The rollout of the government site for people to purchase health insurance under the new health care law has been plagued by problems from day one. Everyone has heard the horror stories by now, as well as the explanations of what went wrong.
At first, the explanation was that it was simply the volume of traffic–which made sense. Nearly everyone has heard of ‘denial of service’ attacks, in which hackers take over thousands of computers with malware, usually using email. These computers are instructed to send a request to the targeted server, at the same time overwhelming its capabilities and shutting everyone out temporarily. The same thing can happen innocently, when a large number of people attempt to log onto the same site in rapid succession (this was apparently a part of the problem with the health care site initially). Since then, other problems have been uncovered. While the government is working to eliminate the problems, it is going to take time.
They have been shutting down certain parts of the site temporarily, mostly during non-peak hours to make the necessary adjustments and apply patches. However, without a complete shutdown it will require patience on the part of those wishing to use it to obtain insurance.
An item posted on the HHS website says that they are deploying what they have referred to as an A-Team of tech specialists to take on the issues.
The post says in part:
“Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve.
“We’re also putting in place tools and processes to aggressively monitor and identify parts ofwhere individuals are encountering errors or having difficulty using the site, so we can prioritize and fix them.
“We are also defining new test processes to prevent new issues from cropping up as we improve the overall service and deploying fixes to the site during off-peak hours on a regular basis.