The Healthcare.gov launch has been a disaster. I cannot turn on CNN or NPR during the day, without hearing a story about what a failure the technology and implementation has been for the Affordable Care Act(ACA).
I have written and talked about how transparency was the biggest problem for the Healthcare.gov rollout. Sure there was numerous illnesses from procurement to politics, but ultimately if there had been more transparency, from start to finish, things could have been different.
Throughout this debacle I have been making my exit from federal government back to the private sector, and I can’t help but think how things could have been different with Healthcare.gov if it there had been some sort of external watchdog group tracking on the process from start to finish. I mean, c’mon this project is way to big and way to important to just leave to government and its contractors.
What if there had been a group of people assigned to the project at its inception? External, non-partisan, independent individuals who had the skills and tracked on the procurement process, design, development and launch of Healthcare.gov? What if any federal, state or city government project had the potential to have a knowledgable group of outside individuals tracking on projects and made recommendations in real-time how to improve the process? Things could be different.
Of course there are lots of questions to ask: How to fund this? Who watches the watchers? On and on. Even with all the quesitons, we should be looking for new and innovative ways to bring the public and private sector together to solve the biggest problems.
It is just a thought. As I exit the Presidential Innovation Fellowship (PIF) program, and head back to the private sector, I can’t help but think about ways that we can improve the oversight and involvement of the private sector in how government operates.