The Obamacare Finger-Pointing Flowchart

Hours and hours and hours of testimony later — including bizarre non sequiturs to the lands of Oz and Chicken Little — the picture is a bit tangled.

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Chris Danello and Brian Resnick
Oct. 31, 2013, 8:57 a.m.

The House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee had a simple ques­tion to fig­ure out this week: Who or what is to blame for the Health­ belly-flop launch? Hours and hours and hours of testi­mony later, in­clud­ing bizarre non sequit­urs to the lands of Oz and Chick­en Little, the blame pic­ture is a bit tangled.

Al­though Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Sec­ret­ary Kath­leen Se­beli­us said she took full re­spons­ib­il­ity for the “de­bacle,” what be­came ap­par­ent was that the Health­ web­site was a messy en­tan­gle­ment of gov­ern­ment con­tract­ors work­ing in re­l­at­ive dark­ness from one an­oth­er on their dis­tinct com­pon­ents of the site. Each con­tract­or said they could stand by their work, but the fail­ure was in the ag­greg­ate, and not al­low­ing enough time for test­ing and iron­ing out po­ten­tial se­cur­ity con­cerns. As hu­man psy­cho­logy in­forms us, the more on­look­ers, the easi­er it is to dis­perse blame.

Des­pite the snafu, Gal­lup finds that the glitches haven’t (or haven’t yet) swayed pub­lic opin­ion on the health care law. Nine­teen per­cent still say they aren’t too fa­mil­i­ar with the law in the first place.

(Graph­ic by Chris Dan­ello)


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