Oct
10
2013

Yet another post on the structural problems of #Obamacare (Language warning).

You can tell that it’s bad for the Obamacare exchanges.  No, not because more people are ripping it apart*…

Bugs can be fixed. Systems can even be rearchitected remarkably quickly. So nothing currently the matter with healthcare.gov is fatal. But the ability to fix it will be affected by organizational and communication structures.

…or that they’re forced to come up solutions that are politically infeasible**:

People are no doubt scrambling to get healthcare.gov into some semblance of working condition; the fastest way would be to appoint a person with impeccable engineering and site delivery credentials to a government position. Give this person wide authority to assign work and reshuffle people across the entire project and all contractors, and keep his schedule clean. If you found the right person—often called the “schedule asshole” on large software projects—things will come together quickly. Sufficient public pressure will result in things getting fixed, but the underlying problems will most likely remain, due to the ossified corporatist structure of governmental contracts.

No, you know that it’s bad when Slate references George W Bush without visibly sneering.

We live in a world that embodies the paradox of George W. Bush’s responsibility society (aka the “ownership society”), where authority and accountability are increasingly separated.[***] Keep an eye out to see if CGI [one of the companies that essentially had their part of Obamacare blow up on the launching pad] suffers any consequences whatsoever. Vermont just decided to double CGI’s contract pay, so I’m not optimistic. Power flows upward while responsibility flows downward, which is why you couldn’t pay me to work as a government contractor. It’d be like going back to Microsoft.

Via The Campaign Spot.

Moe Lane

*Turns out that people and media organizations that are mostly online tend to know something about computers, websites, and database management.  Go figure.

**”Give us more money to hire the guy to fix the program that we passed over your unconscious bodies! You know, the one that blew up just like you said that it would!” Yeah, good luck with that.

***There was a weird, half-hidden link here about Kanye West and GWB there originally.

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