Large-scale information technology projects in the private sector are hard enough without an organized constituency for failure. It is no exaggeration to say that the failure of Obamacare has been the prophecy and the hope of many of those responsible for funding implementation of the Affordable Care Act, confirming the appointments of those who will do the job and overseeing the results. They have been eager to seize on any problems and highlight any controversial judgments. All serve to create an environment in which failure becomes the expectation.
It is disingenuous for those who stood ready to turn any regulatory detail into an attack ad to profess outrage when guidance was not provided during an election campaign. It is hypocritical for those who held up confirmations of key officials with responsibility for managing federal health-care programs and whose behavior deterred many people from coming into government to lash out at the incompetence of government management. And it is indefensible to refuse to appropriate money to carry out a program and then attack it for being under-resourced.
There is a line that must be respected between political opposition and conscious subversion. Everyone understands that when the country is at war, even a war a person may oppose, vigorous oversight is essential, but, in the end, there is an obligation to support American troops. In the same way, history will not judge kindly those who, having lost political debates over policy, go beyond vigorous oversight and seek to subvert enacted programs.