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Accenture Faces Mid-March Healthcare.gov Deadline Or 'Disaster'

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the hope-you're-looking-forward-to-continued-drama dept.

Government 215

PapayaSF writes "TheHill.com reports that Accenture has two months to fix HealthCare.gov by building a 'financial management platform that tracks eligibility and enrollment transactions, accounts for subsidy payments to insurance plans, "provides stable and predictable financial accounting and outlook for the entire program," and that integrates with existing CMS and IRS systems.' The procurement document, posted on a federal website, states that if this is not completed in time, there will be 'financial harm to the government' and 'the entire healthcare reform program is jeopardized.' Risk mitigation (which pays insurers who enroll a higher-than-expected number of sick patients) must be accurately forecast, or it might put 'the entire health insurance industry at risk.' Accenture will also have to fix the enrollment transmissions, which have been sending inaccurate and garbled data to insurance companies. Because the back-end cannot currently handle the federal subsidies, insurers will be paid estimated amounts as a stopgap measure. The document also said that officials realized in December that there was no time for a 'full and open competition process' before awarding Accenture the $91 million contract. What are their odds of success?"

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Open source (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003603)

Why is government software like this thing not open source? What is the motivation for it being closed source?

Re:Open source (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46003775)

Money.

Re:Open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003901)

So... Corruption as usual. If the system is so broken, why are people defending it?

Re:Open source (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003947)

Two reasons:

1. People are (god help me, I feel a fedora sprouting from my head and hairs growing from my neck as I type this) sheep. Your average person would lose their goddamned shit if they didn't have someone telling them what to do and when to do it. This is the end result of an education system that teaches blind love of authority, followed by corporate structures that do the same with regard to their employees. Thinking is hard. Decisions are tough. Et cetera.

2. The only way to resolve the problem of the system is to vote in people who will change it. But if we vote for the wrong people, those other people might get elected! And they'll destroy us all! We'd better just vote for our team. Oh, yes.

For some, thinking is *impossible* (5, Informative)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 9 months ago | (#46004041)

Two reasons:

1. People are (god help me, I feel a fedora sprouting from my head and hairs growing from my neck as I type this) sheep. Your average person would lose their goddamned shit if they didn't have someone telling them what to do and when to do it. This is the end result of an education system that teaches blind love of authority, followed by corporate structures that do the same with regard to their employees. Thinking is hard. Decisions are tough. Et cetera.

It's only partly because of education, but for the *most* part, it's the innate human instinct to "go with the flock", and yes, just like the sheep.

Idol worshiping is everywhere, from movie stars to athletes to religious figures to even people of the most untrustworthy occupation - politicians - flocks of sheep pay their homage to their idols.

Whatever their idol did, no matter how wrong it is, the sheep will find excuses to defend - even when it is utterly *un*defendable, they still try their best to defend.

Like the original contract for this website which went to a college buddy of the POTUS' wife, without open bidding.

If we are to criticize the award of that original contract to someone who has no clue in setting up a website, the sheep will be rubbed the wrong way and they will revolt. They will attack whoever dare to criticize their idols.

Re:For some, thinking is *impossible* (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004211)

Baa!

Re:Open source (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004055)

Your average person would lose their goddamned shit if they didn't have someone telling them what to do and when to do it. This is the end result of an education system that teaches blind love of authority, followed by corporate structures that do the same with regard to their employees.

Mod down! Mod down! Mods, do what you're told, because you've been told!

Who are Accenture? (5, Informative)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 9 months ago | (#46003807)

Accenture, from the multinational corporation formerly known as Arthur Andersen, changed their name after the Enron scandal, formerly residents of tax haven Bermuda, now residents of tax haven Ireland http://www.forbes.com/sites/taxanalysts/2013/11/06/if-ireland-is-not-a-tax-haven-what-is-it/ [forbes.com] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Andersen#Enron_scandal [wikipedia.org]

Re:Who are Accenture? (5, Insightful)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 9 months ago | (#46003941)

Accenture worked on the Australian Taxation Offices "Change Program", which cost billions and was a debacle. From the moment that they got the contract it was all about trying to progressively descope so that they had to deliver less and less. They delivered a fraction of what they said they would and many years late.

But then they have a habit of employing smart young non-techies and then putting them in technical positions, and work practices that border on a cult.

Why anyone would throw money at these clowns is anyone's guess.

Re:Who are Accenture? (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | about 9 months ago | (#46004071)

Why anyone would throw money at these clowns is anyone's guess.

Because they are highly respected in management circles. You get the tech view on them and I have to agree that I would never, ever, ever hire them unless you put a gun to my head or something equivalent. But management thinks differently. From what I've grasped, they deliver excellent work, as far as management is concerned - that means regular status updates in easy-to-digest powerpoint slides, solid contract work, and instantly available expertise (if you tell them you need an expert on your big-ass storage system, tomorrow, they'll fly someone in and send you a bill).

