attempting to discuss anything with you. That you take offense to my op which is respectful and a topic that is one that is front page news, says it all.

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Response to cali (Reply #41)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:31 AM

53. Not offended, I just asked a question.

Process means the time it takes to purchase a service from start to finish. Apparently the exchange can do it in about two hours, which beats the BCBS signup process by about three days.

As much as I hate BCBS I have never complained as they take the time to process my information.

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Response to tridim (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:33 AM

14. This post is unfair and insulting to Cali.

I am complaining, too.

That doesn't mean I don't recognize the value of the service, but I can still complain when something that I know *as a computer professional* isn't being done CORRECTLY.

We haven't always been at war with East Asia, and the best way to FIX a problem is to first IDENTIFY IT.

Then, next time, don't make the same mistakes. (And yes, I expect we will have other "large government run websites" happening someday in the future.)

But personally insulting other DUers over it = BAD FORM.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:36 AM

19. Jury let it stand 2-4

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #19)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:48 AM

34. Juries on DU are odd. I didn't even alert.

I stand by my statement that the poster is being personally insulting.

Sometimes juries let that stand, and sometimes they don't. Apparently in this case, they did.

In a perfect world, the poster would simply edit the insulting portion out, and help keep DU a nice place.

The world is NOT a perfect place.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:36 AM

20. Have you ever purchased a complex service in two HOURS? nt

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Response to tridim (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:50 AM

37. The question isn't about purchasing a complex service, but basic

website development.

If something is going to take a few hours (because of updating the databases, etc.) then you give the users a message --

"Thank you for submitting your information. Please come back in 24 hours for the results."

Problem solved.

(In this case, the problem is MANAGING YOUR CUSTOMER'S EXPECTATIONS - the website should be telling them what to expect, instead of everyone else having to figure it out.)

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #37)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:20 AM

48. Do you understand that the bulk of the website is back-end stuff that we will never see?

The MSM certainly doesn't know or care. It is NEVER reported. The site is a complete marketplace for third party insurance companies, not just a store-front selling a simple service.

I tried the website (back when it was supposedly not working at all) and help is available at every step. The flow of the front-end site is perfectly logical and simple.

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Response to tridim (Reply #48)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 11:34 AM

66. No way! Back end stuff on a website being IMPORTANT?



I have reported my experience. http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023983177 There is some stuff that is just plain EMBARRASSING.

As for the "help all along the way" -- here are three exchanges I recorded when trying to use the "chat" feature --

10:35:22 am: THEM
Thank you for your interest in the Marketplace and for sharing your feedback. We apologize for any technical difficulties you may be experiencing as you use HealthCare.gov. We know this can be frustrating, and we're working around the clock to improve HealthCare.gov and to make sure your experience with it is a positive one.

I will make a note of your feedback. In the meantime, you can still complete an application right now by selecting the following link to download a paper application:
http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/publications-and-articles/publications-and-articles.html. Choose the application that best fits your needs under "Marketplace Consumer Application."

You may also call the Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596 for help with completing an application or to request a paper application by mail.

10:35:39 am: ME
But it keeps saying I have to have "different answers for the security questions" (even though I picked three different questions).

10:36:17 am: ME
Should I just give up on the website?

10:37:38 am: THEM
You can contact the Experian Help Desk at (1-866-578-5409) they are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. If Experian is closed, you may continue with the application.

10:38:29 am: ME
It doesn't seem like it is even creating the account? (Am I messing something up?) The error message says

"Please note that two or more answers to the security questions cannot be the same. You must provide distinct answers to the chosen security questions.

Please wait a few moments and try again."

10:39:29 am: THEM
You will need to contact Experian with this issue.


FYI, Experience had no clue.

And here is one where I got a little testy.

1:49:19 pm: ME
Okay, I logged out and logged back in - how do I get back to finish my application?
1:49:32 pm: THEM
I will make a note of your feedback. In the meantime, you can still complete an application right now by selecting the following link to download a paper application:
http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/publications-and-articles/publications-and-articles.html
Choose the application that best fits your needs under "Marketplace Consumer Application."
1:50:01 pm: ME
This isn't FEEDBACK - am I doing something wrong?
1:50:39 pm: THEM
After you log into your account, there should be a link to the application. <== ME: DUH! THERE WAS NO LINK WHICH WAS WHY I WAS LOOKING FOR HELP.


After waiting an hour, the "link" magically appeared, and I got further along, which is when THIS problem started....

