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Healthcare.gov, a website designed by the mailing list obsessed

Healthcare.gov, a website designed by the mailing list obsessed

Is this really a surprise, considering who is in charge?

Via AP, Questionable design blamed for health website woes:

A decision by the Obama administration to require that consumers create online accounts before they can browse health overhaul insurance plans appears to have led to many of the glitches that have frustrated customers, independent experts say.

Most e-commerce websites — as well as medicare.gov — are not designed to require those merely browsing to set up accounts. But it’s one of the first steps on healthcare.gov….

Allowing consumers to browse anonymously was one of the recommendations of Enroll UX 2014, a $3 million, 14-month project to design an optimal user experience for the insurance marketplaces. The well-known San Francisco design firm IDEO led the project and undertook extensive consumer interviews to create an easy-to-use site….

Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said Tuesday the government omitted a window-shopping function because officials first wanted consumers to know the amount of the subsidy they might be eligible for. Those income-based tax credits can dramatically reduce premiums for people with modest incomes, and personal financial information is needed to calculate the subsidies.

“Our process allows us to show consumers plans with prices that reflect what they will pay with the tax credit they may be eligible for,” Peters said. “Window shopping would not allow for this.”

The result seemed strange to Maureen Bardusk of Galena, Ill., who’s hesitant about giving her personal information before she can shop.

You have to give up your contact information before you can browse — just like all those White House petitions.

What’s the worry?

Obamacare info can be shared

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Comments

toddlouisgreen | October 9, 2013 at 9:56 am

“You have to give up your contact information before you can browse — just like all those White House petitions.”

Well, the whole thing began with “you have to vote for it before you can read it,” so it makes sense.

First of all, HHS calls it an “omission” that they didn’t allow anonymous browsing. Nothing was “omitted” because they had to go out of their way to add the account creation as a requirement. This was a deliberate decision, one that cost time effort and money, and there was a purpose to it.

And their claimed reason for this makes no sense because they could have accomplished the same thing anonymously. They could have stored the relevant information in cookies on the user’s computer and continued with giving him an accurate estimate of the cost without having him reveal personal identifying information.

All the extra database and network usage just to get an estimate do nothing for the consumer. So what’s the government need it for?

    thorleywinston in reply to Socratease. | October 9, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I seem to recall the last time there was a software-related “omission” it’s when the Obama campaign claimed that it had “accidentally” disabled the software used for verification of its online donors. As you point out, much like putting up barrycades to block access to memorials in public spaces or disabling taxpayer-funded website or PandaCams, these “omissions” seem to require deliberate actions on their part.

    Observer in reply to Socratease. | October 9, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I agree that the government’s explanation is total BS. It would have been simple to allow people to shop without creating an account, while still letting them see if they qualified for subsidies. All they needed was a screen where the user indicates how many people are in their household, and what the annual income is. The user enters the information, and sees what amount of subsidy, if any, they can get.

    The reason the government is requiring people to set up an account before they can get any health insurance information is because they wants names and addresses to add to OFA’s mailing lists.

As predicted, this is just a bellwether for DMV-level “service” under ObamaDoggle.

And, remember, your friends at the IRS are in charge.
http://freebeacon.com/darrel-issa-irs-officials-sent-private-data-over-personal-email-accounts/

If you comply.

I will not.

The PPACA was never about health care, it is entirely about power. With a couple decades experience with databases, especially the ODBC functions for joining data from multiple dissimilar databases, I will say flat out that it is a lie when the government presumes you cannot have an anonymous check field for income ranges as part of a simple “window shopping” browsing set. There is no legitimate, let alone technical, need for a registry of critical data for simple viewing.

    snopercod in reply to Aridog. | October 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    …and as Rush pointed out today, once you create an account, it can’t be deleted. All the information you provide is there forever. Noted deep thinker Maxine Waters spilled the beans on this earlier this year. From Breitbart Maxine Waters Reveals Obama’s Secret Data Base Filled with Voters’ Private Info

    “The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life. That’s going to be very, very powerful. That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it’s never been done before and whoever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get around it. And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very powerful what he’s leaving in place.”

I am just an ignorant citizen but I have a hard time understanding how people who don’t have a photo ID are smart enough to get onto the Internet and sign up for ObamaCare.

Is it just me?

    Aridog in reply to Musson. | October 9, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Agreed…it is a puzzle. However, as I’ve said for some time, it isn’t about really providing health care, but it IS all about power. The 10% or so of people so indigent they can’t acquire a photo ID or a computer with ISP service that the administration says they are trying to protect, sob, sob…well those folks will still have no insurance, no cumputer and no photo ID and the administration doesn’t really give a dang. It is the 90% they want power over, they know the 10% are powerless.

      Aridog in reply to Aridog. | October 9, 2013 at 10:36 am

      I should add that the government is even working on the 10% as an after thought, since they do vote using cousin Vinnie’s electric bill or Uncle Reinaldo’s tax bill, etc…but you need to give up personal information to get your “Obama Phone” right? And so…a new file is opened even for the no ID folks. President Princess Peacock and his administration think of everything.

