Flawed from the start

The Washington Times Daily - - Editorial -

The uproar over a gl­itch-rid­den Health­care.gov web­site con­ceals the true na­ture of the calamity known as Oba­macare. De­spite pres­i­den­tial prom­ises, a fully func­tion­ing site will not re­solve the dis­rup­tive is­sues of peo­ple los­ing their cur­rent insurance, hav­ing their fa­vorite doc­tors be­ing dropped and the sky­rock­et­ing costs. Yet the ge­n­e­sis of the fail­ure is not be­ing ad­dressed — namely, the Oba­macare leg­is­la­tion it­self and the fun­da­men­tal rubrics of sys­tem engineering.

With­out a sin­gle Repub­li­can vote, Congress passed a his­toric 2,700-page bill the full con­tents of which no one knew. Repub­li­cans of­fered more than 100 changes, but to no avail. This mon­strous bill, af­fect­ing one of the largest seg­ments of our econ­omy, was then parceled out to count­less gov­ern­ment agen­cies that gen­er­ated reg­u­la­tions on how to im­ple­ment it. Ac­cord­ing to some es­ti­mates, more than 20,000 pages of reg­u­la­tions have al­ready been gen­er­ated and are changed on a near-daily ba­sis. The malfunctioning Health­care.gov is only one man­i­fes­ta­tion of the im­men­sity of the prob­lem.

The fun­da­men­tals of sys­tem im­ple­men­ta­tion re­quire a clear def­i­ni­tion of re­quire­ments fol­lowed by de­tailed sys­tem anal­y­sis of th­ese re­quire­ments, then sys­tem de­sign and de­vel­op­ment. It takes a clearly de­fined and ex­pe­ri­enced man­age­ment struc­ture to en­sure suc­cess. The gov­ern­ment has vi­o­lated th­ese ba­sic prin­ci­ples. Oba­macare was flawed from the be­gin­ning. No amount of tem­po­rary fixes will re­solve the prob­lems. In fact, they make the sit­u­a­tion worse. Oba­macare must be re­pealed and re­placed. WAR­REN A. MANI­SON Po­tomac

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