President Obama made a somewhat shocking admission, given his tendency to divert blame from his own White House – even to the point where the lagging economy has been painted as George W. Bush’s fault several years into the current administration – and said his Obamacare website has proven disastrous.
He made the remark in an interview with Fast Company, but quickly added that the federal government has used the HealthCare.gov failings as a learning tool to improve technology at the national level. His interview was centered on the promotion of his White House-fueled drive to overhaul technological systems in place on the federal level.
“With all the crises we were dealing with – the economy collapsing, the auto industry on the verge of collapse, winding down wars – this did not get the kind of laser-focused attention until HealthCare.gov, which was a well-documented disaster, but ended up anyways being the catalyst for us saying, ‘Okay, we have to completely revamp how we do things,” Obama said, the Hill reported.
Obama said less-than-adequate technological expertise was to blame for the HealthCare.gov problems, and said his administration has tried to rectify that problem by recruiting the best-of-the-best from Google, Facebook and Twitter.
“If we are able through the U.S. digital team to recruit a baseline of talent and create a pipeline on a regular basis … what I do believe will happen is the government as a whole will start thinking about its relationship to citizens differently,” he said, the Hill reported.
HealthCare.gov proved a major ordeal for those seeking to sign up for Obamacare. Users to the site reported frequent crashes and difficulties loading the pages. At the time, Obama expressed outrage and vowed a fix.
“No one is madder than me that the website isn’t working as it should,” he said then, “which means it’s going to get fixed.”
His comments about the need to bolster online security at the federal level come amid revelations that 14 million or more Office of Personnel Management files have been hacked by the Chinese.