All of these and many similar things are like miracles to a beleaguered manager who needs to save his neck from the management layer above him who's asking for his head in order to save their own.

Re:Who are Accenture? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004231)

I must admit, they do deliver excellent work but their value for money is quite poor. Only use them if it you have to get it done right and don't care about the cost.

Re:Who are Accenture? (3, Insightful)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 9 months ago | (#46004271)

True, although the expert will often as not turn out not to be, and they will make decisions that will haunt you for years.

Not that the competition is any better.

Re:Who are Accenture? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004369)

Good at management? Ok here is a story from Norway, I won't name names but I personally know the lead developers of the project. Accenture was hired by DNB to work on a pension system, worth "billions". The application was utter crap, atleast the lead developer said so. So one day DNB (which had employees in Accentures offices due to the project) came and had some change requests – Accenture's management estimated it would require 2000 man hours to complete the task (pulled a random number out of their frickin' management ass). At the same time DNB's person in Accenture's offices had contacted the lead developer and asked him about this change also. He fixed the issue even before Accenture's management had the opportunity to talk with him, 8 hours spent.

Accenture is nothing but a fuckin' scam, good at snake oil talk – officials working with this company is probably very very incompetent or even worse corrupt.

Re:Who are Accenture? (5, Informative)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 9 months ago | (#46004517)

I worked with a customer that used them for building a new data mgmt system. Instead of guiding the team to starting with the basic structure and build on it, they wanted to map every conceivable use. A huge amount of time/money wasted on hypothetical data structures and unneeded complication. But, as you said, they had executive mgmt sold that they were the right company. They have good salesmen.

Unless they are replicating an existing system, I wouldn't use them.

Re:Who are Accenture? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004511)

My wife used to work for Accenture.
The culture is typically bounding "consultants" which jump into a project, and then within 1 month jump to another project, in order to pump up their list of successful projects & plump up their personal resume .. without ever contributing any real work to a project.

This project is doomed.

Re:Who are Accenture? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004183)

Sounds funny, except that you're completely wrong. Accenture used to be Andersen Consulting, which was a distinct company since 1989 and had nothing to do with Enron whatsoever.

Re:Who are Accenture? (5, Interesting)

jonbryce (703250) | about 9 months ago | (#46004193)

Andersen Consulting split off from Arthur Andersen a few years before the Enron scandal.

Re:Who are Accenture? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004501)

Nice paranoid conspiracy theory. The same Wikipedia article to which you link contains the facts: Accenture is not Arthur Anderson; it's the renamed Anderson Consulting, which split off from AA in 1989, 12 years before the Enron scandal. AC had nothing to do with the Enron contract; that was all AA. The renaming of AC to Accenture was due not to a PR decision by AC, but to a 2000 court order in AA's favor, awarding AA all rights to the "Andersen" name. AA subsequently renamed themselves "Andersen." all this took place the year before the scandal came out.

The Enron scandal took down AA; their involvement as the actual shredders destroyed their reputation. Accenture, having nothing to do with it, was largely unaffected and unharmed.

Re: Open source (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003917)

So much for the transparency Mr. Barack Hussain Obama promised...

Re: Open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004715)

So much for the transparency Mr. Barack Hussain Obama promised...

That's President Obama to you. And if you insist to write out his whole name for some strange reason, it is Barack Hussein Obama II.

Re:Open source (1, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 9 months ago | (#46004059)

Are you insane? What free software contributor would want to wade through 10,000+ pages of Obamacare? Somebody actually printed it out, and you need a forklift to move it around. And that's just Obamacare, there are mountains of other gov't health/tax/payroll regulations to go through before you write a single line of code.

Open source is only possible for software that developers want to make, where the developers determine the features. Nobody in the universe is masochistic enough to sit through meetings day after day and work through nights and get grilled by congresscritters for no pay.

Re:Open source (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004141)

Are you dense? Do you think Open Source means that people work for free? Accenture (or some other contractor) would implement it, get payed by the Government and put it on Github for example. Anyone could identify problems and point them out. The requirement of open source and an open process would be a requirement from the Government.

Re:Open source (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#46004267)

..its entirely possible for the government to put a simple line into the RFQ...

*implementation must be open source and the contractor hands over all ownership and copyright of the product

now, without that line.. they have them by the balls, basically. and the headline is incorrect.. it's not disaster for accenture at all, it's a disaster for the government only.

