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03 December 2013

Healthcare,gov does not work on Firefox. It appears that you have to use Internet Explorer. Mrs. pjern was trying to get set up, and kept getting referred to options that didn't appear top exist. She was using an up-to-date, unaltered version of Firefox.

Switch to IE, and all of a sudden, things started working and all the options were there.

Argh. Spread the word.
didn't appear TO exist. Argh.
posted by pjern 03 December | 18:32
Yeah, that was my experience. I was doing my sign up on chrome, and experienced issues. I live chatted with support staff (I sure gave that kid an earful), and he suggested I switch to IE, and then it magically worked.
posted by msali 03 December | 19:31
It's sad when a system like the ACA is just coded for IE. And I don't blame Obama for this. I blame his assistants that have zero understanding of multiple platforms. And this makes HIM look like an idiot when he is not. He sourced it to idiots. Okay, well, that makes him a partial idiot.
posted by Splunge 03 December | 21:10
A lot of things aren't optimized for FF, in my experience. For isntance, at work, I have to use an online payroll system that won't work in it. It'll work in Chrome and IE, and I haven't tried any others.
posted by Miko 03 December | 23:00
"I think I'd rather not have insurance than use IE." -Every "young healthy"
posted by kodama 04 December | 00:15
Has this happened since they started fixing the site? We registered a couple of weeks ago (using Firefox/Mac) and had no issues, other than the general site-wide problems everyone else was having.

It is sad, though, that, even today, it's not hard to encounter web devs who still code with an IE/Windows-only intent.
posted by Thorzdad 04 December | 08:10
I started my stuff in early October. Getting info for my circumstances has been difficult.

Since I'm self employed, my income varies widely plus my State didn't opt in. So, I could either fall into the uncovered gap or be in the low subsidy group.

My great concern is how they deal with it if you estimate 2014 income wrong..... how does the IRS then penalize you?

I'm going to just keep my existing sub-standard plan because I'm terrified of IRS implications.
posted by mightshould 04 December | 08:56
This seems pretty typical of government sites everywhere. Government Web projects always seem to be a long way behind trend and, because decision-makers can't see past their own experience, rely on the misconception that everyone sees the Web in the same way they do - through a filter made of their own restricted, locked-down ICT environments. This is endlessly frustrating for me at work, where our primary on-line system (used by all 4,000+ organisations we interact with as well as internally) is built on a stated premise that the system assumes IE on Windows with a minimum resolution of 1680 x 1050. I'm part of the project to redesign and rebuild this system from scratch and, while one of the 'must have' parameters we've set is that it must work 100% on all major browsers including mobile devices, I'd bet that it won't end up that way.
posted by dg 04 December | 14:28
My husband did a program for a department that shall remain unnamed, and they required IE 6.

I don't think that programmers or even managers are stupid, I think it's the sheer scale of any project involved with government. So many servers, so much infrastructure, so many desktops, and it's got to be secure and not cost anything and no you can't upgrade because budget.

But then my brother only programs iThings so there you go.

On preview: woah, dg. You're on this train? Good luck.
posted by lysdexic 04 December | 14:52
yea every govt. website I've ever had to interact with requires IE of various flavors. It's kind of their default standard.
posted by lonefrontranger 04 December | 19:29
Yet, speaking as a basic consumer, I've yet to encounter a gov website that didn't work for me. And I'm on a Mac, which means no IE of any sort.
posted by Thorzdad 04 December | 20:43
I think lysdexic has it. There are so many constraints, and everything is politicized.

I would really like to see a solid movement toward digitizing governments - state and local as well as federal.
posted by Miko 05 December | 00:03
Lysdexic, yeah, while it's cool to be in on a project to decide what the system wil look like, it's an incredibly time-consuming and frustrating job. We've got as far as mapping out every single process we do from a 'to be' perspective (ie 'assuming no system constraints how would we want this to work') and it's been an enormous effort. We're about to go to market to select a vendor, which may mean having to start with an existing product with all the compromises that brings.

The issue of inertia in trying to get large systems updated is massive, for sure - the last place I worked had a network with over 70k users and just getting an update from Office 2003 to Office 2007 (in 2011!) took 6 months to roll out and involved huge amounts of support and training. But I'm not even talking about this sort of thing, but systems that require nothing more from a user than a working browser - because the people that make decisions can't seem to see that there's a whole world outside the locked-down corporate ICT environment where people interact with such systems in a wide variety of ways and can't understand that it's just not OK to try and force the world to see things from their perspective. I can't even fathom the kind of thinking that leads to a decision that 4,000 users have to use a system built around the ICT environment that around 150 are stuck with.

That's not even considering the broader infrastructure issues - our primary system has to be hosted externally because the network is developed with such a high level of security (department of defence standards, even thought that's not even close to us) that the testing of the system prior to deployment would have taken 12 months. That also means we can't access the database directly to run reports - we have to have a stand-alone machine with its own internet connection that copies the database every night and reports are run from that. Some people still can't understand why we're moving our entire ICT infrastructure away from government managed services and into a commercial environment, though ...

Miko, we operate under a 'digital transition policy', meaning we have to only create digital records wherever possible and, where this can't be done, they have to be converted (ie scanned). The biggest hurdle? Users that won't give up their hard copy records. Well, and managers that won't make them :-(. My team has fully embraced it, which means we have a giant compactus that has nothing in it but Christmas decorations ;-)
posted by dg 05 December | 15:23
Had phone interview for a job yesterday but haven't heard anything back yet. || This week's Photo Friday Theme will be: