I’ve been thinking about how various groups fit into the world, what our ranking is by size. This started a few weeks ago when I was writing about religions, and found that for all the attention paid to Judaism, there are only 15.4 million Jews in the world. Looked at another way, more than twice as many people live in Tokyo Japan than are Jewish. Yet we consider it a “major world religion”. This may become my new measuring stick, the Jewish population, or JP. America has a population of 22 JP.
Oh my God he’s playing with numbers again.
I heard on the news that in the first three weeks, 475,000 people had signed up for Obamacare (This does not mean that they purchased healthcare, just that they signed on). Less than half a million. Less than the population of Fresno, CA, or 0.03 JP. At this rate, two million (0.12 JP) people will be signed up by 1 January. The other three hundred eleven million Americans will be facing tax penalties.
I had no idea that the system was so unstable. It is alleged that the administration didn’t either. I’m not sure if I believe that, but there are plenty of management types out there who are incapable of saying “I’m sorry, we cannot possibly accomplish that”. When we switched to an Oracle system from mainframe at Imagistics, with only a few thousand users, it took a year to prepare and two months to work out the kinks. Could no one in the administration comprehend the scale, the number of systems being integrated and the number of users, this project represented?
When the system crashed soon after going live, how could anyone reasonably blame it on volume? Exactly how much traffic did they expect for a system with three hundred twelve million users? Did it not occur to them that on a daily basis, ten percent (2.2 JP) of those users would require access?
It is only recently the blame has been shifted from traffic volume to software, and now the software designers are blaming the White House for last minute changes. They apparently were not aware that you would have to register with all your data before you could compare prices. Obviously they had never purchased insurance of any kind for themselves. How ironic, the very people Obamacare was supposed to help…
But this wasn’t just a traffic problem. The software itself is useless. All of the data collected thus far is corrupted. If you happen to be one of those residents of Fresno CA who managed to sign up, the options you have been offered are based on corrupted data, so should you choose to purchase a healthcare plan, you may find that you don’t qualify for it. When will you find this out? When the doctor’s bill is rejected, and you’re responsible for it.
Not to be overly cynical, but which part do you suspect will work? How about the part that fines you for not having health care? There is a natural mistrust of anyone who handles your money, but the IRS has certainly earned their mistrust. A few years back there was a change in the tax code, and a large number of people were calling the IRS helpline for assistance. The information they gave out was incorrect. Not only that, but they refused to take responsibility, because it is the taxpayer’s responsibility to correctly file their tax forms. Add to that the recent scandal in which the IRS was targeting conservatives. First they apologized, then they denied having done it, then the director stated the employees did not know the regulations. I know I have trust issues, but this is ridiculous.
The White House has just offered a solution, allowing a six week extension (15 February 2014). This should only leave three hundred ten million Americans (20 JP) facing a tax penalty. Perhaps this is the solution to the deficit. All those people that we hear are not paying taxes will now be fined by the IRS anyway.
The only way for a system this large to work properly, is to erase all current data, rewrite the software, and test with a reasonable sample, let’s say 0.12 JP, or roughly the number of federal employees. After the bugs are worked out (there are always bugs), then roll it out to the general public. Of course this may mean that the program isn’t implemented during our children’s’ lifetimes, but this would be the right way to do it.