Web developers, or at least people who know that Unix and OS X share the same lineage, took to Reddit to ridicule the coding errors plaguing the newly-launched Obamacare exchange websites this week. A Redditor posted a screenshot of the error and code riddled log-in page of the federal healthcare exchange site to the webdev subreddit, and commenters laid in. "If we can spot spelling errors in core language from just this pages output, on the production side, I don't even wanna know what their dev environment looks like," wrote MeikaLeak.
As we pointed out on Monday, some of the glitches users reported experiencing were long wait times and security questions not generating. While the former was the cause of unexpectedly high web traffic — over 2.8 million people visited the federal site alone — many errors were the result of coding that needed to be checked and improved. A couple of commenters made an obvious joke about why no one was available to fix the coding. "Guys the government is closed today, of course none of these sites are working," wrote rudeluv.
Actually, the government shutdown hasn't actually benched the people hired to code the exchanges. The Washington Post reported that the Department of Health and Human Services has added additional servers to help handle traffic for the 34 state exchanges the federal government runs. So far the additional server space has reduced wait times by one third.
But while contractors and the government's IT professionals have been working to improve the system, health insurers said they didn't see any enrollments until last night. "Most of day one and two we didn’t see enrollments," Cigna spokesman Joe Mondy told Post. "But we’ve been able to start getting enrollments as of last night."
Though Cigna went two days without new clients, they weren't concerned. "My understanding is there’s not a heck of a lot of enrollments across the industry, which is reasonable" Mondy told the Post. "Folks are looking at plans. We don’t expect enrollments to go from a trickle to a wave until November. The bottom line for us is that the system is working. It’s very encouraging."
And even one of the coders/Redditors are optimistic. "Whatever," wrote one poster, after listing the errors he encountered. "I've waited years for this. Another week or two wont hurt. They'll get the bugs worked out eventually."