Re:Open source (3, Interesting)

Gumbercules!! (1158841) | about 9 months ago | (#46004133)

I would assume the simply tendered out the process and got a bunch of quotes (tender responses) from companies on the government preferred supplier list. Any companies not assumed "big enough" were discounted out of hand. Then they would have had 2 or 3 left over (because at the very start of the process, they would have decided to immediately short list down to 2 or 3 people at most because bigger numbers than that is too hard to comprehend) and had some presentations from them about their success stories and then asked themselves "who was the cheapest?" and "who have I heard of before?".

That's how it works here in Australia, anyway.

Re:Open source (1)

TomGreenhaw (929233) | about 9 months ago | (#46004663)

Accountability, deadines

Re:Open source (1)

knarf (34928) | about 9 months ago | (#46004673)

Knowing the company behind this boondoggle I guess the reason the code is not open source is to protect the innocent developers who might otherwise happen to get a glance of said code to their eternal detriment and damnation. Snow crash for real...

So, what are their odds of success? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003607)

...Better than the odds if the contract were given to certain other companies. That I could name. But won't.

The odds of success are zero (1)

warewolfsmith (196722) | about 9 months ago | (#46003611)

Unless the US Government threatens to bankrupt them via liquidated damages its unlikely the healthcare system will ever work properly. A sentence of death concentrates the mind wonderfully.

Re:The odds of success are zero (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46003793)

Yep. I see no mention anywhere of "penalties" or "personal liability".

I bet those people who are busy pocketing money wouldn't be so eager to sign government contracts if they put words like those in them.

Re:The odds of success are zero (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 months ago | (#46003865)

What I read is "Dead Accenture, if you don't like the healthcare reforms, all you have to do is fail this two-month project to kill it off. We won't hold it against you.".

Re:The odds of success are zero (1)

Megane (129182) | about 9 months ago | (#46004357)

I think you meant to say "Dear Accenture", but I like your Freudian slip. A dead Ass-enter is a good Ass-enter.

Re:The odds of success are zero (5, Interesting)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 9 months ago | (#46004727)

Why is everyone responding couching this in terms of a binary success/failure? I have worked in the health insurance industry for 20 years, through lots of business, state regulation and federal regulation clusterfuck deadlines, and the typical pattern is;

Note that a deadline is approaching in a year or so
Meet occasionally to marvel at how complex the change will be until 6 months before the deadline
Assign a team to do the work with 4 months to go
Have an "oh shit! ALL HANDS ON DECK!" come-to-Jesus meeting two months before the deadline where the CEO kicks some rhetorical ass
The team works like hell to implement what they can
Mid-level managers identify the *least* required functionality to avoid firing/contract penalties/lawsuit and/or prosecution
Deliver *something* that technically meets the requirements
Get an "attaboy" from the CEO on the heroic work done by everyone involved

I'm not even being sarcastic. This is how it works. ICD-10 ring any bells?

= NILL (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 9 months ago | (#46003617)

How do you fix a Rube Goldberg foundation under a building? You demolish it and start over.

Re:= NILL (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 9 months ago | (#46004085)

You are now on an NSA watch list.

Two months? (4, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | about 9 months ago | (#46003619)

Two months is barely enough to understand the problem and to start reading top level documents. Not even looking at the code. Most of those tasks are system-level, and it will be essential to understand what data formats each of those entities wants - before some poor code monkey is given signed requirements to generate that data.

Re:Two months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003747)

they have had a couple years to work on this, why are they dragging their nuts

Re:Two months? (1)

ttucker (2884057) | about 9 months ago | (#46003757)

Different contractor.... Typical business practice would dictate that they not start working on the project until there is some prospect of making money.

Re:Two months? (1, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46003795)

they have had a couple years to work on this, why are they dragging their nuts

Because the first 18 months will have been spent picking out nice furniture for the new offices.

Re:Two months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004089)

I feel sorry for the low-level IT staff (programmers, etc) who will be pressured into working long, hard days (and possibly weekends) to meet the deadline.

Re:Two months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004681)

I feel sorry for the low-level IT staff (programmers, etc) who will be pressured into working long, hard days (and possibly weekends) to meet the deadline.

Yeah, but they'll get time and a half for a lot of that work, so fuck 'em. If they don't like it, they can always have been born in India and take the jobs at a quarter of the wages they'll get now.

Re:Two months? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004127)

Accenture isn't a technology consultancy they are a management/operational excellence company, they farm technology work out to Avanade. This has no chance of being a complete success, but Avanade is decent.

Re:Two months? (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#46004475)

Two months is not even enough to organize the people doing it. For a project this size, it is amazing if anything productive gets done after 6 months.

0% (2, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | about 9 months ago | (#46003623)

No chance at success. Just like the rest of ObamaCare, a misconceived piece of legislation that managed to take a market plagued by serial distortions of preferential tax treatment for third-party insurance and actually make them worse by larding on an individual mandate and even larger subsidies to insurance companies.

