In the aftermath of the snafu that was/is the failed launch of the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Exchange comes, today via Reuters, an article called Obama’s tech expert becomes target over healthcare website woes.
The piece, by Roberta Rampton and Sarah McBride, states that Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer at The White House, “now finds himself among a handful of officials with targets on their backs as Republicans try to root out who is responsible for this month’s glitch-ridden rollout of Healthcare.gov,” going on to say that “The White House trotted him out in July to talk up the new version” of the website.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: A successful entrepreneur in the private sector, Todd Park hasn’t needed to devote the past several years of his life to the ulcer-inducing, three-tiers of aggravation that accompany (1) politics in the Obama White House, (2) health politics, and (3) the uphill climb of health information technology implementation.
Todd Park is Vitamin “E” when it comes to Evangelizing modernizing U.S. health care for this century.
The miserable start to the Health Insurance Exchanges absolutely requires investigation and a “buck stops here” resolution. We must learn, through transparent revelations of who knew what, when, what happened, and how the initial contracts were awarded to the parties who received them. I’d like to know where IBM, Accenture, and other world-class IT contractors were in the process. As my colleague J.D. Kleinke wrote in the Huffington Post on October 20, 2013, “Healthcare.com would have worked better.” He goes on to say “the Devil is in the politics.” Plus ça change…
Still, anyone who wants to diss Todd Park without sufficient evidence, simply by virtue of his, first, being a successful business person, and second, because he’s affiliated with the Obama Administration, best think twice and a third time. Remember that George Bush promised an electronic health record for every American by 2014 (akin to a health-tech version of Hoover’s chicken in every pot). Todd Park is one of the key people making sure that President Bush’s vision comes to pass.
For more on Todd Park’s search for modernizing the U.S. health system via information technology and consumers’ access to their personal health records, see my post from June 8, 2010 – Patient Power Through Data Liberación, and Private Sector to the Rescue – Health 2.0 DC Takeaways.