The Failure of Obama's Healthcare.gov Website is Poetic Justice

Obama wants to import more foreign guest workers than there could possibly be jobs for in the United States per the demands of cheap labor corporate lobbyists.  Yet again, instead of focusing in on jobs for Americans, Obama is busy pushing comprehensive immigration reform which will absolutely decimate U.S. workers by flooding the very weak U.S. labor market.  This agenda will destroy even more lives and livelihoods for thousands of U.S. citizens.  Now it is coming to light, Obama's flagship Affordable Care Act , along with the disastrous healthcare.gov, is fraught with H-1B and other foreign guest workers along with offshore outsourcing being used.  This is poetic justice at it's finest.  Obama is getting his just deserts from labor arbitraging American workers and the massive corruption caused by corporate lobbyists.

It is coming out that healthcare.gov is beyond repair,.  The site is flawed as a result of bad coding.  The architecture is unfathomably idiotic, with 500 million lines of coding bloatware.  Just today one can use the browser Firebug plug-in on the healthcare.gov front page and see eight, extended tracking scripts trying to sequentially load up as more tracking information than one could ever believe is possible.  It is also coming out that CGI Federal offshore outsourced the code to India as many on reddit are also analyzing and claiming.

A most telling sign the site was partially offshore outsourced is this code analysis of the healthcare.gov a couple of weeks ago.  Two of the site language translations are Gujarati, a language from India, and Hindi, also an India language.  Yet Hebrew, Japanese, Arabic and Russian are not available as language translations of the site.  Russian, Japanese and Arabic are all more commonly spoken in the United States than Gujarati.  Another telltale sign coders do not speak English are the massive spelling errors in the software comments.  Additionally there is boilerplate code on a live site.   Boilerplate is also known as empty dummy software templates.  This means the code was never touched in development from the original placeholder files and functions that are meant to be modified by programmers.  Boilerplate proves there was almost no code source review performed to catch such seriously gross and negligent errors.  Untouched templates with their Latin text filler on a live website also implies many had no idea what they were doing.  No software architect or coder worth their salt would leave massive untouched software files like these on a live production site.

The Congressional hearing testimony on healthcare.gov functionality was a joke.  Various executives and legal council testified all claiming their functions and code worked just fine and were tested.  This is word speak for all software projects of scale require systems integration testing.  During that process programmers are responsible for maintaining correct software functionality when their code is integrated into the product as a whole.

As previously reported Equifax is verifying income.  That's right, a private credit reporting agency, not the IRS. is verifying income of applicants.  Beyond a privacy violation Equafax is notorious to have errors in their credit reports and incomplete data.  Equafax also makes it near impossible to get those errors corrected.  Additionally by using Equifax this means your social security number is not only going into the healthcare.gov database, but is also traveling around the Internet to a private, for profit, credit rating agency.  Assuredly hackers in Eastern Europe are drooling over healthcare.gov as a result.

People were warning Obamacare offshore outsourced jobs to India while Americans suffer with lost jobs before healtcare.gov launched.  Specifically Illinois not only offshore outsourced Obamacare to India along with importing foreign workers via H-1B Visas, but Illinois is also paying way more than they would if they hired U.S. workers.

To meet federal mandates, states must upgrade their legacy Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS). These IT contracts are some of the largest awards in state history.

Last week, Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn became national news for circumventing a three year procurement process on up to $190 million in no-bid IT contracts. Now we find that one of the largest bid-contract MMIS awards will outsource state jobs to India.

In June, Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn's administration awarded a ten year $71.4 million staffing contract to Cognizant Technology Solutions. Cognizant ranks in the national top 10 for procuring H-1B visa workers. Evidence shows that the company is staffing operational headquarters in Chennai and Bangalore, India for the Illinois work.

Cognizant is set to charge Illinois up to $109.28/ hour, or $218,560 per position per year, for the work. This far exceeds the $75/ hour, or $150,000 annual cost, of even the most senior state experts- even after accounting for health insurance and pension costs.

Job listings in India offer further evidence of job outsourcing: Cognizant is in India recruiting consultants, coders, architects, MBAs and programmers with skills such as a "working knowledge of Medicaid and MMIS." In mid-July, Cognizant Technology Solutions India, Ltd., based in Chennai, held "open interviews" for applicants with the computer language skills needed for the Illinois work. Cognizant's recruiting agency posted jobs in India looking for medical billing specialists and system programmers with knowledge of Medicaid and the privacy HIPPA laws.

Meanwhile Democrats are busy pushing more foreign guest worker Visas to take away American jobs and enable even more of these bloated dysfunctional government contracts instead of stopping our tax dollars to be used to offshore outsource even more jobs.  Indeed, Obamacare has been a bonanza for offshore outsourcing and H-1B Visas:

In January,Washington D.C. awarded Infosys a $49.5 million contract to develop a health benefit exchange and replace its Medicaid and eligibility systems.

