To B Or Not To B

That is a question. If Hamlet were with us today, would he ask himself: “To blog or not to blog?”

That’s what I asked myself this morning. Whether I should put this blog on hold.

But how can I save the world (one blog post at a time) or find out what I think if I don’t speak whereof I can?

Especially today, after a respected reader shared this letter to the editor:

When seniors started enrolling in the new Medicare system, hardly anyone touched a computer, there was no internet, or broadband connection. The system worked. Today, the same tools are available to us as were available then: applications, telephone, person-to-person help. The preferred method of access is the Internet, but the Internet is really just a way to get one into the system. The media is spending way too much time complaining about the method by which people sign up. They should be pointing out that millions of people who have not had access to health coverage will now have it. We need more stories about people with sick children who can now get coverage, not how much trouble people are having logging in to a web site. (BTW, just to see how it would work, I went to healthcare.gov and created an account. No problems. Maybe they kick in when you try to actually sign up for something.) 

I hate the media.

Me too, much of the time.

Now, in this autumn of our discontent, everyone with access to a media bullhorn should keep in mind that large information technology projects almost always have problems, especially when a “drop-dead date” is involved. The Republicans will “investigate”, silly people on TV and the radio will say stupid things (except in Afghanistan), columnists will draw the wrong conclusions, but the problems will be fixed, millions of people will benefit and, as someone said the other day, the ACA isn’t just a website.

We should also remember that most people sign up for things as the deadline approaches, and in this case the deadline (March 31, 2014) isn’t “drop-dead” at all – it’s a soft deadline that can be delayed a while, if necessary.

On the even brighter side, healthcare.gov is getting all kinds of free publicity! Let’s hope everyone spells the name right – although that’s not required these days (“did you mean healthcare.gov?”).

For the icing on the cake, take a look at how Republican politicians defended the problem-plagued rollout of the Medicare prescription drug benefit eight years ago, when one of their own was in the White House:

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/10/24/2828261/hearing-post/

“The empty vessel makes the greatest sound.” (Henry V, act 4, scene 4)

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