Monday, December 30, 2013 is now working, but the 'show' goes on...

For several months, the news media and GOP politicians had a ball reporting on the bungled roll out of the federal government's Health Information Exchange (HIX web site – Several months down the road, the story has died down as 'fixes' have been applied to the site and enrollment has started to climb dramatically.

The latest news showed that a December surge propelled health care sign-ups through the government's rehabilitated website past the 1 million mark. Combined with numbers for state-run markets due in January, that should put total enrollment in the new private insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at about 2 million people through the end of 2013.

There was a lot of talk by politicians about how the government could have done a better job developing the site and should have turned to the private sector for help. I found those comments a bit strange, since the site was in fact developed by private sector contracting companies – not by government employees.

In the meantime, the latest news out of the Christmas shopping season was all about the computer systems at Target being hacked and some well known hi-tech shipping companies failing to anticipate demand and not delivering purchased gifts on time as promised.

What I'm trying to say is that 'sh&*!' happens when you roll out a massive new system, or demand vastly exceeds your expectations. When that happens, you apologize, fix the problem, get rid of some of those that were at fault, get the public relations machine into gear, and move on. Then you try to learn from the experience and do better the next go around.

I expect that the news media and politicians opposed to 'Obamacare' will shift their focus to other problems and issues associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and do their best to stir things up. It's all part of 'the show'. My hope is that our legislators will expend an equal amount of energy doing their job - tweaking the law and passing constructive legislation to make it better.

Remember the emphasis by management on 'Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)' programs across all industries during the 1990's. Let's apply that constructive approach to fixing the healthcare sector as a whole and improving those aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are a problem.

We can do better. Let's get on with it and stop the grandstanding. Let's all try to make 2014 a better year for our country. What do you think?

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