And the worst is yet to come, when some 80 million additional employer-sponsored policies are cancelled [foxnews.com] .

The failure of the website is just the cherry on top of incompetent conception, planning and execution all along the line. It can take Apple or Microsoft 6 months to fix the bugs in a major release to an X.1 release, and Accenture is supposed to take someone else's far-more-dysfunctional code-base and make it work in 8 weeks?

Not going to happen, and just another example of the serial dishonesty and manifest incompetence of the Obama Administration.

Why are you looking at the Obama Administration? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003765)

They got the plan straight from the Mendacity King, Mitt Romney. With help from the insurance industry, who wrote large swaths of it for their own benefit, before having the Heritage Foundation put it out.

But hey, maybe they want this whole idea to fail, and Obama is really playing 11-dimensional chess as he sets everything up for a takeover with FEMA camps and Kenyan Anti-Colonialist Muslim Communist Homosexual Death squads!

Me, if I'd been in charge of business, I'd have gone straight to single-payer and put all of the disemployed Insurance paper-pushers into something more productive like counting grains of sand.

Re:Why are you looking at the Obama Administration (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003961)

They got the plan straight from the Mendacity King, Mitt Romney.

People love to bring this up, but protip:

There is a massive difference in legality*, complexity, necessity, and implementation in running a program in a state, vs. running it at the Federal level.

"Obamacare" is most certainly not "Romneycare".

(* The Federal government has absolutely no authority to be enacting health care nonsense. In effect, this legislation is illegal. In reality, the Constitution is long dead in all but in the form of something to trot out and thump one's chest about, so it's game on, of course. I'm not calling out either party here, because you'd pretty much have to go back to John Motherfucking Adams if you want the first real boot to the Constitution's head, or George Kills-For-Fun Washington if you want to see where the destruction of the supreme law of the land actually began.)

Re:Why are you looking at the Obama Administration (1)

Imrik (148191) | about 9 months ago | (#46004585)

If you require insurance companies to sell across state lines you can turn it into an interstate commerce issue.

Re:0% (1, Insightful)

reboot246 (623534) | about 9 months ago | (#46004417)

In other words, it's working just like it was planned. The goal was to destroy the health insurance companies and then go to a single-payer system. The disaster will come when that is realized. When your health care is in the control of the government, the government has you by the balls. Sounds great, huh?

Re:0% (4, Informative)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 9 months ago | (#46004701)

...And the worst is yet to come, when some 80 million additional employer-sponsored policies are cancelled [foxnews.com]

Is this a realistic prediction? I ask because your link is almost two months old, it's a Fox News story with the usual bias against the administration, and the underlying "facts" come from the American Enterprise Institute, of whom George W. Bush gushed, '"I admire AEI a lot--I'm sure you know that," Bush said. "After all, I have been consistently borrowing some of your best people."' And we know how that administration turned out.

I'm not looking for Rachel Maddow's take, but how about something within the last month, from a source that's not rabidly anti-Obama?

Thanks.

Slim..... and None (4, Insightful)

kenwd0elq (985465) | about 9 months ago | (#46003627)

Especially for Accenture, a company with a fairly consistent record for failure in large IT projects, especially for government IT projects.

But at that, the chances of something that can be spun as "successful" are greater for Accenture than for Deloitte. Not by much.... but some.

Time for them to change their name again (3, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46003629)

It's Accenture. They write contracts DESIGNED to make a profit if they fuck up.
I know the name change had reasons other than getting away from the bad reputation of Andersons, but it did have that side effect. If they have a front page for a week fuckup it won't kill them but I bet they'll change their name.

Close to 100% (5, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | about 9 months ago | (#46003633)

It'll be "good enough". Accenture built the California site, which works fine, and the insurers really want it to work, so they'll accept less than perfect.

Of course, the summary is designed to make everyone say "THERE'S NO CHANCE!!" It's kind of insulting in its blatant demagogy, but I've come to expect that here.

Re:Close to 100% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003689)

^^^^That. And quite appropriate, given the responses to date.

Re:Close to 100% (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#46003823)

If they really plan on doing it in two months, then the only way they can reach that deadline is by tacking together pre-existing parts, or by debugging code that is mostly working already.

If they are planning on writing major pieces of the system, or even relatively minor pieces, then there really is no chance they will succeed. At two months, if they are planning to design, code, and test more than 20,000 lines, it's going to be very difficult.

Re:Close to 100% (4, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | about 9 months ago | (#46003861)

Two months isn't a real drop dead date. They'd certainly like it to be done by then, but it's not like everything gonna go down in flames if the insurers only get estimated payments, with adjustments coming in a couple quarters.

