So tell your friends tell your familyMake sure they sign u Lets help our fellow

So tell your friends tell your familymake sure they

This preview shows page 31 - 33 out of 517 pages.

what’s called the insurance marketplace...So tell your friends, tell your family...Make sure they sign up. Let’s help our fellow Americans get covered. (Applause.) President Barack Obama, Remarks on the Affordable Care Act, Prince George’s Community College, Maryland, September 26, 2013 ...it has now been six weeks since the Affordable Care Act’s new marketplaces opened for business. I think it’s fair to say that the rollout has been rough so far, and I think everybody understands that I’m not happy about the fact that the rollout has been, you know, wrought with a whole range of problems that I’ve been deeply concerned about. President Barack Obama, Statement on the Affordable Care Act, The White House Press Briefing Room, November 14, 2013 When the Affordable Care Act ( ACA ) was passed in 2010, it was seen as the most ambitious US social program in decades, and it was perhaps the crowning achievement of the Obama administration. Just as millions shop for items on Amazon.com, HealthCare.gov—also known as the Affordable Care Act website—was supposed to let millions of uninsured Americans shop for insurance policies. Despite taking three years to build, it fell flat on its face when it debuted on October 1, 2013. Figure 1.1 compares Amazon.com to Heathcare.gov in the first three months of operation, demonstrating that not only was it slow, error prone, and insecure, it was also down much of the time. Topic Amazon.com ACA Oct ACA Nov ACA Dec Customers/Day (Goal) 50,000 50,000 30,000 Customers/Day (Actual) >10,000,000 800 3,700 34,300 Average Response time (seconds) 0.2 8 1 1 Downtime/Month (hours) 0.07 446 107 36 Availability (% up) 99.99% 40% 85% 95% Error Rate 10% 10% Secure Yes No No No Figure 1.1: Comparing Amazon.com and Healthcare.gov during its first three months. ( Thorp 2013 ) After its stumbling start, the deadline was extended from December 15, 2013 to March 31, 2014, which explains the lower goal in customers per day in December. Note that availability for ACA does not include time for “scheduled maintenance,” which Amazon does include ( Zients 2013 ). The error rate was for significant errors on the forms sent to insurance companies ( Horsley 2013 ). The site was widely labeled by security experts as insecure, as the developers were under tremendous pressure to get proper functionality, and little attention was paid to security ( Harrington 2013 ). Why is that companies like Amazon.com can build software that serves a much large customer base so much better? While the media uncovered many questionable decisions, a surprising amount of the
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blame was placed on the methodology used to develop the software ( Johnson and Reed 2013 ). Given their approach, as one commentator said, “The real news would have been if it actually did work.” ( Johnson 2013a ) We’re honored to have the chance to explain how Internet companies and others build successful software services. As this introduction illustrates, this field is not some dreary academic discipline where few care what happens; failed software projects can become infamous, and can even derail Presidents. On the other hand, successful software projects can create services that millions of people
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