Can you hear me now? How about now? How about being unable entirely to hear me at all due to a data service outage? President Obama’s beleaguered Obamacare site, Healthcare.gov (which your correspondent has used, successfully, too), is being operated on by none other than Verizon Wireless. Yes, the same cell phone company that has ultimately screwed up many a phone call is now ultimately screwing up many a healthcare plan. Quelle beast!
Late Sunday night, the entire website was down due to a massive error in a Verizon data center. Shocking, I know, that a cell phone company might have an outage in 2013, but at least we can be thankful that it isn’t AT&T at the helm, or otherwise we might not be looking at a website but an actual smoldering wreck in the space where the Internet used to be (the joke being, reader, that AT&T can’t do anything, in case you didn’t catch that).
Now, on Monday, the day after the outage, there are reports that “people are looking into what went wrong” and “what it all means” and “something something old people talking about Internets,” because a lot of people don’t know how the Internet works, and that setting up a website for 50 million people to select something as lofty as universal health care is extremely difficult, you guysssss. This is, clearly, as many right-wing publications are pointing out, totally Obama’s own personal fault.
But it ain’t.
It’s the fault of CGI Technologies & Solutions, whose very own website is confusing and annoying as f*ck, for they are the ones that built, coded, and effectively implemented the Affordable Care Act. They have between 50 to 100 offices worldwide. It’s no wonder, just on a basic level, why the website is sprawling and ridiculous, too.
Based in Montreal, CGI screwed Canadian provincial taxpayers out of $24m last year when they messed up Ontario’s “eHealth” program. Why this wasn’t brought up to Obama’s people before Healthcare.gov was rolled out we may never know, but there may be some backdoor “House of Cards” shit going down. Also, Fox News reports that CGI Technologies royally f*cked up the state of Vermont’s health care back in 2011, too.
Meanwhile, the state of Vermont is reportedly considering whether to penalize CGI for not meeting its deadlines for designing and producing Vermont’s health care exchange, Vermont Health Connect, which is also experiencing the same kind of glitches as the federal system. In that case, the state recently signed an amended $84 million contract with CGI — just $9 million less than the one it signed with the federal government in 2011. In late September, VermontDigger.org reported that CGI failed to meet 21 deadlines this summer and the state could charge as much as $125,000 a day in penalties as a result.
What does it all mean? It means, little Timmy, that you may never get health care the way God, Jesus, and Katy Perry intended it. It means that we have to wade through this partisan weird leadership to get there.
One step at a time, folks. One bad webstep at a time.