Obama’s political problems became Healthcare.gov’s technical problems

The Washington Post has a heavily reported article on how Obamacare is failing as a direct result of the White House prioritizing political considerations over technical ones. It dovetails well with earlier reporting on the matter but brings much more detail. It ought to be read in its entirety, when you can find the time.

My favorite example is this one:

According to two former officials, CMS staff members struggled at “multiple meetings” during the spring of 2011 to persuade White House officials for permission to publish diagrams known as “concepts of operation,” which they believed were necessary to show states what a federal exchange would look like. The two officials said the White House was reluctant because the diagrams were complex, and they feared that the Republicans might reprise a tactic from the 1990s of then-Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.), who mockingly brandished intricate charts created by a task force led by first lady Hillary Clinton.

In the end, one of the former officials said, the White House quashed the diagrams, telling CMS, instead, to praise early work on those state exchanges that matched the hidden federal thinking.

They refused to release vital information on how the system was supposed to work, because they were afraid Republicans might inform the public how the system was supposed to work. And yes, I think their fear was justified.

(Previous post.)

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