I wrote most of this yesterday and then got busy doing other things so here it is today for some light Tuesday reading. Heh.
My sister and I keep going back and forth on this strange idea that Obamacare was designed so abysmally poorly to get us to Medicaid as a single-payer option. I know, of course, that this is not an original thought, just that I try not to let my mind go toward the idea that a large number of people could be so sneaky in pursuit of what they undoubtedly justify as “good for the people,” knowing full well that there are a million other, way more selfish, reasons to ensure people are being registered with, and paying into, the system. But then you hear that they hired a contractor — without opening up the bid process — known for some rather large-scale and dramatic failures, and that they just ignored a known capacity gauge when determining what kind of registrant volume the site would be able to accommodate. I worked in IT at UGA for several years and I can say that no program this troubled would ever have been deployed. Never. It would be too much of a burden on available resources to field trouble reports to the help desk, not to mention the black eye on the department both internally and externally. Because the problems with the Obamacare site are elementary, not overly technical. The front-end HTML code doesn’t talk to the back-end database code properly. Whether it’s because of capacity problems or poor coding, or, as Forbes suggests, to hide some unpleasant information for political reasons, it’s a hot mess. And the reason for releasing something so busted — whether to test it out on the public and navigate everyone to a single portal or to just because they hired a crap firm with a bad record of service — is in doubt. Neither one of those options is good in any way. I don’t know about y’all, but I prefer my leaders be at least as precise about things as I tend to be, and that’s a fairly low bar. And they can’t meet it. So, expectation levels are lowered and where do we go from there? A little higher, to something that looks better but, in fact, is still subpar because we’re starting from a lower rung. Change the definition of excellence and you can make people think they’re getting a Jaguar when you’re really pimping a Ford Focus. Anyway, here’s why the whole effort was a bad idea to start with, and I dedicate it to the smarty pants who used to argue that it was the only noble thing to do for those poor slobs who, of course, he would never dare actually spend a minute talking to about anything. Dude, you’re not actually all that smart beyond knowing how to “get yours.” So stick to being selfish and egotistical and quit trying to act like you have some sort of holistic wisdom. You sound like a moron.
First, we should look at the uninsured as an untapped market with varying needs, preferences, and resources, instead of as unified block of helpless supplicants. Rather than treating them like criminals for not doing what we think they should, we should treat them like potential customers. If they don’t like what is currently available, perhaps that is more of a commentary on the products than on the people who don’t buy.
What this all means of course, is that we, the builders of the internet, look like pushers of the fax machine in an age of email and secure file transfers. No wonder China’s getting lippy.
To round it out, here’s an incredible piece from Ace on that weird thing people on the left side of politics do way more frequently in my experience than those on the right: they don’t simply address something from their own perspective without first checking to see what the official line is. I call that cowardice and a lack of confidence in their own abilities and that gets people killed on the battlefield, if you know what I mean.
Okay, other things now:
We still have a chance, but we’re going to need some luck and almost flawless execution going forward.
Want to know why I am proudly Southern? Because we live by a code like this, no matter where we live. Numbers 5 and 6 are particularly great, but Numbers 1 and 2 are becoming my mantra lately.
What the leaders on the Hill can learn from baseball.
Oh, new twist on the apple pie…hmmm…
I really hate the way this piece starts — who says we shouldn’t care? Everything I’ve been taught says we should… — but it’s interesting:
The more time and attention they could devote to thinking empathically, the more sensitive they became. That’s good news for the rest of us. In an everyday world in which we are free to make such an extra interpersonal effort without a handful of slime or a screenful of maggots getting in the way, greater empathy should come more easily still.
Why is this news? I have a foot and migraines that proved this years ago. Science is so behind…
It’s going around, and that’s a good thing. There is something to be said for trying it all. My career has been a bit like that, too. Still waiting for the big success though. Sigh.
When Anthony Hopkins tells you you’re brilliant, you can really probably quit acting because you just won.
Finally, I really can’t hear that song anymore without a facial tic and a little bit of rage. (h/t George)