2:11:26 pm: ME
I have received an email "You have a notice available about your Marketplace eligibility." WHERE do I access that message?
2:13:05 pm: THEM
There should be a link that you can click into. <== ME: DUH!!!
2:14:11 pm: ME
It takes me to a login page. I login, and then it takes me to a page that shows the message I shared. There are two buttons -- "My Applications & Coverage" and "My Profile" neither of which is taking me anywhere that shows what the results are?
2:16:43 pm: THEM
OK. Becauase so many people are using the website at once. It is causing all sorts of technical issues. Our techs are working to get it to hold a higher user volume so things can run more smoothly. I understand it is frustrating. If you would like, you can contact the Marketplace and they can put up your application nd view you eligibility results. They can also see if there is an issue if there is one.
2:17:09 pm: ME
Who do I contact to see the results?
2:17:26 pm: THEM
They are available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach us toll free at 1-800-318-2596. Hearing impaired callers using TTY technology can reach us at 1-855-889-4325


And let's not start on the "how to set up an account directions" which are using the word OR instead of the word AND (which is why most people are probably having things blow up).

It should be working better. Messages to either wait or thank someone for submitting information are no brainers. Missing links are stupid. And when your tech support folk are losing track of what the problem is and sending you off the site for answers, in a barely perfect world --

Nevermind. Sigh. Like I said, some of it is just an embarrassment to my profession.

But it will get fixed - but only if people quit pretending there isn't a problem.

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Response to tridim (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:53 AM

40. Yes

There are very legitimate complaints about the front end to the ACA. This is one of them. It's getting better but it's not there yet. The back end software is what is complex and there is no good excuse for the front end to to have sucked so badly.

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Response to seveneyes (Reply #40)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:07 AM

44. The back-end, marketplace interface is probably more complex than any of us know.

It boggles my web developer mind just thinking about it.

What complex service did you have processed in less than two hours?

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Response to tridim (Reply #44)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:13 AM

47. Entirely new health insurance policy for a family

From scratch, 15 minutes on the phone. Non-ACA. It happens sometimes.

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Response to seveneyes (Reply #47)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:23 AM

49. Which company?

BCBS takes about three days to process a new app.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:43 AM

28. Sorry you feel that way. The jury didn't. nt

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Response to tridim (Reply #28)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:58 AM

42. "But keep complaining Cali, you're very skilled at it." is insulting.

I didn't alert. Juries on DU are all over the map (and I've been on a bunch) so while someone may have wanted to "go lightly on you" due to the high cost of hiding, at least a third of the jury found your behavior inappropriate.

I wish you would clean it up - your post was NOT insulting until you made a PERSONAL INSULT (implying that Cali is just a "non-stop skilled complainer" instead of someone with a legitimate issue).

But if you want to be seen that way, it is a free message board. Personally, I think it makes YOU look bad (and not Cali).

My opinion. Your mileage may vary.

P.S. If you remove the personal insults, I will edit my posts to make them go away, too. Sometimes we all say things we don't mean, and the joy of the "edit" feature is we can back off when we aren't saying things we mean - like insulting people personally when we disagree with them.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:24 AM

5. I just find the hoopla over the ACA to be so strange

We've had Romneycare for years here.

Granted, we didn't have saboteurs taking lead pipes to the law and I'm guessing, much less uninsured people at the time.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:29 AM

9. My doctor doesn't accept Romneycare.

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Response to virgogal (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:31 AM

12. So your doctor doesn't accept private insurance?

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:38 AM

22. This is my same response to Repugs who say "Democrats will force doctors to accept Obamacare"

wtf?

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:41 AM

24. Haven't a clue-----I'm on Medicare but she told my daughter,who was jobless

for 18 months, that she didn't accept CommonwealthCare.(I thought that was RomneyCare).

I once was referred to an M.D. who didn't take accept Medicare.

It appears that they have right of refusal.

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Response to virgogal (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:49 AM

35. Some doctors don't accept Medicare or Medicaid (Masshealth)

Never heard of them rejecting Commonwealth Care.

They must have lower reimbursements? I'm not versed in C-Care at all.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #35)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:05 PM

78. Most primary care doctors in Anchorage don't accept new Medicare patients.

The situation was so dire that finally a few doctors and nurse practitioners set up a clinic at our largest hospital strictly for Medicare patients. The other provider is our neighborhood health center. Other than that, Medicare doctors are hard to find. I had to give up my orthopedist.

