Robert J. Avrech: Emmy Award winning screenwriter. Movie fanatic. Helplessly and hopelessly in love with my wife since age nine.

Reader Interactions


  1. Michael…re the IT issues with Obamacare…the FAA/IBM “Advanced Automation System” for air traffic control, which was begun in the early 1980s and finally cancelled in 1994, has been called “The Greatest Debacle in the History of Organized Work.” Sounds like it may soon have a new rival for that title!
    One difference, though, is that the FAA already had a limited but basically sound system for managing air traffic, which they could simply continue to use and further enhance when the AAS was cancelled. No such option will exist in the case of Obamacare.

  2. Honestly, I’m not sure why anyone’s surprised.  Getting out of the horrible system that they created for others is a political specialty.  Just ask anyone from the former USSR.

  3. The good news, if there is any, is that this clusterfark is never going to work and may never go into operation. The IT challenges are far beyond those of other government big IT projects. My daughter is an FBI agent. They spent 15 or 20 years trying to develop a new data system that all agents in all offices could use to share information. A couple of years ago, they scrapped it and started over. The Jamie Gorelick “Chinese Wall” between FBI and CIA in the Clinton administration was probably just incompatible data systems. I spent years as a member of the American Medical Informatics Society. At one time, I was an enthusiast. I have seen a general surgeon write his own system with Visual Basic that was great. I have never seen a bureaucracy do it. Microsoft is bad enough and they had a profit motive !

  4. When I first heard about this a few days ago, my thoughts – from the Dems you expect this but from the Republicans? Time for both of them to go.

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