Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Obamacare - #4605 - Michael Barone - A Software Installer's View on the Obamacare IT Mess - Washington Examiner (2) Watch Your Guns Around Obamacare - Townhall (3) Consumer Reports: 'Stay Away from Healthcare.gov' - National Review Online (4) Ken Cuccinelli Releases Transporation Plan - Bearing Drift

Michael Barone - A Software Installer's IT Mess - Washington Examiner - A reader who says that he has done large software installations for one of the big accounting firms wrote the following in an email. It seems to validate the concerns discussed in my Washington Examiner column on the Obamacare IT mess. 1. The integration aspect is most difficult. In this case, the integration of various Federal Systems to determine subsidies is proving a daunting task. You are dealing with legacy systems that don’t integrate very well. Also the integration with the insurers consisting of sending an insurance application to the insurance company, a much easier task, was also screwed up. 2. The software architecture used to build the website was all wrong. Using Java scripts for a heavy duty production website was a bad move from a software design point of view. Obama has liberal buddies in Silicon Valley like Eric Schmidt at Google who should have advised him on how to implement a website with the latest technology. 3. Not having a set of specifications until 2013 and not actually coding until spring 2013 and making changes in specification into the summer is asking for disaster. Finally, allowing 4-6 weeks for testing when they should have allowed 4-6 months is another sign of impending disaster. Read more.......

Related Article - Direct Links:
(1) Canada Has Death Panels - Slate.com.......
(2) HHS Brings in Verizon to Help Heathcare.gov.....

2) Watch your Guns Around Obamacare - Townhall - The state of Florida implemented legislation that would have severely restricted a doctor’s ability to ask a patient about guns at home, but a federal court struck it down as unconstitutional. After the NRA got that provision added, the organization backed off on pressing for further changes, no doubt because trying to get more changes done at that time would have been impossible with the Democratic-controlled Senate and presidency. But there are still areas within our healthcare laws that could prohibit Americans from owning firearms – specifically our veterans. In the 1990s, the Clinton administration ordered the Department of Veteran Affairs to share information about 90,000 veterans considered “mentally defective” by the VA to the FBI, so they could be added to the national instant check system (NICS) as prohibited possessors.......Under Obamacare, federal agencies like the ATF can still pore over health records and determine who has mental issues or PTSD. There is nothing in Obamacare that prohibits another federal agency from compiling a database of gun owners. Gun Owners of America warns that the next step will be linking insurance with gun ownership. Some private insurers, including State Farm and Prudential, drop homeowners from their policies for owning certain types of guns or not using trigger locks. It’s not difficult to see how this could be adopted as a requirement of Obamacare in the vague name of “health.” Read more......


(3) Consumer Reports - 'Stay Away From Healthcare.gov' - National Review Onine - Consumer Reports, which publishes reviews of consumer products and services, advised its readers to avoid the federal health-care exchange “for at least another month if you can.” “Hopefully that will be long enough for its software vendors to clean up the mess they’ve made,” the magazine said, having tested the site themselves over the course of the past three weeks. Noting that only 271,000 of the 9.47 million people who tried signing up in the first week managed to create an account, Consumer Reports then provided a few tips to those attempting to slog through the application process. From attempting successive logins because “error messages . . . may not always match reality” to checking one’s inbox frequently because missing an e-mail a user will be timed out of the site and forced to start from square one, none of the suggestions guaranteed success........ Now three weeks into the exchanges, having offered reviews and advice, Consumer Reports said that “if all [these suggestions] are too much to absorb, follow our previous advice: Stay away from Healthcare.gov,” at least for the time being. Read more........













(4) Ken Cuccinelli Releases Transportation Plan - In short, the plan seeks to create “a performance-based transportation system built around a Congestion Matrix Database System that will put more of Virginia’s transportation decisions in the hands of localities and the public.” There are a number of recommendations, including devolution: 4. The Commonwealth will turn over land assets within their jurisdictions that have been acquired by VDOT for secondary roads to the localities. The localities are well equipped to make land use decisions. The localities will be better able to expedite the appropriate resources and permitting for road construction or increasing capacity. 5. Work with VDOT and the General Assembly to implement a phase-in option to eliminate state funding for new secondary roads, thereby avoiding an unfunded maintenance mandate. The state will establish a date certain that it would no longer accept newly constructed subdivision roads for maintenance. 6. My administration will phase in the remaining counties by initially devolving services—such as traffic lights, signs and rest areas— in anticipation of providing title to existing secondary roads. The Commonwealth would provide current funding to counties to cover the costs of the services through transitional grants that would allow the county to develop the infrastructure and mechanisms to provide maintenance services and eventually take title to the secondary roads so this will not be an unfunded mandate. Some counties will be wary of taking over secondary roads that are deteriorated or have been behind schedule for maintenance. As an option, the state could bring the roads up to standard on schedule and turn over the title upon completion as part of phasing in the ownership to localities. I’ve heard whispers about this plan for months. Some very good people worked on it and their ideas deserve a serious discussion — because what is proposed here borders on the revolutionary. Which may help explain why it was kept under wraps for so very, very long. Read more........

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