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The Obamacare Website - How Does It Represent A Failure Of Government?


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yes it is a failure by the government. had anybody involved with this done some basic research on the internet they would have seen that this company has a history of problems.

however, the million dollars their lobbyists gave to politicians was probably more important to them

It's a failure of the decision-makers, yes. The "failure of government" that I'm talking about is the ideologically-based notion that government is always inefficiency and that the private sector can do things better. This was a private company. And it failed to provide services more efficiently.

Look, I'm as opposed to no-bid contracts as anyone. But the problem with bidding is that the cheapest is not always the best, yet the political situation always calls for going with the cheapest bid. I think that government contracts should be focused on quality and price simultaneously. That's how normal people make decisions when they buy things. I could have bought the cheapest tablet on the market, but I preferred to pay a little more and go with better quality in the form of the iPad.

Smart government is better than either big government or little government.

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LOL, it was well-known this summer that the website was not ready for prime-time. It was the political people and white house that was determined to roll it out on October 1st no matter what. You can crap on the contractors and they are certainly culpable - but the white house could have delayed this.

The Republican asked for a delay in the individual mandate - if Obama would have conceded there would have been no government shutdown.

Now, Obama is feeling the pressure from Dems to delay the individual mandate - do you see the irony here?

So the private companies who were paid millions did not have their product ready by the deadline that had to be in their contract. And the administration was unreasonable for demanding that it be ready by the deadline that was part of their contract?

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Did Oracle have anything to do with this? I thought until recently it had been entirely handled by CGI.

From what I read this was not a problem with the actual site or its ability to handle the influx of people. The problem is on the backend, where the information you input into the system gets verified.

The companies are saying they did not get the correct requirements in time, plus the Admin changed up the rules for viewing the pricing. The Admin wanted people to sign in first, so they could view the price AND their tax rebate to reduce the sticker shock, but of course, the original plan did not include this. This is going to take time to fix, which I think Obama should delay the mandate until the site is up and running, but it will get fixed sooner than later.

The one good thing is now they have actual data on where it failed, so they can debug and fix it.

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It's a failure of the decision-makers, yes. The "failure of government" that I'm talking about is the ideologically-based notion that government is always inefficiency and that the private sector can do things better. This was a private company. And it failed to provide services more efficiently.

Look, I'm as opposed to no-bid contracts as anyone. But the problem with bidding is that the cheapest is not always the best, yet the political situation always calls for going with the cheapest bid. I think that government contracts should be focused on quality and price simultaneously. That's how normal people make decisions when they buy things. I could have bought the cheapest tablet on the market, but I preferred to pay a little more and go with better quality in the form of the iPad.

Smart government is better than either big government or little government.

big bloated government with little or no oversight is exactly why this occurs tho

a simple rubric would be all it takes to make an objective decision on a contractor that takes into account more than just cost

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Who is defending the administration? I asked how it was a failure of government, as a lot of people are claiming.

You are. You are saying it's a failure of privatization but it's not. The government is in control of how it's produced, when it's released and who/what they pay. By not putting this failure on the government and instead trying to put it on a private entity, you are defending the adminstration/government.

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From what I read this was not a problem with the actual site or its ability to handle the influx of people. The problem is on the backend, where the information you input into the system gets verified.

The companies are saying they did not get the correct requirements in time, plus the Admin changed up the rules for viewing the pricing. The Admin wanted people to sign in first, so they could view the price AND their tax rebate to reduce the sticker shock, but of course, the original plan did not include this. This is going to take time to fix, which I think Obama should delay the mandate until the site is up and running, but it will get fixed sooner than later.

The one good thing is now they have actual data on where it failed, so they can debug and fix it.

Thanks for the info. That's a more detailed account than what I've heard so far. IIRC, the individual mandate can be waived for people who do not have access to affordable insurance. The administration is saying that waivers for those without access to the website is a real possibility.

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It's a failure of the decision-makers, yes. The "failure of government" that I'm talking about is the ideologically-based notion that government is always inefficiency and that the private sector can do things better. This was a private company. And it failed to provide services more efficiently.

Look, I'm as opposed to no-bid contracts as anyone. But the problem with bidding is that the cheapest is not always the best, yet the political situation always calls for going with the cheapest bid. I think that government contracts should be focused on quality and price simultaneously. That's how normal people make decisions when they buy things. I could have bought the cheapest tablet on the market, but I preferred to pay a little more and go with better quality in the form of the iPad.

Smart government is better than either big government or little government.

I think we're mincing words at this point. I'm referring to the people who work for government as government. Government wanted this program (as we debated on a separate thread recently, a majority of the people have never favored it), government contracted an incompetent private firm with a poor track record. Government apparently failed to foresee potential pitfalls or monitor the results of said firm closely. Government failed to bring in their "A team" until 3 weeks after the rollout began. This is an all-around cluster of Government incompetence. I don't care if an incompetent private firm with a poor track record is involved.

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You are. You are saying it's a failure of privatization but it's not. The government is in control of how it's produced, when it's released and who/what they pay. By not putting this failure on the government and instead trying to put it on a private entity, you are defending the adminstration/government.

The government contracted with a private company. But somehow the government controls all aspects of that private company and how the product is produced? That sort of nullifies the whole purpose of contracting with private companies.

The failure appears to be with decision-makers in how they select companies to receive contracts. That's a serious problem, but not the same as calling this a "failure of government".

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The failure appears to be with decision-makers in how they select companies to receive contracts. That's a serious problem, but not the same as calling this a "failure of government".

Exactly. Many of us see this as definition of government failure, but you clearly do not. Again, mincing words. Doesn't seem like anyone is changing anyone's mind.

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From what I read this was not a problem with the actual site or its ability to handle the influx of people. The problem is on the backend, where the information you input into the system gets verified.

The companies are saying they did not get the correct requirements in time, plus the Admin changed up the rules for viewing the pricing. The Admin wanted people to sign in first, so they could view the price AND their tax rebate to reduce the sticker shock, but of course, the original plan did not include this. This is going to take time to fix, which I think Obama should delay the mandate until the site is up and running, but it will get fixed sooner than later.

The one good thing is now they have actual data on where it failed, so they can debug and fix it.

as someone who has been dealing with financial aid and the Department of Education's software since 2004, it would surprise me greatly if it were that simple

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Exactly. Many of us see this as definition of government failure, but you clearly do not. Again, mincing words. Doesn't seem like anyone is changing anyone's mind.

I think that it's an important distinction. The FEMA reaction to Katrina was horrific. Was that a "failure of FEMA" that suggests the need to eliminate the agency? Or was it just a monumental screw up by the person who happened to be running the agency?

Some people are using this as justification for their ideological view that government should not offer these kinds of services. For me, this seems more like a problem with how contracts are selected and the decisions made by specific people in the agencies.

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I think that it's an important distinction. The FEMA reaction to Katrina was horrific. Was that a "failure of FEMA" that suggests the need to eliminate the agency? Or was it just a monumental screw up by the person who happened to be running the agency?

Some people are using this as justification for their ideological view that government should not offer these kinds of services. For me, this seems more like a problem with how contracts are selected and the decisions made by specific people in the agencies.

But that has been an issue for DECADES. Yes, it's inexcusable. Personally, I don't think we should have to tolerate agency screw-ups, which sadly seems to have become the norm over the past couple decades. Again, who's in charge? The lack of accountability is what bothers me.

FEMA's Katrina response was a colossal screw-up, but this is more personal as it affects every last one of us, like it or not.

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But that has been an issue for DECADES. Yes, it's inexcusable. Personally, I don't think we should have to tolerate agency screw-ups, which sadly seems to have become the norm over the past couple decades. Again, who's in charge? The lack of accountability is what bothers me.

FEMA's Katrina response was a colossal screw-up, but this is more personal as it affects every last one of us, like it or not.

The lack of accountability is definitely a problem that needs to be addressed. And yes, this has been going on for decades. That's kind of my point. There are problems here that need to be fixed, but the "lawlz look gubment can't do nuthin right" response is the wrong approach. It would be more helpful if we looked objectively at what went wrong and work to fix those mistakes and make sure they don't happen in the future.

Unfortunately, for a small number of people who just want to burn the house down, that doesn't fit with their agenda.

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The lack of accountability is definitely a problem that needs to be addressed. And yes, this has been going on for decades. That's kind of my point. There are problems here that need to be fixed, but the "lawlz look gubment can't do nuthin right" response is the wrong approach. It would be more helpful if we looked objectively at what went wrong and work to fix those mistakes and make sure they don't happen in the future.

Unfortunately, for a small number of people who just want to burn the house down, that doesn't fit with their agenda.

I'd agree with you if I felt that was realistic. But when no one is taken to task when screw ups at the highest levels occur, why should we expect anything but more of the same. I know liberals roll their eyes at some of these "phony scandals" but those of us with no real allegiance to either party are tired of this stuff. That's where the weariness of government and belief that failure should be expected comes from.

That said, I don't think Sebelius survives this. How could she?

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The government contracted with a private company. But somehow the government controls all aspects of that private company and how the product is produced? That sort of nullifies the whole purpose of contracting with private companies.

The failure appears to be with decision-makers in how they select companies to receive contracts. That's a serious problem, but not the same as calling this a "failure of government".

You are so full of crap!!!!!!!!

You have turned this biggest gov't failure in a long time into an indictment of private companies. Obama/Feds 100% knew this product was not ready for primetime - but, in their desperate attempt to get individuals on the goverment sugar of subsidized health care and the pre-existing crowd that want access - they rushed a product to market that was not ready.

Obama does not want to delay the individual mandate because that is the key to solidifying his precious utopia - he is concerned - as well he should be, that Obamacare is going to collapse. There was tremendous political pressure put on these contractors to make a deadline that was not realistic.

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You are so full of crap!!!!!!!!

You have turned this biggest gov't failure in a long time into an indictment of private companies. Obama/Feds 100% knew this product was not ready for primetime - but, in their desperate attempt to get individuals on the goverment sugar of subsidized health care and the pre-existing crowd that want access - they rushed a product to market that was not ready.

Obama does not want to delay the individual mandate because that is the key to solidifying his precious utopia - he is concerned - as well he should be, that Obamacare is going to collapse. There was tremendous political pressure put on these contractors to make a deadline that was not realistic.

So Obama is unreasonable to insist that the product be ready by the deadline that had to be set in the companies' contracts. He "rushed a product to market" by asking that it be ready on the day they paid to have it ready.

That makes sense.

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