VodkaPundit

Breaking the Code

Slate’s David Auerbach peered as deeply into healthcare.gov as he could, and here’s what he found:

The site’s front end (the actual Web pages and bits of script) doesn’t look too bad, but it is not coping well with whatever scaling issues the back end (account storage, database lookups, etc.) is having. I tried to sign up for the federal marketplace six days after rollout. The site claimed to be working, but after I started the registration process, I sat on a “Please Wait” page for 10 minutes before being redirected to an error page:

“Sorry, we can’t find that page on HealthCare.gov.”

Except that wasn’t the problem, since the error message immediately below read:

“Error from: https%3A//www.healthcare.gov/oberr.cgi%3Fstatus%253D500%2520errmsg%253DErrEngineDown%23signUpStepOne.”

To translate, that’s an Oracle database complaining that it can’t do a signup because its “engine” server is down.

They can’t even get the error messages right?