Re:Close to 100% (2, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 9 months ago | (#46004747)

Exactly. Obama will just decree that they can have more time, breaking his own laws once again

So you get.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003639)

$600 million + to screw things up and $91 million to save the healthcare industry?

Disaster for who? (4, Insightful)

jaymzter (452402) | about 9 months ago | (#46003677)

I think the headline writers are a bit confused on who exactly is facing the disaster here, and it's certainly not Accenture.

Accenture? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003679)

Oh fuuu....ccccckkk! They screwed up the NHS database in the UK and now they moved on to the US. Don't any deep pocketed government read the news? Why hire totally incompetent assholes? I wonder if they are the same pricks who wrote that divide-by-zero code which crashed a French space rocket.

Re:Accenture? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004167)

Their tech track record is not so good, this is true. But their management track record is -very- good. They deliver periodic updates in powerpoint, etc... At least that's what I heard.

America Cannot Compete (4, Insightful)

The Cat (19816) | about 9 months ago | (#46003707)

There is no longer any point to these discussions of American inability to accomplish anything useful.

1. Fifteen years ago, Americans cheered as their neighbors were fired en masse while their retirement accounts were savaged by the dot com crash and corporations helped themselves to armloads of taxpayer cash.

2. Eight years later, Americans cheered as their still unemployed neighbors were thrown from their homes by bald-faced institutional fraud while corporations helped themselves to armloads of taxpayer cash.

3. Now, Americans cheer as their government passes, then ratifies a plainly unconstitutional monstrosity which deprives millions of families of affordable health care while corporations help themselves to armloads of taxpayer cash.

Americans once valued education and competence. Americans followed people they respect. American leaders took care of the people they led.

But the word "American" no longer has any meaning to the people who live in this country. The average person is embarrassed to claim the name "American." Those who do are reviled, jeered and looked on with suspicion.

We have completely forsaken our integrity, our parents, our country and everything it ever stood for. Flying the flag over the narcissistic wreck this country has become is nothing short of blasphemous.

The men who died at Appomattox, and Normandy, and Lexington and the Somme died for nothing. We have abandoned our neighbors to the winds and freed our government to claim any power it wishes and to use it however destructively it wishes without even the slightest electoral consequence. America no longer has a soul.

And that is why all the king's horses and all the king's men can't build a web site.

Re:America Cannot Compete (1)

buybuydandavis (644487) | about 9 months ago | (#46003787)

Lot's gets accomplished in the US.

It's the US government that can't accomplish anything but ever grander clusterfucks.

Re:America Cannot Compete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003895)

Which they accomplish by contracting out all the work to the private sector.

Re:America Cannot Compete (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | about 9 months ago | (#46004065)

A private sector who has no incentive to succeed. Why deliver working software in 6 monthes when you can claim you need two more years and twice the initial money and are reasonably certain to get obtain it ?

Re: America Cannot Compete (1)

tleaf100 (2020038) | about 9 months ago | (#46003981)

sounds like someone forgot to take of their rose tinted glasses while looking at the past. yer leaders whete no better,just a more ignorant,under educated population. they where as crooked and bent then as they are now,just that the media then was even more up govs arse. your companies and gov have a wonderful record of selling to all sides,even while at war with some countries,(nazi germany and ibm) your past history of criminality and incompetence is no diffetent than it is today,just that we get to hear about some of it today. the americans or pre american immigrants have done a wonderful job of self delusion for over 300 years,one of the early one being your so much praised supposed constitution,which is worth exactly the same as our magna carta,sweet f.a. but you just carry on believing if that makes you happy,just dont try to explain anything about america,you are part of the americans problems,not seperate from it. chances of accenture doing this right,their past record says no.

Re:America Cannot Compete (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 9 months ago | (#46004105)

Why is Obamacare unconstitutional?

Re:America Cannot Compete (3, Informative)

The Cat (19816) | about 9 months ago | (#46004199)

1. Under the tenth amendment, the Federal government has no constitutional authority to manage or otherwise regulate the health care market. The Supreme Court directly and unanimously rejected their Commerce Clause justification.

There is no such thing as an interstate health care market. In fact, practicing medicine across state lines is a felony in all 50 states, even if you have a medical license elsewhere.

2. The only way the Supreme Court could possibly ratify the Affordable Care Act was to declare it a tax, which justified it under the enumerated powers of Congress in Article I Section 8.

This despite the fact the U.S. Government repeatedly argued on the record that the ACA was not a tax.

The problems with calling the ACA a tax are:

A. If it is a tax, it is unconstitutional on its face under the origination clause in Article I Section 7. Only the House may originate a bill for raising revenue. The ACA originated in the Senate.

