Obamacare’s Secret Success Much of the Beltway establishment scoffed at the promise of cost savings. The prevalent attitude in Washington is that reform isn’t real unless the little people suffer; serious savings are supposed to come from things like raising the Medicare age (which the Congressional Budget Office recently concluded would, in fact, hardly save any money) and throwing millions of Americans off Medicaid. True, a 2011 letter signed by hundreds of health and labor economists pointed out that “the Affordable Care Act contains essentially every cost-containment provision policy analysts have considered effective in reducing the rate of medical spending.” But such expert views were largely ignored.
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. For example, Sam.gov, a system for government contractors developed by I.B.M. that started in 2012, has cost taxpayers $181 million and is just now beginning to work as expected. Getting to the bottom of HealthCare.gov’s flop
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