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Response to virgogal (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:27 PM

86. Are you sure she wasn't talking about whatever MA calls Medicaid?

If she didn't take Romneycare she'd be excluding the vast majority of potential patients.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #86)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:37 PM

87. Commonwealth Care is different from Masshealth (Medicaid)

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Response to virgogal (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:46 AM

30. not possible. that would mean your doc doesn't accept private insurance

There is no such policy as "romneycare". To your doctor, it would look like any other private insurance plan.

For your doctor to not accept "romneycare" means that he doesn't accept any insurance at all and only deals in cash.

Because a plan through romneycare looks exactly like a plan through an employer to the doctor.

I call bullshit.

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Response to scheming daemons (Reply #30)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:50 AM

38. +1

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Response to scheming daemons (Reply #30)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:10 AM

45. She explains above

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Response to scheming daemons (Reply #30)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 12:45 PM

70. Doctors commonly take a range of private insurance plans, but not all

It is just about never all or nothing for private insurance plans.

Private insurance plans that require doctors to accept lower reimbursements are often not accepted.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:26 AM

7. "... It's the chief point of access for people." True, but there are alternatives ....

... which need to be promoted.

One can call the 800-number (1.800.318.2196) and enroll by phone.

For info to enroll in ACA over phone, by mail, or in person visit https://LocalHelp.Healthcare.gov/

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Response to Scuba (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:30 AM

10. I think that's a very good point

Maybe the admin is promoting that through advertisements/psas?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:29 AM

51. Sure, you can apply over the phone, but

They have to enter the data somewhere to process it. Do they enter it into the broken system? Has anyone here successfully enrolled via phone or paper form yet?

I asked the other day and got no response. My sister has been waiting a month for plan info after applying by phone.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:33 AM

15. Not sure why it seems that way. Most folks acknowledge the shortcomings and want to work on those.

The law is a good first step but there are many ways it can be improved.

As soon as the GOP pivots from doing nothing but trying to kill it to actually working with us to try to improve it, that process will begin. GOP politicos are now trying to figure out how soon they can do that without losing face.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:35 AM

17. you said 'go ahead and label you "concern troll"' ….. Okay Cali, you're a concern troll.

You seem to have amnesia… the Democrats tried to fix some issues with the ACA but were blocked in Congress.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:46 AM

32. that's fine. you know what I think of you.

Much more... interesting than "concern troll, kiitty.

And yes, Congress is part of the problem but it sure as hell isn't all of it.

Ever hear the phrase "the buck stops here"? Fortunately the President has and isn't using the lame approach of shirking responsibility and blaming everything and everyone else- an approach you're so devoted to.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:40 AM

23. Forget "concern troll". I prefer attention getter. n/t

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:42 AM

26. the site is better now than it was two weeks ago

I was now able to create an account.

It is getting better rapidly, and by the end of the year, the rollout fiasco will be ancient history.

The ACA is monumental. In the grand scheme of things, nobody will remember how the first month or two went badly.

It is getting fixed fast. Try it now and the experience is much better than it was just two weeks ago.

6 months from now, none of the current shitstorm will matter. It will be in the distance past, based on today's attention span by the public.

Especially since the gop will likely shutdown the govt again in january.

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Response to scheming daemons (Reply #26)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:47 AM

33. I'm glad to hear that. I hope you're right

I don't think the goopers will shutdown the gov't in Jan.

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Response to cali (Reply #33)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:51 AM

39. and I hope you're right

But I don't underestimate the ability of the ted cruzes of the world to do something monumentally stupid again.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:45 AM

29. I heard the NPR interview

It was nice to actually hear something that wasn't just trying to bash the program. But we had to listen to 3 minutes of bashing before they got to the 10 seconds that said this woman now has a good policy that covers her pre-existing condition and her net cost is under $200 a month.

Most of the complaints about the website were about things that have already been fixed altogether or at least significantly improved. The complaints mostly related to the lady's experience the first week on the site. That was a FREAKING MONTH AGO for Chrissake. With under 30 minutes effort, this reporter could have personally observed that those complaints are mostly not relevant anymore.

I think the report did bring out an important issue that those who are most motivated to get their policies today are the ones with expensive pre-existing conditions. We probably won't see big numbers of healthy people getting on until December (for those who have received cancellation notices) or March (for those who don't have insurance at all and want to avoid the penalty.)

