Meant to post this when I first saw it. CBS News’s Sharyl Attkisson reported on Monday night that the rolling catastrophe that is the Healthcare.gov site was launched despite internal warnings that it was not sufficiently secure. Excerpt:
CBS News analysis found that the deadline for final security plans slipped three times from May 6 to July 16. Security assessments to be finished June 7 slid to August 16 and then August 23. The final, required top-to-bottom security tests never got done.
The House Oversight Committee released an Obama administration memo that shows four days before the launch, the government took an unusual step. It granted itself a waiver to launch the website with “a level of uncertainty … deemed as a high (security) risk.”
Agency head Marilyn Tavenner accepted the risk and “mitigation” measures like frequent testing and a dedicated security team. But three other officials signed a statement saying that “does not reduce the risk” of launching October 1.
Attkisson interviews a Georgetown Law professor and supporter of Obamacare who tells her that nothing undermines public confidence in a project like the fear that their personal information could be hacked.
Noting the Wall Street Journal‘s revelation (gated) that inside the Obama administration, experts knew that the president was misleading the public when he promised that you could keep your plan if he liked it, Dana Milbank delivers a most unkind cut: comparing Obama’s insularity to George W. Bush’s. Plus:
In a damning account of the Obamacare implementation, my Post colleagues Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin described how Obama rejected pleas from outside experts and even some of his own advisers to bring in people with the expertise to handle the mammoth task; he instead left the project in the care of in-house loyalists. “Three and a half years later, such insularity — in that decision and others that would follow — has emerged as a central factor in the disastrous rollout,” Goldstein and Eilperin reported.
I’ve written frequently about Obama’s insularity. Like his predecessor, he has rewarded loyalty and surrounded himself with like-minded advisers disinclined to dissent. This, combined with a Bush-like fetish for secrecy, has left the president in a bubble, struggling to find support in Congress or among the public.
A reader wrote yesterday to ask, given what a disaster Obamacare has been so far, if I was “sorry now” for my blasting the GOP over the Obamacare-inspired government shutdown. Of course not. It was a foolish, doomed move. And Obamacare is still a disaster, at least so far. Both are true. The amazing thing is that the Obamacare rollout has been so awful that it might end up saving the Republicans from their catastrophic folly.