We’ll point out the obvious – the web software roll-out for the Affordable Care Act has been an unmitigated disaster and complete failure by any measure. It has been marked by major software failure and systemic problems. There are hundreds of articles on the web detailing what has gone wrong. The problems range from:
– user login problems
– authentication problems
– general glitches
– inability to handle traffic loads
– user confusion
You can read more details here, here, and here. These failures have come after the government had THREE YEARS to plan for and build these software systems and integrations. Some programmers said it looks like “nobody tested it”. USA Today called it an “inexcusable mess” and a “nightmare”.
Under the proposed Marketplace Fairness Act, state governments would provide so-called “free” software for remote sellers. We’ve explained over and over repeatedly to the public, media and Congress that this software would create MAJOR problems for the operations of our businesses and foist unnecessary costs on small businesses everywhere (see this op-ed in the WSJ, this recent study and our letter to Congress). Federal and state governments have shown repeatedly that they do not have the ability to provide stable, bug-free software. This is just the most recent failure and is a wide-scale confirmation that our concerns are real and legitimate and must not be ignored.
Similar glitches in sales tax software would cost small remote sellers millions of dollars and jeopardize our livelihoods. Any sales tax legislation must NOT require the integration of additional third-party software in order to comply with the law; it should be so simple that that is not necessary. Congress MUST abandon the Marketplace Fairness Act entirely and start over with a plan that is entirely tech neutral.