Government (and Human) Incompetence on Display

Excerpt from CNN:

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN: Did you try signing on the site yourself?

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HHS SECRETARY: I have created an account on the site. I have not tried signing up because I have insurance.

GUPTA: Did you find it challenging? What did you think of it?

SEBELIUS: Well, I think there certainly are some challenges. It could be smoother. It could be easier to access. And that’s really what we’re working on.

GUPTA: Did you let people…

SEBELIUS: Nobody says the site is working the way we want it to. Certainly, the president acknowledged yesterday no one could be more frustrated than I am and this isn’t smooth. People are signing up every day. People have available coverage and no one, I think it’s important to say, Sanjay, is losing coverage now. The earliest the plans start is January 1st. If you sign up by the 15th of December, you will have coverage on day one. So, people are frustrated with a website, but the product is there. The prices are good. It will not sellout and the prices won’t change.

GUPTA: The president did say that he was angry about this. I mean, do you know when he first knew that there was a problem?

SEBELIUS: Well, I think it became clear fairly early on, the first couple of days

GUPTA: So not before that though?


GUPTA: Not before October 1st? There was no concern at the White House or HHS?

SEBELIUS: I think that we talked about having testing going forward, and if we had an ideal situation and could have built a product and, you know, a five-year period of time, we probably would have taken five years but we didn’t have five years. And certainly, Americans who rely on health coverage didn’t have five years for us to wait. We wanted to make sure we made good on this final implementation of the law. And again, people can sign up. The call center is open for business. We’ve had 1,100,000 calls. We’ve had 19 million people visit the website. Five-hundred thousand accounts created and people shopping every day. So, people are signing up and there’s help in neighborhoods around the country that people can have a one-on-one visit with a trained navigator and figure out how to sign up. So people are able to sign up.

Sometimes people ask me why some traders lose. Some ask why everyone doesn’t become a trend follower. The answer is quite simple. Many people are incompetent. The failed design of the new USA health care site is an example of human incompetence. Morale of the story? Worry about you and your situation and realize your neighbor might just be incompetent.

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