One of the most notorious offshore outsourcers who also uses and abuses foreign guest worker Visas is the Indian BPO company Infosys.  While working on an Obamcare contract in D.C. they face yet another class action lawsuit for worker Visa fraud and abuse.

One of them, Layla Bolten was employed by Infosys to work on the District of Columbia's $49.5 million health benefit exchange system for the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. lnfosys won a contract for the project.

Bolten was hired as a tester, a lesser position than a test lead post. The "vast majority of 'test lead' positions were filled by South Asian workers, individuals with "considerably less experience with software testing," the lawsuit alleges.

Bolten sought a job promotion on multiple occasions, but says Infosys promoted, South Asian workers instead, it says. The vendor also brought in less experienced visa holders to work on the project, the lawsuit alleges.

Bolten was "harassed because she was not Indian, and her supervisors excluded her from work conversations by speaking Hindi," the lawsuit charges.

Another party to the lawsuit, Gregory Handloser, started working at Infosys in 2004 as a sales manager, but claims that the company in 2011 "began a concerted effort in the U.S. to purge non-South Asian employees in favor of South Asians."

There is anecdotal evidence Obamacare is using offshore outsourced call centers as well and this should be no surprise since welfare and food stamp programs have been offshore outsourcing call centers for years now.

All of the four healthcare.gov contracting companies that testified in today's hearing offshore outsource and use foreign guest worker Visas.  QSSI received 66 H-1B Visas in 2012 and operates offshore outsourcing in India.  Equifax filed for 74 H-1B Visas in 2012 and offshore outsources to India, including call centers with sensitive social security numbers on the line, heading straight out of the nation's borders.  CGI Federal isn't even an American company and filed 40 H-1Bs in 2012.  CGI Federal also operates extensively in India where many of their employees reside.  This is just pathetic that a company who isn't even based in the United States with the majority of their headcount in India is receiving so much taxpayer money, bloating the projects unnessarily and failing to boot.  Below is a list of CGI Federal's U.S. contract awards from since October 2011.  Imagine the kind of jobs and economic activity this money could have generated if only those hires had been U.S. citizens and American companies.

 

cgi federal contracts 2011

 

It is not just healthcare.gov that is the latest Federal outsourcing disaster.  Computer World just did a study which shows Government IT projects over $10 million don't have a prayer's chance to succeed:

Of 3,555 projects from 2003 to 2012 that had labor costs of at least $10 million, only 6.4% were successful. The Standish data showed that 52% of the large projects were "challenged," meaning they were over budget, behind schedule or didn't meet user expectations. The remaining 41.4% were failures -- they were either abandoned or started anew from scratch.

The entire government procurement system is fraught with corruption, huge overruns and most importantly incompetence.  Yet for a $634 million project and growing that healthcare.gov is, the biggest issue should be jobs for U.S. citizens.  There are hundreds of thousands of Americans who need work with tech skills.  The fact our governments offshore outsources and brings in foreign workers instead of hiring U.S. citizens is just unbelievable and should insult every American.  Case in point, to fix healthcare.gov, HHS is bringing in Verizon.  Verizon is one of the biggest let's fire Americans and replace them with foreign guest workers companies out there today, in spite of having strong union presence.  Additionally, Verizon is a telecommunications and cell network company, not exactly an Amazon or Google.  In other words, they are not bringing in the expertise who actually know a thing or two about secured e-commerce, sensitive data and scalable websites with dynamic content.  In other words, it seems the Obama administration's idea of best and brightest seems to always somehow involve making sure India, or at least imported workers from India, get a piece of the government contract pie.  India lobbies heavily for American jobs and foreign guest worker Visas.

Additionally, as it stands now healthcare.gov is highly vulnerable to hacking, putting American's economic security on the line to sign up for health insurance:

According to several online security experts, Healthcare.gov, the portal where consumers in 35 states are being directed to obtain affordable health coverage, has a coding problem that could allow hackers to deploy a technique called "clickjacking," where invisible links are planted on a legitimate web page. Using this scheme, hackers could trick users into giving up personal data as they enter it into the web site, potentially placing Americans at risk of identity theft or allowing fraudsters to file bogus health care claims. And it's not just the federal exchange that has security problems. Some of the 15 states that have established their own online exchanges aren't using standard encryption throughout their Obamacare websites—leaving user information at risk.

Obama just doubled down on healthcare.gov.  The administration put QSSI, one of the contractors who offshore outsources and brings in foreign workers, in charge of the general contract for the site.  Obama also put Jeffrey Zients in charge to review problems.  Zients is a D.C. Bureaucrat and a former OMB director.  In other words, Zients is not a software architect or has been a CTO with engineering experience.  In 2010 Zients outlined a plan to reform government IT and we see how well that is going.  Zients claims the site will be fixed in a month, which is quite an incredible claim considering his lack of engineering expertise.  We doubt it for the Obama administration seems hell bent on keeping the foxes in the hen house.

