O-care Rollout Debacle Is Bringing Ezra Klein Perilously Close To A Clue
First, there was this.
We're now negative 14 days until the Affordable Care Act and most people still can't purchase insurance. The magnitude of this failure is stunning. Yes, the federal health-care law is a complicated project, government IT rules are a mess, and the scrutiny has been overwhelming. But the Obama administration knew all that going in. They should've been able to build an online portal that works.
Early on, President Obama like to compare the launch of the Affordable Care Act to Apple launching a new product. Can you imagine how many people Steve Jobs would've fired by now if he'd launched a new product like this?
The problem here isn't just technological. It's managerial. The White House's senior staff -- up to and including the president -- was blindsided. Staffers deep in the process knew that HealthCare.gov wasn't ready for primetime. But those frustrations were hidden from top-level managers. Somewhere along the chain the information was spun, softened, or just plain buried.
The result was that the White House didn't know the truth about its own top initiative -- and so they were unprepared for the disastrous launch. They didn't even know they needed to be lowering expectations. In any normal corporation, heads would roll over a managerial failure of such magnitude and consequence.
Actually, Klein is getting close to several clues (like the inherently bumbling nature of bureaucracy and how this one blew the easiest part). No serious person, however, believes any of them will become apparent to him in a lasting way.
What is highlighted by the two passages most is this: Team Lightbringer knew this was a big, complicated and important deal.
So they left it up to the yes-men "staffers".
The Obama media has been telling us for quite some time that ACA is his "signature legislative achievement", so why not any oversight by the SMARTEST POTUS EVER?
New layers of bureaucracy are always awful, bloated and inefficient. Creating one in a sycophantic cult of personality environment exacerbates those negative characteristics a thousandfold.
It is impossible to identify and eliminate problems when the ethos of those in charge doesn't allow for every admitting that anything negative is happening.