Tina Brown for The Daily Beast: What’s Behind the Obamacare Cock-Up

October 21st, 2013

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The Daily Beast
by Tina Brown
October 21, 2013

What a chance the Republicans missed to give President Obama the worst few weeks of his second term. If they had just gotten out of their own way, they could have kept up the media glare on the embarrassing presidential imagery of the Syria episode, swiftly followed by the massively uncool cock-up of the health-care rollout. They wouldn’t have had to lift a finger. Instead they redirected all that lovely negative karma at themselves.

Perhaps the most damaging aspect of the Obamacare tech nightmare is how wholly predictable it all was. Anyone who has been involved in building the most rudimentary of web operations knows nothing ever works as it’s supposed to. Even awesome Apple, mighty Microsoft, and gargantuan Google miss deadlines.

Not only is the tech itself full of glitches and gremlins, but the “content” it conveys requires very different species of people to collaborate in ways they never will. Techies know they hold all the cards to the obscure and procrastinate on the grounds of engineering mysteries. The information or editorial people feel so passé and irrelevant that they never voice their secret fears that what is moving inexorably forward makes no discernible sense. When panic sets in, they regress completely and start ordering up things that are technical flops, too. Then everyone braces for this car crash they hope won’t metastasize into a train wreck.

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