Peter Suderman on Obamacare's Mismanagement Problem


At the beginning of the week, the Department of Health and Human Services released a video touting its latest big promise on Obamacare: The health law's exchanges will be ready on time—at least, that is, the parts that haven't already been delayed. 

That's really all it had to say. The video, which has the forced-fun feel of an intro to a low-budget corporate training video, highlighted a handful of health law deadlines that had already been met, and insisted, yet again, that its insurance exchanges would open for enrollment in October as planned.

The intended message: We're on schedule. We can make this work.

Talk about lowering the bar for success. As anyone who's ever worked on a project with an important deadline knows, when someone starts insisting that everything will come in on time, really, trust me, it's usually because the work isn't going as planned—especially on project that's been rife with shoddy management and missed deadlines.

Senior Editor Peter Suderman writes that the real message of the HHS video is that the agency desperately wants people to think it is on schedule and can make the law work. And it understands that as it stands, its work, and the weight of the available evidence, suggests otherwise.