Bain to the Rescue

Oh, joy. To steal a line from Lewis Grizzard, and with apologies to my consultant friends, we’re bringing in God’s plague on mankind when locusts are out of season: consultants.

After a week of unrelentingly negative news coverage and consumer dissatisfaction with the healthcare.gov web site, the White House believes it has turned an important corner by identifying a date when the web site will be fixed.

Jeffrey Zients, whom President Obama named this week as his top consultant on the web site triage project, announced Friday the system would be fully functional by the end of November.

Senior officials said Obama was briefed by Zients on this target date and given approval to release it publicly, a sign of Obama’s high-degree of confidence in Zients’ ability to deliver. In private deliberations, Obama had made it clear to senior White House officials he wanted no discussion of target dates for the web site until he could be certain that date could be met.

The irony here? Zeits once worked for Bain & Company. Yeah.

You know what Obama should do? As long we’re raiding Bain, let’s just bring in Mitt Romney to fix the exchanges. He saved the SLC Olympics and Romneycare “works” (at least much better than Obamacare does). So why not bring him in? I’m serious about this.

I am extremely dubious that the exchanges will be working by late November. The reason is not just because this is Obama; it’s because the problems are too many. Fixing one section will inevitably reveal problems in others. Fixing those will reveal problems in sections already “repaired”. I’m sure, at some stage, the exchanges will become partially operational and the media will claim Obamacare works. But pay attention to the numbers. If Obama doesn’t release them or only releases the number enrolled in Medicaid, you’ll know the system isn’t close to working.

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