Back during the late Bush and early Clinton Administrations I owned a Government consulting company which develop specialized software for a variety of systems and computer platforms. we developed systems either directly for Government Agencies or for Prime Contractors who had contracts with the Government.
Every President comes to Washington with a list of things to do. Many of those things can be implemented within the vast Federal Systems he directly controls without Congress’ approval through the passage of laws. Things like improving the system which take care of veterans, or the procedures to assist home buyers. In some cases improving how these programs work involves upgrading the computer systems which make them go.
when President Clinton came to town, Republicans had controlled the Federal apparatus for 12 years. The vast majority of the positions which are politically appointed were held by Republicans. There is a level under the appointed officeholders called the Senior Executive Service, which is not supposed to be political. It is made up of Senior professional managers who are the folks who really make things function in the Federal Government. They work under whoever is President and typically make careers out of Federal Service. Some of these people are promoted from careers within the Government. With the pay for these position tied to the commercial market, many come from the commercial industry side to work for the Government.
Historically, while the selection process for these jobs is blind, when Republicans hold power they try and recruit fellow Republicans to make the jump. Ditto for the Democrats. which during the GW Bush Administration opened the door to outright politicization of these jobs through manipulating, and outright breaking the system. This assured that many of those jobs were taken by Bush sycophants…
During the Clinton Administration I witnessed many of the Bush/Raygun holdovers working to throw a monkey wrench in many of Clinton’s signature programs.
Obama, trying to appear magnanimous refused to flugh he Bushit filled toilet when he gained office.
Anyone who has worked with computers knows that the technology is exacting. It really doesn’t take much to make a million lines of code useless. A program can fail because of one single line of code being in error. Google spent many years and millions of dollars to make their search engine be able to handle common misspellings. The engines before Google were literal. If you searched for cheeese, you got only those results with the same typo.
Suggesting the reason the Obamacare programs failed so badly…
Was an inside job.
It would be nice if our computer whizzes at the NSA took a look at that instead of spending all their time snooping on everyone’s telephone.
To the undisputed reasons for Obamacare’s rocky rollout — a balky website, muddied White House messaging and sudden sticker shock for individuals forced to buy more expensive health insurance — add a less acknowledged cause: calculated sabotage by Republicans at every step.
That may sound like a left-wing conspiracy theory — and the Obama administration itself is so busy defending the indefensible early failings of its signature program that it has barely tried to make this case. But there is a strong factual basis for such a charge.
From the moment the bill was introduced, Republican leaders in both houses of Congress announced their intention to kill it. Republican troops pressed this cause all the way to the Supreme Court — which upheld the law, but weakened a key part of it by giving states the option to reject an expansion of Medicaid. The GOP faithful then kept up their crusade past the president’s reelection, in a pattern of “massive resistance” not seen since the Southern states’ defiance of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954.
The opposition was strategic from the start: Derail President Barack Obama’s biggest ambition, and derail Obama himself. Party leaders enforced discipline, withholding any support for the new law — which passed with only Democratic votes, thus undermining its acceptance. Partisan divisions also meant that Democrats could not pass legislation smoothing out some rough language in the draft bill that passed the Senate. That left the administration forced to fill far more gaps through regulation than it otherwise would have had to do, because attempts — usually routine — to re-open the bill for small changes could have led to wholesale debate in the Senate all over again.
But the bitter fight over passage was only the beginning of the war to stop Obamacare. Most Republican governors declined to create their own state insurance exchanges — an option inserted in the bill in the Senate to appeal to the classic conservative preference for local control — forcing the federal government to take at least partial responsibility for creating marketplaces serving 36 states — far more than ever intended.
Then congressional Republicans refused repeatedly to appropriate dedicated funds to do all that extra work, leaving the Health and Human Services Department and other agencies to cobble together HealthCare.gov by redirecting funds from existing programs. On top of that, nearly half of the states declined to expand their Medicaid programs using federal funds, as the law envisioned.
Then, in the months leading up to the program’s debut, some states refused to do anything at all to educate the public about the law. And congressional Republicans sent so many burdensome queries to local hospitals and nonprofits gearing up to help consumers navigate the new system face-to-face that at least two such groups returned their federal grants and gave up the effort. When the White House let it be known last summer that it was in talks with the National Football League to enlist star athletes to help promote the law, the Senate’s top two Republicans sent the league an ominous letter wondering why it would “risk damaging its inclusive and apolitical brand.” The NFL backed off.
The drama culminated on the eve of the open enrollment date of Oct. 1. Congressional Republicans shut down the government, disrupting last-minute planning and limiting the administration’s political ability to prepare the public for the likelihood of potential problems, because it was in a last-ditch fight to defend the president’s biggest legislative accomplishment.
“I think my Republican colleagues forget that a lot of people are enrolling through state exchanges, rather than the federal exchange,” Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) noted last week. “And if it wasn’t for the fact that many Republican governors, including my own,” failed to set up state exchanges, “then we wouldn’t be putting so much burden on the federal system.”
In fact, putting an excessive burden on the federal government was the explicit aim of the law’s opponents. “Congress authorized no funds for federal ‘fallback’ exchanges,” the Tea Party Patriots website noted as long ago as last December. “So Washington may not be able to impose exchanges on states at all.” The group went on to suggest that since Washington was not equipped to handle so many state exchanges, “both financially and otherwise — this means the entire law could implode on itself.” …more