Skip to comments.The Best and the Brightest: Obama to Hire Special Teams of IT Experts to Fix Healthcare.gov
Posted on 10/22/2013 9:02:13 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The administrations effort to respond to the catastrophic rollout of the federal Obamacare exchange seems at this point to consist of having special teams of IT experts from inside and outside the government in the presidents words, the best and the brightest come in and help fix the Healthcare.gov site.
Even if you put aside the fact that the phrase the best and the brightest was popularized by the title of a David Halberstam book about how smart people can do stupid things (in that case, mismanage American foreign policy and march the nation into the Vietnam War), this idea seems very problematic.
Anyone who has been part of a federal project that involves technical work performed by contractors has got to be shaking his head today at the vision of outsiders swooping into a massive project and fixing complex mistakes. The attempt to integrate new people with very high opinions of their own technical prowess into this mind-numbingly complicated undertaking will involve a lot of unpleasant meetings that waste the time of people who should be working on the site, the endeavor will be severely hamstrung by the basic character of federal contracting work (in which the four corners of the contract are everything and rules matter more than goals), and it will all only delay the inevitable end game which is that the contractors who screwed this up will need to be the people who unscrew it, they will do it slowly and clumsily, and they will get paid handsomely by the taxpayer for the additional work.
I think the idea that Silicon Valley types are going to rescue the bureaucracy confuses two kinds of technical mastery: experimental innovation and consolidated management. Each has its strengths and its weaknesses, but these two visions generally do not play well together. Successful technology firms do a huge amount of trial and error, avoid over-management, and create adaptive knowledge systems that work by learning and are constantly tested against competitors. The federal bureaucracy develops and enforces uniform rules meant to apply technical knowledge it (thinks it) already possesses to a complex and chaotic world to make it simpler and more orderly to make it do the bidding of policymakers. As Max Weber put it, bureaucratic administration means fundamentally domination through knowledge. The maxim of the Internet age is closer to liberation through knowledge.
The former vision is built on the premise that the modern age is defined by the immense growth of technical knowledge and expertise and a key role of our social and political institutions is to apply that knowledge and expertise to society to make it more rational. The latter vision is built on the premise that the modern age is defined by every individuals overwhelming ignorance (or as Hayek put it, his reliance on knowledge he does not possess) and a key role of our social and political institutions is to enable local knowledge to be consolidated in practice through innumerable individual trials and errors that add up to practical progress but not to centralized expertise. Think of it as applying expert knowledge vs. channeling social knowledge. Its the difference between how the left and the right think about a lot of policy questions, very much including health care.
That doesnt mean the problems with Healthcare.gov cant or wont be solved, of course. But it probably means they wont be solved by infusing Silicon Valley brilliance into the process. The spirit in which this site was created was like the spirit the law seeks to impose on the health-care system: managerial, not innovative. Its early problems are almost enough to make you think that maybe the federal government shouldnt have too much control over a health-care system badly in need of innovation and efficiency, arent they?
Good deal lets pay for it 2x’s maybe 3
Too big to fail is too big to work.
Obamacare, TO BIG TO FAIL ! so they put more resources on it.
If they have any issues, they can call their special help line at
0118 999 881 99 9119 725.........3.
Snowden’s available for a get out of jail card.
How on earth will the clueless one determine who is the brightest?
They call them Tiger Teams.
Standard Federal government disaster fire drill.
They will be busy a while.
Too bad they cant hide it and procecute whistleblowers as they did here
Will they be the same crowd of irresponsible and stupid geeks who hand out US national security secrets like popcorn?
He has not a clue. And he is demonstrating it with every move on this calamity.
When a project goes south, you can’t just bring in new, “smart” blood to fix it and think it’s gonna be fine.
This whole thing is almost like a much ballyhoo’d manned Mars launch that crashed and burned on the platform because of many and diverse systemic failures. You don’t bring in an “extra special smart” team of guys and try it again in a few weeks.
It will take years.
.... Now here's a thought ...... Why didn't Skippy consider hiring them to build the site in the first place instead of throwing 600 million taxpayer dollars at a failed foreign company with a record of incompetence?
Ditch Initech, bring in Initrode.
So, does this mean they didn’t have the best and brightest develop it? Hmm, that’s such a surprise (not).
"We...fixed the glitch."
Mmmmmmm....the stupid O team will naturally assume all the IT's are avid O worshippers, dying to glorify O....
......just like the cronies that screwed it up did.
O team might be in for a big surprise.
Obama’s already spent a half billion dollars on this mess ... He didn’t start with people who knew what they were doing because with dems it’s always cronies and incompetents first...
And where will Obama get the additional funds?
Will he ask the DOJ to extort (I mean retrieve) the money paid to CGI? If he can get 13 Billion from JP Morgan...........
Government has been hiring the best and brightest for decades now. Is that why things are so messed up?
I’ve often wondered why there aren’t any Texas A&M, U of MI or U of Chicago law school graduates on the Supreme Court.