B. If it is a tax, it must be apportioned under Article I Section 2 and Article I Section 9. The apportionment requirement is the only mandate that is repeated twice in the Constitution. There can be no doubt the ACA is a direct tax (regardless of the Supreme Court's hand-waving) since all citizens of the United States are liable to pay it. Since the ACA is not apportioned, it is unconstitutional.

C. If it is not a tax, there is no power in Article I Section 8 that justifies it, therefore the tenth amendment governs. Health care is a state issue, and the Federal government may not interfere.

3. When the ACA was ratified by the Supreme Court, the case was being heard illegally. Under Article III Section 2 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over any case in which a state is a party. Original jurisdiction means the case must be first heard in that court.

However, the Supreme Court was hearing on appeal when they ruled the ACA constitutional. The Supreme Court does not have appellate jurisdiction over a case in which 26 states were plaintiffs. Further, the district courts that heard the case in the first place had no jurisdiction to rule for or against it either. District courts have no jurisdiction over such cases at all.

Therefore the Supreme Court ruling was and is illegal. The ACA has therefore never been ruled legally constitutional. That means the 26 states that sued to overturn it still have a case and under the 14th amendment, must have their day in court.

The Constitution is not a list of suggestions. The tenth amendment, Article I Sections 2 and 9, and Article III Section 2 are all the Supreme Law of the Land under Article VI. Neither Congress, nor the Supreme Court, nor any other authority in this nation other than a plurality of states may overrule it.

Therefore, the ACA is unconstitutional and must be struck down.

The Right Stuff vs. Obamacare (4, Insightful)

IgnorantMotherFucker (3394481) | about 9 months ago | (#46003711)

How is it that we landed men on the moon in ten years, but we can't write some web applications in six years? Or consider that the US involvement in the second world war was just four years, enough time for us to develop two different kinds of nuclear weapons, as well as build vast numbers of ships and airplanes that actually worked.

Re:The Right Stuff vs. Obamacare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003783)

I could probably write the whole thing by myself with good accountants / IRS agents to fill in the rest of what I don't know but the general software can be written in that period of time with maybe one or two people. It's not exactly rocket science nor is it the most complicated thing in history unless of course the IRS is, but truth be told, that's why you build the software correctly the first time so it understands the IRS better. I think whoever created H&R block's website should have done this, they know taxes much more than anyone of us. So to keep it simple, it's just a company that wanted to make a quick buck. That website shouldn't have cost more than a few hundred grand to build but it's a government contract. I've been there before, the project director will say "complications" occurred during development to get more funding and we always did. Nothing can be done about it if you value your job and family.

Re:The Right Stuff vs. Obamacare (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003835)

1) Both World War II and the Apollo program had larger budgets and
2) the delivery deadline was not flexible and was not adjusted even when it was clear the project could not be delivered as expected. E.g. D-day airdrops over Normandy were delayed because of fog. Might have been more expensive (in soldiers and $$) if the airdrops were performed regardless of the weather because the political cost of delaying it was considered too high.

I guess it's Slashdot so there are a lot of poorly thought-out quips by smart people, but really, why is everyone taking this as proof of US Gov't ineptitude? Anyone with experience in large projects should know it's, at best, a 50-50 chance that any given project will succeed. Throw into the mix the opposition party amping up the political stakes for missing the deadline, a customer (the White House) desperate to prove them wrong, and you have a recipe for disappointment. I've seen the exact same thing in a large Corporation where one branch had a pet project and another branch was actively campaigning to kill it. In that case, the outcome was actually much worse than what's been happening with Healthcare.gov, but it was confidential so never made it to the papers (there was some suing involved so via court documents maybe it did have some visibility in some obscure fashion).

Re: The Right Stuff vs. Obamacare (1, Insightful)

tleaf100 (2020038) | about 9 months ago | (#46004003)

er thats because the americans did'nt do what you reckon they did. manhatten would not even existed if europeans had not done most of the early work and if the project had only contained americans it would have taken closer to 20 years,if done at all. moon shots,big simple hammer technology mostly done by germans kidnapped from germany and forced to take american nationality,technicaly american,but only just. as pointed out in post above,one of americas major problems is their love of rose tinted glasses that appear to also contain an image of stars and strips,explaining why you all see american success's everywhere,while the rest of us just look on and watch this big,fat,clumsy teenager called america clump and thrash and push their way to head of the que.

Re:The Right Stuff vs. Obamacare (2)

Megane (129182) | about 9 months ago | (#46004405)

Because landing men on the moon was done by engineers, to solve a problem based on scientific principles like orbital mechanics. This is being done by non-engineers, to solve a problem based on legalese crap crammed in by lobbyists. (But they're the best non-engineers that money can buy!) It's all about the A-ark types vs the B-ark types.

