Animal House and Obamacare

October 29, 2013

One of my favorite scenes in Animal House is when the Delta boys led by pledge leader Eric ” Otter ” Stratton take the car of the hapless pledge Flounder and rip it apart to make a float in the homecoming parade. After Flounder sees his car turned into a ramming vehicle, he moans to Otter- “how could you do this to my dad’s car?” ” Otter in now classic fashion says, ” You f…..ed up, you trusted us.”

Exit to 2013 and the White House where Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius is likely trying to crawl out from behind her incompetence as the sign-up website for Obamacare has crashed and burned. Although I am sure Sebelius knows little of Otter and Flounder or the course language used to justify wrecking a swanky car, the words of Otter pretty much capture what has gone on behind the scenes at the White House and HHS.

As President Obama shows more and more signs of being detached from the day to day running of the country and reluctant to take a hands on approach in key policy areas, what in effect has happened is that he f…..ed up by trusting Sibelius.

You would think that the President and certainly Sebelius would have taken extraordinary measures to ensure that the Affordable Care website was primed for efficient sign-ups. It doesn’t take a management guru to know that the boss wants his signature legislation to be a success, so the boss pays attention and his cabinet secretary works long hours to monitor every step of the process. Neither of these simple rules of management were followed.

Cynics of government have their cynicism reinforced and critics of Obamacare, who failed to defund the legislation, may indeed see the health care act fail to reach is sign-up goals and never reach its promise of universal coverage or real health care savings. Maybe the White House is Animal House.

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