Something rare occurred yesterday – real reporting! In today’s mass media the stories are rarely reported with any depth. High level notes is about all we get. But this story – HealthCare.gov: How political fear was pitted against technical needs – is quite different.
First it covers 3 years not just 3 minutes. Ami and Julie actually spent some time and did some research. In the process they have more than 5 sources and talked to over 2 dozen people! That is especially important since Obama is firing anybody who speaks to the media. Enough people in all parts of the government have been fired to scare anyone out of talking to the media. (9 senior military officials have been fired by Obama for not agreeing with his philosophy.)
“They were running the biggest start-up in the world, and they didn’t have anyone who had run a start-up, or even run a business,” said David Cutler, a Harvard professor and health adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign”
While it is possible for some to read the story and think the Washington Post is blaming the GOP for the failed web site, it really reads as a perfect example of bad leadership.
“No matter which aspects of the sprawling law had been that day’s focus, the official said, Obama invariably ended the meeting the same way: “All of that is well and good, but if the Web site doesn’t work, nothing else matters.”
And the politics went both ways:
“Meanwhile, the White House also slowed down important regulations that had been drafted within CMS months earlier, appearing to wait until just after Obama’s reelection.”
How could any President create a project with such a high priority, listen to the same answers daily for years, and believe it? How can any President put amateurs in charge of his highest priority project?
“The Medicaid center’s chief operating officer, a longtime career staffer named Michelle Snyder, nominally oversaw the various pieces, but, as one former administration official put it: “Implementing the exchange was one of 39 things she did.”
Leadership is more than great speeches. It is more than promises of a better world. Leadership cannot be attained by placing friends in high level positions. Obama believes his agenda is the same as the people agenda because the people elected him but the people elected him expecting him to make the right decisions. And Ami and Julie (hopefully) are the first reporters that will return to reporting the facts of the decisions.
“The health-care law, he told the gathering, according to participants, was “the most important thing” in his presidency. “We’ve got to do it right.”
President Obama continues his trend of failure to understand or comprehend the realities of his job. Numerous foreign policy and domestic blunders have killed people (Fast and Furious has killed DEA agents and hundreds of Mexicans; Ambassador Stevens and his staff, etc.) Regardless if the GOP or DNC, we need more reporters who stand up to the President’s administration.