Healthcare Exchange: 1 Shelley: 0

I joined the masses in attempting to access the new Healthcare Exchange yesterday. I thought I had an edge by creating an account with the system a few weeks back, but no such luck. Attempting to log in kept resulting in a blank page (which showed itself to be a “downstream error” when accessing the site using Firefox).

I noticed that the format of username that was acceptable a few weeks back no longer meets the criteria for new user names, so I don’t know if I have an account or not. And forget trying to use Chat to verify whether I need to create a new account, or can use my existing one (with its improper username format).

I expected glitches, but not such wide systematic failures, where people can’t even get access to the security questions to create an account. This breakdown isn’t the fault of Obamacare. This breakdown is, unfortunately, all too typical with large new systems developed with too many inputs from middle management and too little heed paid to experienced software developers. And way too little effective load testing.

Using Java doesn’t help. Java requires a very savvy tech architect, and well designed infrastructure. Even tiny fractures can cause big pile ups in a poorly designed Java system.

Regardless, I’m not going to bash the law just because of early system failures. I’m irritated at journalists and their pondering of “people giving up” because they can’t access the system. Hey boys and girls: people who want and need affordable healthcare coverage aren’t going to give up because of software glitches. Perhaps if the pundits would stop talking and start listening, they wouldn’t write or say such silly crap.

However, someone needs to be kicked in the ass behind the scenes of the Healthcare Marketplace.

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