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The Blame Game

October 23, 2013

So, I hear that the healthcare exchanges are pretty corked up… I think it’s safe to say that plenty of people expected something like this to happen.  If you look at the complexities of the deployment along with the communication required between entities, it’s likely that something this big would have problems.  So now, I see things like it’s this fault, or that fault, or we should have known (all thanks to Hot Air, I’m trying to make another point here)…

I think if you read through our little blog, you’ll find that we’re not fans of the PPACA, the way it was implemented, or the likely results.  At this point, though, the geek comes out and I start thinking about solving the problem.  Why?  Well, because of my first rule of problem solving: Who’s the customer?

And this is where I start to wonder if pundits on either side have really thought about this.  Who is the customer?  It’s not the Obama administration, that’s painfully clear.  It’s also not the American people, at least not specifically.  The real customer here is the insurance purchaser, and right now, they can’t get a service.  In the abstract this seems like an outrage, or a political point.  That’s wonderful, I suppose, but there are potentially millions of people out there who used to have health insurance who no longer do.  And they have a problem in that they can’t get onto the exchanges to get new insurance.  Costs, plan coverage, and the rest are somewhat academic when you can’t even get to the service, and you potentially have health problems on the horizon.

So, in the interests of the customer, perhaps we should focus on the customer and the problem and try to fix it.  In successful technology companies, the customer and the problem is the main focus until the customer has no problem.  Then after that, we post-mortem and figure out what went wrong and fix it for the next one.

Let’s be clear, I still think the methodology for insuring people who didn’t want to be insured in the first place is pretty dumb, and it’s clear that the politics overtook calm reason in a way that will likely raise costs for everyone and eventually crash the system in some pretty interesting and macabre ways.  That’s an issue for later.  The first is to focus on the customer and get that customer a result that works.

If I could drop blame anywhere, it’s at the feet of people who decided that the customers couldn’t go anywhere else to get a product.  I guess it is true about monopolies.

Updated: And as if on cue, it looks like experts are thinking that there are about 16 million “customers” that we’re discussing.

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