Lessons of the Rollout

Obamacare by from National Review, April 3, 2014

It has been interesting watching the Democrats in recent days try very hard not to learn any lessons from the rollout of Obamacare.

In a sense, the development of the Obamacare website offered a window into the thinking behind the program as a whole. The federal government spent three years building a system in an intensely centralized and consolidated way (refusing even to hand over the basic project management tasks) that is characteristic of the technocratic mindset of Obamacare’s larger approach to American health care. That system failed on launch and turned out to have been ill-designed, retrograde, and sclerotic. It seemed almost beyond repair, but a group of private sector engineers from Silicon Valley firms were able to come in at the lowest point in the crisis and essentially do in six weeks what the government couldn’t do in three years (and was probably never going to be able to do). And yet somehow, the president and others are trying to have people draw from this the lesson that the government actually can handle huge, complicated projects well after all.

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