HealthCare.gov, heal thyself -- but where to start?

HealthCare.gov is a screwup of massive proportions, even by Uncle Sam's standards. Get this patient some help, stat!

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Anecdotal evidence

For what it's worth, I filled out my application this morning and ran into exactly zero snags. The website was s-l-o-w -- it took about 10 seconds to process the answer to each question, and there were a lot of questions -- but overall it ate up less time than a typical visit to the DMV.

I have not yet used it to shop for insurance, so maybe more headaches await me. But overall, the experience was not the nightmare I was anticipating. Healthcare.gov is actually better designed than 90 percent of the commercial websites I see.

Critics of the president -- including those who recently tried to hold the U. S. treasury hostage in a pathetic attempt to defund Obamacare -- are rubbing their hands in glee at the cockups. As for me, I don't buy the argument that offering government-subsidized health care is unconstitutional. I think if you're determined to turn the clock back to 1791, you should be forced to wear powdered wigs and forgo modern conveniences like antibiotics and electricity. Otherwise, you need to accept that the world changes, technology moves on, and our government must at least attempt to keep up with it, even if its track record for that is several orders of magnitude less than stellar.

Personally, I've always found it a mark of shame that for decades the United States has been the only industrialized nation to allow tens of millions of its citizens to go without adequate health care. You can certainly argue whether the Affordable Care Act is the right way to go about solving that problem, but leaving it to the "free market" hasn't worked.

Still, there's no question that the rollout of Healthcare.gov is an unmitigated screwup that should cost somebody -- or maybe several somebodies -- their jobs. Will the Obamanistas be able to fix this mess? Let's just say I maintain a healthy skepticism.

Did you try to enroll at HealthCare.gov and live to tell the tale? Recount your harrowing experiences below or email me: cringe@infoworld.com.

This article, "HealthCare.gov, heal thyself -- but where to start?," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, follow Cringely on Twitter, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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