Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Healthcare website -- what went wrong? Superior Court candidate Jack McVay Jr.

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Oct 23, 2013 2:22 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk, Thursday, October 24, 2013:

healthcare_gov 300 x 220.png

October 1 had been circled as one of the most important dates in the life of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.  It's when the on-line healthcare marketplaces were launched.  Millions of uninsured Americans or those looking for better insurance plans went to the website to compare plans and prices and maybe sign up.

President Obama warned beforehand that there could be glitches in the early days as the website was rolled out. 

Instead, there have been so many problems with navigating the website that few people have actually been able to purchase insurance.

Many are now calling on the Obama Administration to delay deadlines for when consumers must have insurance or face fines. 

At this point we don't know what went wrong, but on Thursday's Smart Talk, we'll explore the possibilities and the challenges that go into creating a website of this magnitude.

Joining us are Charles Palmer, Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Entertainment & Learning Technologies and Associate Professor of Multimedia at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and Chuck Davis, who teaches Ethical Hacking and Computer Forensics classes for Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. Chuck is a Senior Security Architect at a Fortune 500 Company and previously worked as a Security Operations Manager for IBM.


Charles Palmer & Chuck Davis


Also, Smart Talk listeners said during Monday's program on merit selection of judges that they didn't know much about the candidates for Pennsylvania Superior Court -- the one statewide race voters will decide November 5.

Democratic candidate Jack McVay Jr. answers questions about his candidacy on Thursday's show.


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  • Scott LaMar img 2013-10-24 09:09

    Just a clarification...during today's program Chuck Davis stated that the website consisted of 500 million lines of code. A listener emailed to say it actually is made up of 5 million lines of code. From several different media sources who quoted experts, including the New York Times which we references on the air, there are 500 million lines of code. An expert was quoted in the Times as saying up to 5 million lines of code or about 1% of the entire website, would have to be re-written.

    • Robert D Colgan img 2013-10-24 10:06

      From what I had read 1% (5M) was only a conjectured short list-----some analysts postulate that almost 20% (100M) of the codelines may need tweaking in order to dovetail seamlessly with the rest.

      One wit suggested that that number is far greater than the number of monkeys at keyboards the Gov't originally contracted to write the program.
      I thought it a very good show, good guests. Your questions, as always, top shelf.

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