When the US government put the Affordable Care Act into motion inviting Amercans to register at Healthcare.gov for the healthcare exchanges, they did not anticipate a massive disaster.
President Obama and his team needed an immediate fix for this hi tech mess. They recruited Todd Park, former CTO of the US, and Mickey Dickerson who led a team of 60 engineers at Google. They supervised the crews of techies who fixed the Healtcare Gov web site.
This convinced President Obama that government needed a digital upgrade. The digital infrastructure of government was flawed, delayed, out of date and not doing the job.
So a stealth operation was put into play. Just as exciting that the Seals who went after Bin Landen. This team of digital operatives are being planted in government departments to upgrade the digital infrastructure.
This strategy worked to save healthcare. It might work in saving other departments as well.
The president has been personally involved in this effort. The idea is to build a pipeline of tech talent for Washington, that is otherwise frozen by partisan politics.
For example, the Veterans Administration is getting better digital tools that save time, money and provide much needed services for veterans.
What is needed are tech geniuses who embrace public service as an essential part of their careers. Obama is betting that these talented engineers and managers will change Washington from the inside ( at its core) and make government more customer friendly and much more efficient.
Obama wants a partnership between government and with a robust market-based system where people are innovating and it’s dynamic and things are moving fast.
This is an excellent example for other governments and healthcare systems to follow to create transformative change in our lifetime.
reference: New York Times Magazine, His Geeks, page 59. July 5, 2015.