There is some confusion about the size of the healthcare.gov website. Yesterday in a post I used the number 5 million as the number of lines of code that must be rewritten and did not bother to check what percentage of the program that entailed. If the new York Times is correct the number 5 million represents only 1% of the total size of the program. As this number has drifted through tech community it has elicited more WTF's than explanations. In fact no one can explain it other than the theory that CGI Federal loaded up the program with old legacy code from old systems. This goes a long way toward explaining the cost of the site which is reported as anywhere from $200 to $500 million. There's a lot that can be said for cost plus, no bid, government contracts as they have made many contractors exceedingly wealthy but his sort of spending is more suited to the Stimulus bill where nobody gave a damn where the money went. My gut instinct is the New York Times is wrong. 500 million lines of code for $500 million sounds cheap unless they were using undocumented farm laborers which might explain the glitches. The size certainly raises questions about the hardware necessary to to run such a monstrosity. One would think it would have to be run on multiple servers.
The root of much of the outrage germane to healthcare.gov is the inability of anyone outside of HHS to know anything with certainty. The constant stonewalling is antagonizing the media and Congress alike. The whole world knows the NSA tapped Angela Merkel's cell phone yet no one knows the size, cost or expected completion date of healthcare.gov.