hotair | Does the White House know that the “tech surge” is largely a waste of time, a contrivance they’re using to placate Americans and stall while they figure out what to do next? Or is the depth of technological ignorance here such that they really do think Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg could whip this thing into shape in a few weeks?
There’s an irony to the tech surge too, says Andreessen:
“The government has accreted over the last 30 years contracting rules and regulations that make it impossible” for Silicon Valley companies to compete in Washington, he said. “So you’ve wired the system basically to prohibit the people who really know what’s going on.”
That’s one degree of self-imposed difficulty. The second degree was the extraordinary secrecy about the building of the site maintained by the White House and HHS because they were terrified of political embarrassment if their opponents found out how badly things were going. Had they shared more info with private insurers sooner, they might have had useful feedback on how to correct the site’s problems before they reached this point. The third degree of self-imposed difficulty was the fateful decision to force people to create an account on the site in order to comparison shop among plans, a choice that was made possibly because the administration was afraid of “rate shock” scaring away consumers if they weren’t informed upfront about their subsidies. Who made that decision? According to Issa’s House Oversight Committee, sure sounds like it was the White House (“CMS” is the department of HHS that’s overseeing the website):
CGI officials told Committee staff that CMS officials and employees constantly mentioned “The White House” when discussing matters with CGI. For example, CMS officials would routinely state: “this is what the White House wants.” Moreover, CGI officials told Committee staff the ability to shop for health insurance without registering for an account – a central design feature of the health insurance exchange – was removed “in late August or early September.”They spent years building a site that would let you comparison shop without creating an account, just like every other commercial website does, and then at the very last minute they were told to tear that up by the roots and stick all the plan information behind a reg wall. Why? And who’s the dummy who thought a fix like that would be simple? Fist tap Big Don.