Re:The Right Stuff vs. Obamacare (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#46004473)

Landing somebody on the moon is easier. Simple as that. There is a reason 50% of software projects still fail.

It is not a true choice (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 9 months ago | (#46003739)

It is not an either or proposition. Regardless of what Accenture does, ACA is leading into disaster.

A little correction to the headline (1)

hsa (598343) | about 9 months ago | (#46003743)

s/Or/And/

Hipocracy? (1, Flamebait)

Squeezer (132342) | about 9 months ago | (#46003777)

Remember when Bush 43 awarded no-bid contracts to Haliburton and other companies in the LOGCAP program to provide services, supplies, and logistics to troops in iraq and afghanistan in the mid-2000's? There was a lot of outrage by the media and the left about it. Now, Obama awards no-bid contracts to companies to fix healthcare.gov and there isn't a single peep of outrage.

Re:Hipocracy? (1)

epine (68316) | about 9 months ago | (#46004207)

Now, Obama awards no-bid contracts to companies to fix healthcare.gov and there isn't a single peep of outrage.

There's trolling and there's chickenshit. This is both.

President Obama wakes up every morning knee deep in outrage astroturf manufactured on an industrial scale by one of the most powerful snowblowers that civilization has ever known. Your unpeeping post of insincere outrage is but the smallest intestinal worm inside this giant elephant.

Gridlock plays to conservative interests. Some of us are capable of parsing the tea leaves around the ugly fallout. It's not an act of patriotism to actively sabotage every elected administration where you voted for the defeated candidates. Until that lamentably pervasive attitude changes nothing that gets accomplished in Washington is going to look pretty by any external metric.

By all accounts the Obama administration has been disappointing. Unfortunately, disappointing is the new normal. Too many self-serving interests in America are determined to keep it that way.

Let's look at what happened when the Republicans decided to act quickly in a crisis: $700 billion injected into TARP under practically no oversight at all.

As of Dec. 7, 2013, SIGTARP had "pursued criminal charges against 107 senior bank officers, most of whom have been sentenced to prison."

As I recall it, a huge chunk of the TARP money was already moving before SIGTARP, the oversight office, had a working light bulb.

A December 31, 2008 Associated Press article stated, "Government officials overseeing a $700 billion bailout have acknowledged difficulties tracking the money and assessing the program's effectiveness."

Have clue, will parse. Try it some day. Start by noticing the difference between millions and billions.

Re:Hipocracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004707)

Wow. OP makes a valid point about no-bid contracts and the seeming lack of criticism from the left when they were criticizing Bush for the very same behavior and you have absolutely nothing to say to that except to attack the integrity of the person who pointed it out.

2 months? no way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003817)

Hm, maybe the summary is intentionally biased and misleading, but a large company like accenture can't do anything in 2 months. I've worked with them and I do work for a large company as well, and I can't quite imagine them getting their act together on a short notice, no matter the consequences. Same goes for all large vendors used to work for large customers, with slow, dim-witted IT departments.

Cue GOP talking point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003841)

A single bug will represent the entire failure of the Obama administration, more proof that the people don't want it and it must be stopped!

Alas another lesson about paper power :-) (2)

John Allsup (987) | about 9 months ago | (#46003855)

The government has a real chance of learning the lesson that pieces of paper containing the words 'A will do B or else C' for various combinations of A, B and C, are nowhere near as effective as an imaginary fairy with a wand when it comes to actually getting stuff done. If real fairies with real, working magic wands were an option, it would most likely work much better than the current approach, but alas all the fairies were driven out long ago by the forces of insistent scientists demanding that fairy magic has no place in a modern scientific world. 'Suit yourself,' said the Fairy Queen, 'we thought we were doing you a favour, seriously, it's better where we come from, magic works properly there, and we're only too happy to oblige!' So the Fairy Queen and all the magic fairies and their magic wands disappeared into the sunset, and the US government was left with only paper, letters and no magic spell power besides 'contractual terms' to allow the pieces of paper to have any useful effect.

Single Payer (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46003887)

single payer.

you pay taxes. taxes pay for services. what services you wanna buy--- killing people in the middle east, or healing people in your own country?

single payer.

anyone who shows up at a doctor's office or emergency room gets treatment. that's already the case at the emergency room, but nationalized, tax funded health care means that there is no particular disincentive to having regular checkups. and that takes the burden off of emergency care.

if everyone is covered because anyone who works is paying taxes, then the "group" reflects the health of the nation and is no longer disproportionately skewed toward the sick.

single payer. let's at least try to have better healthcare than France.

Pretty good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004007)

Somewhere between 0% and one millionth

The numbers don't work (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004039)

So, it's a $91 million dollar contract on a two month timeline.

