It’s easy to tell the real HealthCare.GOV website from all the scammers, some wag told me when that site first went up and couldn’t stop crashing.
You can log into the scam sites instantly.
Which leads to the overwhelming question: how could it all have gone so wrong? How hard can it be to build a web site?
It’s easy to build a website, as those scammers have proven. What’s hard is unified information – the right information to the right people at the right time.
Take HealthCare.Gov and the scammers. All the scammers have to do is 1). Ask for your personal information and then 2). Save it some place convenient. (For them. Not so convenient for you, if it’s your identity that’s getting stolen…)
So why can’t HealthCare.Gov just work like that? Ummm…because it actually has to work. It has to:
· Figure out what healthcare plans you are eligible for, and then retrieve them from a plethora of government and insurance company web sites
· Verify you are you; retrieve your income from the IRS, and determine what subsidies you should receive
· Route your choices to the correct insurance company while maintaining your security and your privacy
Now take just one simple piece of that information pie: how much money did you make last year? The site could ask the IRS database for your tax records, but…those are for last year. How do we know what you’re making now?
So the system could query for your current employer’s pay stub filings for you, but…that doesn’t include things like your mortgage deduction, other income…
So the only real way to do it is to query the IRS for your tax returns, query it again for your current pay stubs, and then merge the two. And chances are high there will still be errors, and your tax preparer will take umbrage with the results.
Web sites are easy. Data is hard.