SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
I figured it out – I figured out what’s wrong with the Obamacare website!
Not that I can fix it … let’s not get silly.
I got the idea from Star Trek. Specifically, from some dialogue in the movie Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. This is the one where Kirk and Spock sing campfire songs and fight God. Hm … there could be more government jokes in there, somewhere.
Anyway, here are the lines that got my attention:
Captain Kirk: “You told me you could get this ship operational in two weeks, I gave you three, what happened?”
Engineer Scott: “I think you gave me TOO much time, Captain.”
See, it’s funny because … never mind. Although it might be the funniest moment of the movie, unless you count the unintentional laughs.
I pondered this when I realized the government had three and a half years to get the Obamacare website up and running. At the rate it was budgeted, that’s $2,230,952 a month. That’s more than my Mountain Dew and chocolate budget combined. So, maybe we just gave them too much time?
The taxpayers have forked over (so far) half a billion dollars for the website, which was budgeted at $93.7 million, so maybe we also gave them too much money. Other sources say that $500 million number is inaccurate, and it really cost only $394 million to build the site itself.
My wife built our website for free. Granted, we didn’t require fifty million people to sign up on it or else, but she also didn’t go over budget by three hundred million bucks.
Meanwhile, no matter what the actual cost, we’re now hearing that 500 million lines of code in the website design are wrong. They’ll have to be re-written. That’s one line for each American citizen, with enough left over, if the lines were dollars, for half our pets to get cat scans.
I went to the website to get an idea of what we were paying for, but, well … it was down.
“What we have here is the perfect storm in software development,” said software expert James Turner.
Ha! So the Federal government can make something perfect!
Meanwhile, a recent poll indicated that 56% of Americans are losing their faith in the Affordable Care Act. Think about that. That’s absolutely amazing. Almost half of Americans still have faith in Obamacare.
If any private business had started up with such a disaster, the only thing we’d be talking about is how things would go in bankruptcy court. Alas, the feds have cooked the books so they can’t go bankrupt, except morally.
Is it any wonder that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the person put in charge of the Obamacare rollout, fled Washington when Congress first tried to haul her in to testify? Scheduling conflicts. Among other things, it seems she had to appear on a TV show, instead. (In her defense, Jon Stewart is way more exciting than any Congressional hearing.) In today’s Washington the buck doesn’t stop here, no matter how many bucks are involved.
(By the way, a web developer friend of mine, who knows her stuff, told me three and a half years was too little time for this project. Is that not something someone should have decided on before setting the legal deadlines?)
Well, it’s not like Sebelius has to answer to Congress or, according to her, anyone but President Obama. At least, that’s what she said. She also said the people calling for her to resign are “people who I don’t work for” …
You know, people like Congressmen, who are elected. In other words, Sebelius is saying she doesn’t work for the voter, or the taxpayer. You know. The people.
Can’t blame her for not realizing the government is supposed to work for the people … very few people inside the Beltway know that.
So how do we handle this problem? We shouldn’t just complain; we should work to fix it. So here’s my idea:
We ditch the website entirely, and go back to paper and pens, or maybe manual typewriters. This would, of course, require hiring tens of thousands of people to process all that paperwork. We hire those people to do the job, and give them benefits including—wait for it—health insurance.
Half the problem’s solved already.
Then, because the taxpayers can’t afford the Federal employees we’re already paying, we fire two people in the bureaucracy for each new one that’s hired. We start with Kathleen Sebelius, then everyone involved in building that website. (That unsolves half the problem, but helps solve another one.)
Then we hire my wife to design them a basic website that just gives people information on how things work rather than having them sign up through it. We pay her just $25 million to do it, thus saving $369 million, or maybe $475 million—not that a million here or there is a big deal. I can help with the changeover—I already own a manual typewriter.
Just don’t give her too much time.