And one more thing, not specifically related to the NPR report ... these "cancellation notices" are mostly not cancellation notices. Most of them are just insurance companies using the ACA as an opportunity to jack up rates. I'll bet that 90% of those :cancellation notices" actually offered to continue insuring the person -- just at a much higher price. And almost none of them mention that they can probably get a better deal at healthcare.gov. This is a predatory practice. If the administration weren't so preoccupied with the ACA roll-out, they ought to be bringing charges against these insurers. But this is a case where the administration has decided it is better to let the industry have their one last free shot at us.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:46 AM

31. Some here are hurling themselves into the same sort of bubble...

 

Usually occupied by tea partiers. It's okay. Reality grinds illusions and delusions equally. Last week the HHS secretary was boasting that the website could handle 17K applications a day. She was boasting of this as if it were a wonder.

And amazingly she was not fired on the spot.

I will leave the reader to consider just how laughably bad that performance is, and how disastrous those numbers are for a MANDATED nationwide roll out.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #31)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:32 AM

54. ...cause big complicated programs with millions of people trying to sabotage it should be a cake...

...walk!?

Come on, lets keep some perspective here

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #54)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:39 AM

55. 'Millions of people trying to sabotage it'?

I think you're the one who needs to get some perspective.

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Response to B2G (Reply #55)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 11:17 AM

60. yes, the gop involves millions of people.. few if any want the program to survive....

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #60)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 11:24 AM

62. What does that have to do with the computer systems?

That was the point of your post, no?

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Response to B2G (Reply #62)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 11:32 AM

64. they under funded the development of the website and the integration.

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #64)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 11:37 AM

68. How so?

They've already spent close to a half a billion dollars. How much did they need?

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Response to B2G (Reply #68)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 12:40 PM

69. By holding back the 20 billiion that was needed for this G8 nationwide effort. Half a billion might

...get you a good planner for this kind of rollout

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #69)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 12:46 PM

71. You have no idea what you're talking about

500 million for a planner? 20 billion for a 3 year project?

It's a good thing you're not in IT.

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Response to B2G (Reply #71)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 12:48 PM

72. I am, and have seen the issues with under funding efforts like this. This is typical under funded

... project and didn't get the money that was requested IINM

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #72)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 12:59 PM

74. Please provide a link showing the budget was 20 billion

and it was slashed. I've seen you post this nonsense repeatedly with no proof.

They couldn't have spent anywhere close to 20 billion in 3 years even if they tried.

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Response to B2G (Reply #74)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:02 PM

76. Would that fact change your mind any? tia

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #76)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:04 PM

77. About you being wrong?

Lol.

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Response to B2G (Reply #77)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:05 PM

79. ... no about, my statement regarding GOPers wanting to sabotage the website? A simple yes

... or no would do

regards

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #79)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:07 PM

80. Oh I'm sure they "want" to

but you've been yelling sabotage for over a month now, and that's simply not the case.

Clear?

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Response to B2G (Reply #80)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:08 PM

81. I have not been yelling anything and I'll take your non answer as a no, that it wouldn't change

... your mind any regardless of how many and what links I post in regards to GOP assholery on Obamacare.

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #81)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:25 PM

85. I'm interested in where you get your 20 billion figure

and have yet to see anything.

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #54)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 11:01 AM

58. No one has sabotaged anything...

 

I suggest YOU need some perspective. Again, seventeen THOUSAND people....

Not per second, which would be respectable but not unexpected given the cost.

Not per minute, which would embarrass any company providing a web based service.

Not per hour, which should result in the termination of everyone involved.

But seventeen thousand per DAY. Or put another way, about what one might expect from a 1970's digital watch.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #58)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 11:17 AM

61. ...the GOP has been gung ho for it?! REALLY?!

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #31)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 11:33 AM

65. +1 Demo

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 09:49 AM

36. Lots of people lack the "intuition" required of "intuitive" programming...

It's difficult for people who don't do programming and maybe have little familiarity with computers at all, let alone having insight from lots of browsing experience to 'intuitively' know what was in the mind of a programmer or team of programmers.

Add to that the very high level of security needs around a government website that demands personal information, and strange things start to happen when different browsers, tracking cookies and maleware ping the government site as it's used.

It's not one problem anymore. It's many problems and it seems they are located at both ends, and possibly, in the middle.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:10 AM

46. You know Cali. I seldom, if ever agree with you. But on this, I do.

The Obama Administration MUST fix EVERY problem associated with implementation of the ACA and do it fast. There is absolutely no reason why a person should have to register to check out plans. A person SHOULD have to register before getting subsidies, that is only logical. But the site could be set up so that when a person puts in salary and number of dependents, the site spits out how much out of pocket a plan will cost them, period.

