WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – As the White House tries to fix the disastrous roll out of HealthCare.gov and Republicans try to make political hay out of the websites’ problems, computer experts are trying to figure out just what exactly is in the program.
The New York Times has reported one percent of the site, five million lines of code, needs to be rewritten.
That would put HealthCare.gov’s total size at an incredible 500 million lines of code.
Analysts have expressed doubt on that number, and point out the paper’s source is unnamed.
But CNet notes that if that figure is accurate, it would be one of the largest web systems ever built.
In fact, that would make Healthcare.gov two times larger than Facebook, Apple’s OS X 10.4 Tiger and Microsoft’s Windows XP combined.
By comparison, World of Warcraft, which serves more than 7 million subscribers, gets by with a paltry 5.5 million lines of code.
CNet concludes that if there are that many lines of code, it suggests HealthCare.gov may be plugged into outdated systems, full of redundant coding and rushed out the door with little oversight.
Joseph Antos, a health policy expert from the American Enterprise Institute, tells CBSNews.com, “It really does startle me — I never would have guessed two-and-a-half weeks ago we’d be where we are today.”
He says the “tech surge” that the administration has deployed has until around mid-November to create a “tolerable” shopping experience for people before the website’s flaws take a true toll on enrollment.