Great movie. (Glad someone “got it”)
We need to send in a Spec Forces Tiger Team to clean out the nest. Some suggest nuking it from orbit as being the only way to be sure.
With any software system, there "should be" ample documentation to describe the system, its requirements, design, security, etc. I say "should be," because documentation is usually only as good as the sponsor or project leader demands it to be. If expectations of quality and maintainability are high, the quality of the documentation should also be high.
If the system is half-assed, or there are no expectations for quality, or no one is checking up on documentation, it should be readily apparent.
If I was on the House Committee investigating this failure, I would tell Sebelius to bring all the HealthCare.gov documentation.
My point is, reading through, and understanding a well-documented system can take several months alone. They can't just expect a team to come to Washington for a week, tweak a few lines of code, and then be on their way.
RE :We need to send in a Spec Forces Tiger Team to clean out the nest. Some suggest nuking it from orbit as being the only way to be sure.
You mean the nest where all the software bugs live and breed ? LOL
Oh...another outsourced company they can’t subpoena! How convenient.
1) A demanding, focused, flexible, professional approach to technical design and SW development -- whether the approach is strictly "Agile" or not -- such as that used by Apple or Google (to name just two) would greatly benefit the US government which really has a lot of trouble with technology. The feds suceed in building advanced systems ONLY because they throw vast resources at problems until they eventually work (or not). Private industry tends to be more efficient by several orders of magnitude.
2) The government will not allow any movement in this direction. They know better. They've been doing it a certain way for the past 40 years. You didn't fill out form 7613-b. And this needs to be authorized by 5 levels of management above your head before you can even think about starting. And oh by the way, we just changed the requirements. Again.
It’s clear they hired canada’s worst and dullest to build the thing initially. proven track record of massive fail on nationwide system.
which makes me believe besides having big donors involved in the company, the whole effort was designed to fail.
So there’d be a crisis to push people into single payer right away “for their sake, so they aren’t without insurance”. An “insurance katrina/sandy” so to speak.
They aren’t dumb, they knew this company sucked and failed at a large nationwide database type project. to the extent they repealed the law up there.
I believe this is exactly what obama wants. so he can push single payer.
think about it a while. it’s all been talk. they knew what they did pass, all brought around single payer ultimately. how it would affect private companies. some have gone out of business already anticipating obamacare. they’ve screwed up doctors and hospitals prior to it actually being implemented.
the effects to help bring about single payer have occurred without them having the law actually implmenet anything.
they never were going to design a working (well and correct) website. they designed it to only handle 50,000 people a day nationwide - impossible to get 16 million people covered by their deadline without penalties. it’s all on purpose. it’s another crisis to exploit with a radical and fast solution and doing a runaround on congress.
it’s yet another crisis in the crisis smorgasbord. They have always wanted single payer. obamacare shrunk the number of players and shrunk out those that wouldn’t play along.
many of those left won’t mind being rolled into a single payer system, being “patriotic” and becoming part of the government health system.
It’s not a far cry. They’ve nationalized medicine, to nationalize the medical insurers under the umbrella of “single payer” isn’t a stretch. Look at what he’s all done and say it’s a stretch.
He’s always wanted single payer. the obamacare emerging debacle/crisis will allow him to get it. Because “something MUST be done” for all the poor people without insurance now. People will DIE if we don’t do SOMETHING. Mark my words.
Any conservative on the coding team should sacrifice his career and code bugs and viruses all over the system.
That gummi looks like it rolled around the bathroom floor awhile.
Also, if it isn’t tested (and this one obviously was not) it isn’t documented. Documentation is the low man on the totem pole.
BTW, I’m a Lead Business Systems Analyst. Some of our work involves documenting legacy systems that have been working well for a while without it.
i.e. I’d like to see them ask Sebelius to bring the documentation just to see the position she fell in when she fainted.
RE: Its clear they hired canadas worst and dullest to build the thing initially. proven track record of massive fail on nationwide system.
I think they hired the Canadian company for one important reason — THEY ARE USED TO BUILDING A SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM.
You could almost infer..... that the insurance industry wants no part of zerocare. If they did, they would have written the code and it would have worked.
American Healthcare getting punked by some Canadian idiots... was it planned that way?
THEY ARE USED TO BUILDING A SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM.
No competent programmer in his right mind would touch this blivet. You can’t fix bad design.
Well, you can't have everything for 650 million...
Gawd that price cracks me up. It’s insane.
More tax dollars down the tubes.
I know that's the conventional wisdom, and the wet dream of every liberal. But even with a single-payer system, you still need SOME kind of system to administer it. (And by system, I mean either automated, manual, or hyrbid.)
How long would it take to implement that? And why would anyone in their right mind say, "This partially-government-managed system wasn't so bad, I trust the government to get it right when they manage the entire healthcare system!"
Wouldn't they need a law, at least? Could the House be snookered into writing that law? Would such an action be Constitutional?
“Obama to hire The Best and the Brightest IT Experts to Fix Healthcare.gov?”
Who did they hire to write it in the first place?, Larry, Curly, & Moe?
Was this money appropriated by Congress?