When he started the first term, President Obama appeared to be tech-savvy. He hired a CIO, CTO, and CPO (information technology, technology, and performance) respectively. Then, he treated them like political appointees and one-by-one they failed, and the President failed to advance automated government beyond appearance in dot gov websites. (Challenge that if you want as it would be a good followup.)
“When CEOs bet and lost on IT systems” would make a very long book. Since writing about information technology since the 1980s, there are plenty of examples when executives championed large scale change based on new transformational systems that failed in the simplest of ways such as “Can’t get on; it doesn’t stay up; had to start over; got confused, and gave up.”
On something as critical as healthcare as most Americans agree, a new system can have a few problems but never showstoppers like have been encountered so far with Obamacare.
There are certain rules to be observed when embarking on transformational change that is enabled by new system. Obamacare makes a perfect case study for all to learn from.
1. Never embark on change without first knowing that you have the resources to see it through.
It is better to do nothing than to start change that you cannot bear to fruition. The nation has many unmet needs, and it also has severe resource constraints, so what Republicans many have been trying to tell Americans, but did so ineffectively, is that we may not be able to implement Obamacare as it is designed.
2. Aside from resources that determine the capacity for change and improvement, there is the design itself.
The Affordable Care Act was thrown together in a hurry. It was done so without proper vetting by the political process as it was not bipartisan legislation.
With an incomplete and untested design, system engineers charged with designing, developing, and implementing Obamacare for “go-live” may have been doomed from the start.
3. Now, Obamacare must be reviewed in a live environment. Is it sufficiently completed to be fixed on the fly, or must it be scrapped? Given all of the time and investment and indications that it actually produces positive results, it is probably worth fixing.
However, Congress needs to get on board and commit to making Obamacare a better law and therefore a better system.
Here is a big take away from the Obamacare lesson.
All laws and regulations today must be designed for implementation in an automated regulatory environment. Needed in government are lawmakers who are competent in information technology and otherwise tech-savvy in dot-com style government.
“Dems caught in Obamacare uproar
By JONATHAN ALLEN and JENNIFER HABERKORN | 10/21/13 4:59 AM EDT
It’s not the GOP that President Barack Obama has to worry about in defending his botched health care rollout, it’s fellow Democrats.
They voted for the law, sang its praises for three-plus years and still believe in the promise of health care reform. But now they face a conundrum: stay in lock step with Obama and risk their credibility as advocates for the law’s benefits or publicly criticize the administration for its recent problems — especially a failure to more quickly acknowledge, and rectify, the major malfunction of its Internet marketplace.
It’s a particularly vexing question for Democrats worried about their party’s chances in the 2014 midterm elections, and, increasingly, they’re opting for the latter strategy.”