I hope Single Payer implementation goes well in Vermont. Having implementation go well there will be a big boon for a progressive approach to health care assurance.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #46)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:47 AM

56. Focusing only on the website

provides a false sense of security. There is the belief that once it's up and running 110% all will be well. As you state there are additional concerns and problems but it was like pulling teeth to get the administration to even acknowledge that the website was sub par. There may still be a large number of people negatively effected by the legislation itself and so far there has been nothing but a lot of blame the victim going on. It's almost as criticism is viewed as an allegation that the negative effects are intentional. What there may be is unintended consequences and it does not serve the people or the Democratic Party to pretend these things are not happening. There is a negative impact on some married people in certain situations, also people with employer provided insurance who cannot receive any assistance at all even if someone earns the exact same as they do but purchases their insurance on an exchange. I'm a medicaid caseworker and these are complaints I'm hearing from both the public and my own co-workers.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:24 AM

50. being a critic is easy, I've been one

I'm retired from a career writing s/w for flight simulators. Part of the job was to randomly "play" to see if you could break it. Certain people always wrote "breakable" code. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. Most people wrote decent reliable code, but the more lines you add, the more paths the logic takes and with it the probability of a glitch. There would still be problems with a year of testing. There will always be updates along the way adding to more problems. Airplanes crash and space craft get lost due to s/w errors. I've been the victim of many others who just made a little change before going home for the weekend without testing it.











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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:53 AM

57. ...because everything and every part of government works perfectly. Oh sure it does ...duh

Expecting perfect is delusional at best ...even after its been functioning for a long time. So when are we going to hear about all the other government imperfections? The list is too large to publish. The only thing worth criticizing is that the website should have been tested thoroughly before launch. Of course the website job was out sourced to a UK firm.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 11:02 AM

59. For some, truth is overrated and sometimes disapproved. Much better to be an enthusiastic lemming.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #59)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 11:31 AM

63. that people here are trying desperately to quash any discussion

of the ACA that doesn't beam approval- and largely succeeding is despicable.

I intend to post what I believe are germane issues. I'll be happy if this is ironed out by the end of the year and I hope those that are sure it will be are right, but I continue to believe that there is a pressing need to get it sorted and that if the perception that it is a "disaster" hardens, it will be difficult to get it on track and will be very bad news for dems in 2014.

And for that, I'm attacked and called a called a concern troll. the reason that I posted that in the op is that that's what has happened when I post anything whatsofuckingever that's critical of the administration.

extreme partisanship is a sickness.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 11:36 AM

67. Whine whine whine

 

I think it is telling that now we're focusing on human factors and GUI design issues. It means a lot of the more serious connectivity issues are being ironed out.

Hurry up! The shelf life on "healthcare.gov site sucks" is pretty short. Get your digs in while you can.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #67)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 12:49 PM

73. there's nothing even remotely whiny about the OP

there's everything utterly predictable about your apologist, adorer attempt to shut down any discussion of any policy that isn't a slobbering adulation of the President and the administration.

There is nothing in the op that isn't anything that the administration itself and the President haven't said, prez, old boy.

lame. Now we return you to your regularly scheduled Pretzel Hour of Adoration and Sublime Sycophancy, brought to you by the Extreme Partisanship Council, USA, the RAH RAH Network, and Obama Adorers, Inc.

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Response to cali (Reply #73)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:01 PM

75. it was whiny. people have acknowledged the problems. you merely pointed out

 

the magnitude of problems are a lot less this week than they were the first week of October.

Also offered no solutions--just wanted to point out there are still problems and OH NOESSS!!!111

So, I treated it with the usual arched eyebrow. Kind of like your anti-McAuliffe posts leading up to the election in Virginia.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #75)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 02:08 PM

90. lol. you're the whiny one, prez. you whine over every mild criticism

now return to your adoration and extreme partisanship, prez, old boy.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:16 PM

83. Why didn't they consult with Elad?

DU is one of the best put together websites on the internet.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:25 PM

84. Have you ever written an OP that was supportive of Obamacare? n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #84)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 02:06 PM

89. yes, many many.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:39 PM

88. People don't want to talk about it?

Hmmm, that's a weird assumption. In logic, we call that a "Straw Man" fallacy.

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Response to AceWheeler (Reply #88)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 02:09 PM

91. not even a little bit weird. not close to being a straw man either

all you have to do is read some of the posts in this thread from, er, certain people.

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