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Home > unemployment > Website Wasteland

Website Wasteland

January 7th, 2014

The lead article in today’s New York Times, “Faulty Websites Confront Needy in Search of Aid,” shows that the problems evidenced by the rollout of the healthcare.gov federal marketplace are a common occurrence among government sites and not specifically an indictment of the Affordable Care Act.

Many states have been trying to move their unemployment compensation system to an online version to improve efficiency and avoid the phenomenon of long lines at an unemployment office. The problem with these sites, like Obamacare, derives from the fact that there is a shortage of I.T. experts in public service jobs. As a result, the websites created are full of bugs, causing long-term frustration for users and cost overruns for the states trying to set them up.

The Affordable Care site, thus, is not an indictment of Obamacare but an indictment of the ability of government to create a modern website due to a lack of I.T. professionals in public service.

Meanwhile, the people who are suffering, the needy who must use these programs for economic survival, must scramble to get the monetary support they deserve, often calling assistance phone numbers that are not manned by an adequate staff either.

These problems have been unearthed by the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group for the poor, and are just now receiving the scrutiny they require.

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