Let's say there is a profit margin in there, of 50%, so cost is 45.5 million

Let's say it's really important, and everybody works 60 days.

That is over 750,000 per day.

If we average $4,000 (total guess) per day per project team member, we have 190 people on the team.

Who the hell can organise 190 people on a two month project.

How has this been estimated?

Can anyone else make the numbers work??

Re:The numbers don't work (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#46004467)

The numbers do not work. A project this size needs something like 6-12 months to become organized and start to be productive. And that is with all experienced and capable staff.

This will take at the very least 2 years. Even if given that time, the odds are strongly against success.

The odds are... (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 9 months ago | (#46004079)

... tiny. Minute. About the same as for any monster project, e.g. here in Vienna the project that was retrofit the entire IT landscape, software and hardware, in one giant project. Awarded to IBM. Who majestically botched it.

Re:The odds are... (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 9 months ago | (#46004253)

Typo. I omitted half of the project description. It should read "... the entire IT landscape, software and hardware, of the city's main hospital, which is publicly funded.

Besides the jokes (3, Interesting)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 9 months ago | (#46004111)

Accenture (and the like) image in IT departments (technical side) is often illustrated thanks to some jokes, like the famous Why did the chicken cross the road? [math.kth.se] . While the IT department usually delivers practical and tangible services, these "consulting companies" made their way up to the management. The management, IT illiterate, is always keen on overpaying some comforting but useless lengthy overpriced reports from such a consulting company, stacked later on at the bottom of a cabinet, having a sticky note inserted on page 3/1000, page where the reader gave-up reading. Useless reports aimed at influencing high level decisions at the management level, that may not have a direct or lethal impact on IT productivity. Besides the heavy cost embedded in the management budget, usually no one really cares. The problem arises when a big entity, IT illiterate, does not have a solid IT structure yet, and assigns full responsibility to such a "consulting company" to manage a new IT service, from A to Z.

What are their odds of success? (1)

eulernet (1132389) | about 9 months ago | (#46004239)

It's very easy:

From Accenture's managerial point of view, it will be a huge success.

From the government's point of view, it will be a massive failure.

And the real losers are the american citizens.

lets remember they are humans too (1)

Njovich (553857) | about 9 months ago | (#46004241)

Let the one who has never missed a deadline throw the first stone...

Large healthcare IT ventures are notoriously hard. Yes, screwups were made, but lets not stamp everyone that worked on this project into the ground. It's good to level criticism at those involved to show them we are not pleased at what was delivered, but they are humans, and despite what you believe there are plenty of hard working, smart people working at these boring and incredibly hard government projects.

Accidenture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004349)

600 million lines of code
~75 days of work
8 million lines of code to process each day

no fucking way hose, this is just a scam - giving money to the funders of the system.

good luck (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 9 months ago | (#46004439)

It's very hard to automate a broken idea.

Basically zero.... (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#46004461)

Even reasonable tests for bugs would take longer than they have, modeling, prediction, fixing architecture, design and implementation - no chance at all. I would estimate this will take at the very least 2 years and possibly as long as 5. Even if it takes 5 years, there is a real possibility it will have completely failed at the end.

I predict that Accenture will fail to deliver, but will make off with the money anyways, possibly after having gotten significantly more.

I just hope the GOP does not quit now (0)

DarkOx (621550) | about 9 months ago | (#46004503)

Between not enough young people signing up, the initial problems and now these problems victory over Obamacare is still entirely possible.

Re:I just hope the GOP does not quit now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004743)

I don't think so. The GOP still hasn't been able to think up an alternative. All they have is the status quo ante.

modd 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004513)

both believed that some intellig3nt host what the house project. Today, as

chances of success? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004533)

the words slim and nil come to mind

Insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004551)

Generally speaking, application development can't be properly done if it's driven by an arbitrary schedule. It should optimally be done from feature-set based point of view, and with the full understanding that adding, removing or changing features affects the schedule. Simply cutting away features doesn't always mean you'll end up saving work, either.
Given an inflexible schedule, they'll end up having to make compromises that will probably cause more work to be done later. With a different team. Who probably have no no understanding of the system, the stupid half-documented hacks, and what came before. It'll end up costing more in the long run.
Either that, or they'll just keep using a half-broken turd.

tldr; Make your schedule depending on the needs, don't make up the needs based on the schedule.

Deadline? (1)

pouar (2629833) | about 9 months ago | (#46004629)

Wasn't it the short deadline that caused the disaster?

Odds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46004711)

I would optimistically place their odds of success at 0

AssCcenture (1)

Anonymousekiteer (3504461) | about 9 months ago | (#46004749)

I know these primadonas and I can bet my fortune that these fuckheads will fail miserably.
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