Government and management experts believe that President Barack Obama’s lack of executive experience and his indifference to policy and implementation details are primarily responsible for the disastrous Obamacare rollout.
According to a blockbuster Government Accountability Institute report, Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have not had a single one-on-one meeting since Obamacare passed over three years ago. Sebelius and the White House have not been able to provide any documentation proving that Obama and Sebelius met one-on-one on any day before the Government Accountability Institute released its report last month.
As Politico noted, Obama has said things like, “I wanted to go in and fix it myself, but I don’t write code,” and, “I wouldn’t be going out saying, boy, this is going to be great.”
Either Obama did not know about the failures or did not care about the implementation of his signature legislation. Management experts told Politico that “Obama and his inner circle had scant executive experience prior to arriving in the West Wing, and dim appreciation of the myriad ways the federal bureaucracy can frustrate an ambitious president.”
To complicate matters, they also “had little apparent interest” in the details of successfully implementing Obamacare.
With Obama coming into office with no executive experience, he, according to management experts, did not realize how important a “systems integrator” was in the White House and did not create “a climate where people involved in the project actually feel they can raise those concerns.” Obama’s so-called “B-team” of new advisers complicated matters even more, as they had even less managerial experience than the clan that came with him after he won his first term in 2008.
John Hudak at the liberal Brookings Institution said that, though it was easier for the Obama administration to “smooth over or tuck away some of the small-ball managerial failures” during his first term, they cannot do so with Obamacare, which he described as requiring “a lot of managerial expertise” that is “not there in the White House.”
Former presidential adviser David Gergen, who has advised Republicans and Democrats and is familiar with how the White House works, said that Obama’s lack of one-on-one meetings with Sebelius shows that “no one is in charge” at the White House and there seemed to be a “case of near malfeasance here.”
He also said that Obama and his top aides in the White House “are much, much better at campaigning and at the public microphones than they are in governing and in management.”
In other words, the Obama administration, like Obama, is better at the ornamental poetry of campaigning than the essential prose of governing.