So, that's the bottom line.  In the most public disgrace yet of the government outsourcing tech work, we have the Obama administration making excuses and continuing on the merry road to make sure the U.S. labor market is even more flooded with workers.  There are not enough jobs for the people who are citizens of the nation and have not been for some time, yet this administration insists on massively increasing the supply of labor that comprehensive immigration reform would bring.  It is only fitting that the cause of Obama's biggest failure to date is due to outsourcing a website to a main foreign contractor who in turn imports cheap foreign labor and sends the jobs abroad.

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Comments

the errors play right into the Tea Party's meme

John McAfee, who founded the internet security firm bearing his name, called Obamacare "A Hacker’s Wet Dream"; there's also been allegations that copyrighted software was pirated and used without attribution...

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rjs

boilerplate/empty templates, latin

All point to open source being used and not attributed. That's most common in themes, the "site look". The author of the code uses latin text to demo a blog post, a page, titles, bullet points etc. So, beyond Sprymedia script used, I suspect there is tons of open sourced code and unfortunately it is like it was just thrown in the soup.

It is like there is no CTO, or software architect, the one who designs the system, top down design here.

This is absolutely incredible the costs already exceed so many major sites like Facebook, Twitter and even the iPhone.

iOS is incredibly complex it needs to run concurrent processes with as little power requirements as possible and three different types of networks, plus the component design is an art form on these phones.

It's just unbelievable what is going on here with IT government contracts generally.

Tea party are crazy but Obama is beyond belief corrupt as are most in D.C., that's the real problem. We do not have competent legislators who know how to manage a country and they do not act in the public interest, the majority interest, represent the nation's interests.

In terms of Obama, I am wondering if his crazed 2008 supporters are still around. Let's see, we have the NSA spying on Americans plus hacking into the cell phones of government leaders. Nice. The track record of pushing corporate agendas and violating constitutional rights seem to just continue to grow.

I would imagine the Nobel committee is feeling embarrassed as hell by now.

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The cheap-labor immigration bill etc...

Senator Jeff Sessions for President.

People like Bernie Sanders are sometimes on the correct side of this issue, but they fold under pressure. Sessions has been amazing at the abuse he has endured on our behalf. If you care about these issues, call his office and leave a message with a staffer to encourage him.

Ultimately diagnosis is only half the problem. We also need to punish our friends and reward our enemies. Voting for empty words or the lesser-of-two evils is not gonna work. If all of us affected by these issues would vow to never vote for the likes of McCain and Rubio, and support people like Sessions, we would perhaps be moving forward instead of backwards.

Sessions for President.

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Bernie Sanders caved here

Sanders has been one of the most realistic politicians on this, knowing labor supply will affect people's ability to get jobs and wages. Yet, he caved, 100% on this bill.

Sessions on this issue has pointed out a lot of common sense, which is strange since on other issues he has none.

I think the votes reflect simply who is bought and paid for, along with horse trading behind the scenes and has nothing to do with analyzing labor markets, needs, wages and supply in a dynamic economy.

Instead, they simply deny this impacts significantly U.S. citizens income and livelihoods.

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One engineer does not a fixed website make

I pity these people but they are finding a Google engineer, one guy, and unfortunately also Oracle, which assuredly is part of the problem with their databases. Redhat is good to get on board, I have no idea what they are doing with servers but their enterprise should do the trick, or some Linux group with a commonly used open source distro, such as CentOS.

Frankly, they should hand over the entire contract, all of it, to Google, Amazon and Ebay. All three know how to design e-commerce sites with many databases, dynamic content, scripts galore and millions of transactions that must be secured.

What are these people even thinking? If they wanted to design the Amazon or Ebay of Healthcare, well, uh, ask Amazon or Ebay to design the thing!

Amazon esp. knows their stuff on "cloud" or distributed servers, most use their AWS, etc.

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@Robert Oak

I agree completely! When I heard Google was going to be tapped to fix the mess, I didn't understand why Amazon was also asked. Isn't Amazon.com over in the Herndon, VA region where Healthcare.gov is being created? Yes! Google is on the other side of the US. None of this makes sense. Why Google when Amazon is so proficient with ecommerce? Also, Ebay is right over in Philly and that's a heck of a lot closer than San Francisco, which is where Google is based. Perhaps Google has a few small offices in the DC area, but still.... the way this entire thing has been managed is a true joke. It symbolizes why we need to stop believing India has all the answers. All India has is really good at doing is fouling its own nest. Now it's encroaching on ours.

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