The first month of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has been rough. The open enrollment period has been marred by computer problems and cancellation notices going out to people on private insurance, including 140,000 in Minnesota. Some enrollees are finding rates higher than expected, and some are finding that they can't keep their doctors under the new system, despite President Obama's promises to the contrary.
Obama and his secretary of health and human services, Kathleen Sebelius, are vowing to get the problems fixed.
Clay Johnson helped supply the Obama campaign's technical needs during the 2008 campaign, and he has years of experience developing technical tools for the federal government. His recent op-ed in the New York Times suggests that technical problems are common in federal projects:
For the first time in history, a president has had to stand in the Rose Garden to apologize for a broken Web site. But HealthCare.gov is only the latest episode in a string of information technology debacles by the federal government. Indeed, according to the research firm the Standish Group, 94 percent of large federal information technology projects over the past 10 years were unsuccessful — more than half were delayed, over budget, or didn't meet user expectations, and 41.4 percent failed completely.
We look at the program's first month of enrollment and try to figure out what to expect next.