Mindy Newell: Computer Glitch
George Bernard Shaw
“Back to Methuselah” (1921)
President Barak Obama is a visionary. Which is great. It’s important for the President of the United States to be a visionary, to be able to inspire. That’s how Barak Obama became President in 2008.
But once elected, it’s not enough to be a visionary. You need to know how to put that vision into effect.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy knew how to do that. Ronald Wilson Reagan knew how to do that.
President Barak Obama – and I can’t believe I’m saying this – does not.
The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, is in real trouble. The website is a disaster – where is Oracle when we need her? – and those who have been able to sign up are finding that their personal health care providers are not participating and that only a limited amount of hospitals are participants. A woman speaking to Brian Lehrer on NPR a couple days ago told him that the only hospital she can go to under the ACA is Lenox Hill in Manhattan, and while Lenox Hill is a very fine institution, the woman lives out on the Island, as in Long. (And for those of you not in the metropolitan New York City area, trust me, when you are sick enough to need hospital care, you do not want to drive on the Long Island Expressway as your life is ticking away and you are crawling along the asphalt at as much as 10 miles an hour.) Meanwhile insurance companies are happily cancelling policies because they don’t measure up to the ACA’s parameters because the premiums for ACA approved policies are more expensive.
(Once again the insurance companies have figured out how to make a buck off of people’s miseries – I can just hear the board of directors of Horizon, Aetna, Oxford, Cigna, and all the rest at their meetings: “Okay, no more lifetime caps, no more pre-existing condition bans, but here, look at Paragraph IV for example – everyone has to have maternity care in their plan, which means we can charge the client for that even if the client is male. And that’s just Paragraph IV. Yes, no worries, we can make up for any potential losses and we have the ACA and the President to thank for that.”) And the Repugnanticans are having a field day, gleefully attacking our Marxist, Maoist, Socialist, Kenyan Muslim President every which way they can. And though you, my faithful readers, know that I am a staunch Democrat and supporter of the man currently living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, I gotta say…
What the fuck, man!
You go and approve the hiring of a Canadian tech company to build the web site? And to make matters even worse, it’s a company that has a botched record! To quote from the Washington Times (granted, a very conservative paper, but they are right in this):
“Canadian provincial health officials last year fired the parent company of CGI Federal, the prime contractor for the problem-plagued Obamacare health exchange websites, the Washington Examiner has learned.
“CGI Federal’s parent company, Montreal-based CGI Group, was officially terminated in September 2012 by an Ontario government health agency after the firm missed three years of deadlines and failed to deliver the province’s flagship online medical registry.”
For someone who is about jobs, jobs, jobs for Americans, I just don’t get it. Why didn’t the President just go to Microsoft or Apple? Why didn’t he call up Bill Gates or Steve Jobs (before he died, of course) and ask them for advice, i.e., give me the names of the best and the brightest in the IT biz. I want them to build what I believe will be the most important website in American history.
That’s what I would have done.
Seriously, man, what the fuck?
Now I hate working for a micro-manager. You know the type – he or she has got his or her nose in your face every second of every hour of the workday, and just won’t leave you alone to get your job done.
But the President of the United States has to be, in so many ways, a micro-manager. A hands-on guy. He – or she? Go, Hillary! – has to know what’s going on, has to have his – or her. Go, Hillary! – nose in your face every second of every hour of the workday. The President always has to be one step – or a hundred yards, or a million-zillion miles – in front of the crowd.
Because ultimately, as that plaque on Harry Truman’s desk read – The buck stops here.
And it doesn’t do any good to admit to that after the fact, as Obama did last Wednesday.
Oracle, we need you.
TUESDAY MORNING: Emily S. Whitten
TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis