Obamacare idea never was about helping people. After all, it was first proposed
by corporate executives and Republicans during the Nixon administration as a
way of increasing corporate profits by getting those deadbeat poor people to
pay for their own healthcare. Under Obamacare, millions of people are still
left without coverage. Those with pre-existing conditions (which is most of us)
can be charged three times what others pay. In addition to monthly payments,
there are also extremely high copays and deductibles -- amounting to thousands
of extra dollars per year if you have the misfortune to get sick. Meanwhile, there
is no limit to Wall Street greed and profits.
recently learned that poor folks are having their bank accounts emptied to make
their Obamacare payments. We also learned that low-income folks who sign up for
Obamacare are forced to enroll in Medicaid -- where if they die with medical
expenses owing, their estate is sold off to pay for their outstanding medical
bills. Ironically, many of these low-income people have homes. The only reason they have a low annual income is that
they lost their jobs due to the Wall Street gambling that crashed the economy
in 2008. The lack of a job is also why they have no health insurance. Now adding
insult to injury, to get health care they are being required to enroll in
Medicaid and thereby hand over the title to their homes. For more on this
when you think things could not get any worse, another bombshell is dropped on
our heads. It was just announced that Microsoft millionaire Kurt DelBene has
been appointed to take over the Obamacare website.
until a couple of days ago, Kurt was the head of Microsoft Office. While
running Microsoft Office, one of his many questionable decisions was trashing
the simple Microsoft Word 2003 top menu and replacing it with an extremely
complex and ever changing "ribbon" in Word 2007. The Obamacare website is already
too complex. Kurt is the last person one would want to "fix" this problem. In
addition, Kurt has no background in website functioning and design. So why was Kurt
chosen to fix one of the worst rollouts in website history?
answer this question, we need to first understand a little bit about website
design and the exact problems of the Obamacare website. Being an adult
education instructor who has spent years teaching courses in website design, I
will try to make this easy for you. All websites are hosted or stored on "servers"
-- which are just fancy computers. There are two main categories of servers --
Linux servers and Windows servers. Linux servers are much faster, less
expensive, and more reliable than Windows servers. This is why the Obamacare
website, healthcare.gov, uses Linux servers. Kurt DelBene obviously has no
background in Linux servers. He does not even have a background in Microsoft
Windows servers. But it is not that hard to figure out why the healthcare.gov
servers will crash if they are exposed to too much traffic during any given
second. The solution to this problem is to string several servers together so
that when one server is fully occupied, any new people are just transferred to
the next server. The fact that the original Obamacare website designers did not
anticipate and prepare for this is pure incompetence. This problem has been
largely fixed recently by a group of Linux programmers from a Linux company
called Red Hat.
second and much bigger problem is the design of the Home page for Obamacare.
There are way too many decisions to be made when one first visits the Home
for the Home page. To see this huge list of hidden coding for yourself, just go
to healthcare.gov, then right click,
then click on "View Page Source."
This is very bad and extremely bloated code. Below are lines 293 to 312 of
1,696 lines of code for the Obamacare Home page.
In fact, the Obamacare website coding reminds me a lot of the coding used at the beginning of any Word 2007 document. Microsoft Word 2007 coding is so bloated that if you try to copy and paste it into a website, you will crash the website. For more on this problem, see the following article. http://gabesumner.com/copy-from-ms-word-paste-into-a-rich-text-wysiwyg-editor
that there is a much better free word-processing program called LibreOffice that works on any computer and any website and
does not have the bloated code problem. It even works with Microsoft Word
documents. So it is possible to make a decent word processor that does not kill
are code-editing tools whose primary job is cleaning up bloated Microsoft Word
coding so that it does not crash websites. But in a sane world, web designers
would not have to deal with this MS bloated code problem in the first place. This
is another reason I was shocked that Kurt DelBene is being allowed to go
anywhere near any website. Kurt is the King of bloated code! He is clueless
about how the internet works. Given his track record in bloating the code of
Microsoft Word, it is doubtful Kurt will even look at the coding of the Home
third and perhaps biggest problem with the Obamacare website is that there is a
huge bottleneck at the Home page of healthcare.gov. This is because one has to
register in order to actually view the healthcare "options." In other words,
you cannot find out the prices of how much this will cost you unless you first
register on the website and/or answer an entire series of questions (see
clicking the "No Thanks" link above, a "please wait" warning appears. The wait
takes a very long time. But if you are patient, a page showing 21 plans will
eventually appear. The lowest cost plan assumes you are a non-smoker and costs
$140 per month plus $6,000 per year deductible if you get sick. The total maximum
cost is $7,460 per year or $640 per month for a single person. Given that most
Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, it is hard to see where they will
come up with the extra $640 per month. If you have a low income, you may qualify
for a discount. But you may also risk losing your home and all your assets if
you take this route.
having to register or answer a series of questions at your local grocery store
before you get to enter and shop around. There would be many angry customers
and a huge traffic jam at the front door. To my knowledge, no commercial
website works this way. In fact, no business works this way. Go to the Home page
of Amazon.com and you will see options allowing you to go to lots of different
pages to learn about the products they sell and how much each product will cost.
Registration comes at the very end and only AFTER you make the actual decision
to purchase a particular product. This is because folks may visit a website
several times before making a purchase. The last thing you should do is slow
down the website by requiring registration at the very beginning.
why require registration at the beginning if it is almost certain to slow down
and/or crash the website and also certain to confuse and offend your customers?
Some claim that the government wants to
get your information before you are subjected to the "sticker shock" of the
actual cost of Obamacare. Perhaps folks would not register and would choose to
just pay the fine (rumored to be $100) if they knew the real cost of signing up
for Obamacare. But this reason alone would not explain bringing in Bad Code
King Kurt DelBene to help design and run the website.
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