Revenge of the Nerds, Technologists are in the drivers seat for fixing Obamacare

As much as technology is important in society rarely is the direction of a country directed by technologists.  I was reading Foxnews latest criticism of Obama’s apology for cancelled insurance and this paragraph reminded me of a “Revenge of the Nerds” moment.

“The president now is toxic," he said. "The thing is called ObamaCare. There's no running away from it, it's got his name on it. You see the president, you think about the policy and you know that it's a disaster. And the problem for the Democrats is they are hostage to a bunch of geeks working around, right now, late into the night, trying to fix a system which is not just the glitches it talked about, the architecture, the underlying structure of it is wrong."

Todd Park, the CTO in charge of fixing Obamacare has refused to testify in front of congress until after Nov 30.  Park has hung out the “DO NOT DISTURB” sign to congress which of course pisses them off.

An official in the Office of Science and Technology Policy told Issa that Park was too busy repairing to appear before December. 

"Pulling him away from that work even for a short time at this stage would be highly disruptive," wrote Donna Pignatelli, assistant director for legislative affairs. 

The letter proposed scheduling another hearing for the first two weeks of December and making Park available for an informal staff briefing sometime this month. 

The alternatives "would permit Mr. Park's intensive work on improving during this critical period to continue unabated," Pignatelli wrote.

Park is right.  Talking to Congress is going to do nothing to fix Obamacare website by Nov 30.

Who knows the US government may slowly figure out what any growing successful company knows.  Information Technology is key to the success of the company  Twitter, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and so many others are built on data centers as the foundation of transforming services.

Politicians are disturbed that the technology doesn’t work according to the law.  As hard as it is to get laws through congress, they are finding out technology doesn’t care about the laws.  It would be interesting to see how many things in the Obamacare website are no-win situations where there are conflicts in requirements that make no sense, and the execution into code will confuse the users.

Obamacare could be the pivot point, or the start of more problems for politicians who are frustrated with information technology.  

Wonder how many start-ups think as we scale, let’s add a Washington DC politician to our staff.  Versus, how many people in Washington DC are thinking we need to add some information technology people.  I don’t know about you, but the brightest in IT don’t think of going to DC in their career path.