Completely off topic, but Lord (are we allowed to use this word) knows, we all need some levity. Read the “Dr. Seuss” remake at this site, and smile.

http://conservatives4palin.com/2013/10/one-park-two-parks-yellow-park-blue-park.html

Americans still have a sense of humor, despite everything that is happening!

One post I read was from someone who claimed he went to the Obamacare site, put in his information, and got a quote. It was way higher than he wanted to pay so he cancelled it and logged off. Later he got a phone call from someone who told him about his legal requirements to sign up for insurance, and how he would be fined and possibly have his wages garnished if he didn’t. Now, that’s just a self-reporting anecdote, and I have no way to verify it so take it with a grain of salt. But it *does* line up with the “law enforcement purposes” part of Maryland privacy notice. Could be that the Obamacare sites are like Hotel California: You can check out, but you can never leave.

    Observer in reply to Socratease. | October 9, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I’ve also seen reports from people who logged onto the Obamacare site and said they were warned that if they did not purchase a policy they would be subject to liens on their homes, bank accounts, etc.

    It made me curious about how far the government can go, now that John Roberts has declared Obamacare to be a “tax.” The Obamacare law itself didn’t give the government much power when it comes to collecting the penalty, but we all know the government has a lot of power when it comes to collecting delinquent “taxes.”

    The whole “it’s a tax when we want it to be” scenario raises all sorts of interesting issues.

Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said Tuesday the government omitted a window-shopping function because officials first wanted consumers to know the amount of the subsidy they might be eligible for.

Right. Sure. What they wanted, inter alia, was to start acquiring a database of privacy-violating information and the ability to flag possibly uninsured consumers, their financial information, and their tax returns.

By the way, I’ve been getting interesting junk mail the past few months from insurance companies to the effect that “sign up for a policy right now and you won’t have to worry about complying with Obamacare for a year.”

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | October 9, 2013 at 11:06 am

I’d have to be desperate – and by desperate I mean on my deathbed with nothing left to lose desperate – before I’d agree to be a guinea pig for Obamacare.

heh..can we rename it Publishers Clearing House for Legal Government Fraud?

Midwest Rhino | October 9, 2013 at 11:10 am

I’m guessing they’d like to have an email link to the data, to fill out their giant database, used to get Democrats reelected forever. Propaganda can be customized based on race, age, weight, income, and other special details.

The only question seems to be whether blogs and maybe FOX can defeat the propaganda machine of Democrats/media, and escape the hammer of public union thugs in the IRS and our schools.

They are building a database, with the ability to regularly (and cheaply) send propaganda based on the individual’s demographic. Each voter can have their own Siri, who will be a digital Democrat operative, whispering sweet nothings in the voter’s ear.

MouseTheLuckyDog | October 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Here is a thought.
For sites that do anything more then a minimal registration ( like here ) I tend to insert inaccurate information until I actually do something meaningful.

So if you put in some information that is wrong to this government site but not actually submitting for insurance, does that mean that you are committing a felony?

“Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said Tuesday the government omitted a window-shopping function because officials first wanted consumers to know the amount of the subsidy they might be eligible for….

“Our process allows us to show consumers plans with prices that reflect what they will pay with the tax credit they may be eligible for,” Peters said. “Window shopping would not allow for this.””

Yet the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation website
http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/
can calculate our subsidies without our creating an account and/or logging in. Curious, eh?

    Aridog in reply to Mizzy. | October 9, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Nothing curious about it…the government is lying, plain and simple. Are you surprised? Anyone with 15 minutes experience with database design, administration and coordination knows they are lying….as I said earlier on this thread. It is elementary design to create a non-saving ad hoc query on any database….it vanishes when the user is done browsing. It is only “saved” if the database is designed to accumulate data about browsers. And there you have it… They-Want-Your-Data. Period. Because shut up.

    Aridog in reply to Mizzy. | October 9, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    The Kaiser “tool” covers only those up to 64 years of age.

    What happens to those on Medicare? Are they allowed to acquire a supplemental policy for what is not covered by Medicare parts A & B?

I used to think these commercials from The General auto insurance were ridiculous. They use actors with paper bags over their heads to promote the fact you don’t need to enter your personal information into The General’s website to get a quote.

http://youtu.be/NzyiZe7ItEg

http://youtu.be/8hrbSlOT2DE

Not laughing now.

    I’ll have to check out “the General” … I’m shopping for new auto insurance now due to giant escalation over just 6 months of my current policy…for a guy with no violations in 20 years, no accidents in 20 years, who drives but 6000 or less per year and is retired. I have to go far I fly. It’s cheaper. Really.

    I will bet the General isn’t really much different that all the rest, who want you full name, date of birth, social security number, etc just for a quote.

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