ACA-health-reform-logo copyPorkish, too big to fail, contractors run amok, not as promised, potential financial house of cards, high opportunity cost, blatant technological blunders, dependent on optimistic numbers, unrealistic timelines and a total lack of responsibility from bureaucrats… The list goes on. Regardless of the politics here, do you find stark similarities between the Affordable Care Act rollout debacle and the F-35 program’s struggles? Were both flawed concepts to begin with? I am just pondering the thought here as it has been nagging at me throughout the week.


PS: Please refrain from political attacks here, the left and the right are both taken aback with how much was promised and how little was delivered when it comes to the technology, timeline and stability behind this legislation. Let’s keep it civil and learn from one another. To clear myself here of political motivation, although I do not believe this piece of legislation should have ever been made into law, I am not entirely against a single payer system or fixing our national healthcare issues one piece of legislation at a time.

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  1. Bronc says:

    Give them billions and billions of dollars, and a couple of decades, and the fine engineers at LM will make a F-150 pickup fly. The requirement of developing an A, C, AND a B version, created an endless list of degrading compromises that equates to starting with an F-150 and trying to make that into a “5th-Gen” fighter/attack jet. And they will…eventually. Given enough money, and enough time, LM will eventually make a truck fly–not very well mind you–it will always be a truck that flies, but we are stuck with it.

    Give them billions and billions of dollars, and a couple of decades, and the fine people at HHS will turn the Cleveland Yellow Pages into a functioning healthcare system. An incompetent Congress created an endless list of degrading compromises that resulted in a law that equates to starting with the Yellow Pages that HHS is now trying to turn into a functioning health care system. (Half the States refused to help or cooperate on top of that.) But they will…eventually. Given enough money, and enough time, HHS will eventually make the equivalent of the Yellow Pages work–not very well mind you–it will always be the Yellow Pages trying to do health care, but we are stuck with it.

    So, yeah, the two are a lot alike…


    • says:

      Good thoughts so far. I know posting anything about polarizing legislation is risky, but the trends are there and I thought what the hell, let’s see what my readers think. As far as my opening statement, it may seem biased but is any of it untrue? Even the President has voiced his dissatisfaction with parts of this bill, I hardly think anyone on earth who is being honest with themselves would say it is a solid piece of legislation. It is what it is, its the law, but the there are key tenants here that are eerily common with the F-35 program, not akin to every government program. Also, these are MASSIVE concepts that are even bigger gambles, not exactly the bridge to nowhere. Thanks for your thoughts, I am not looking for any particular answer here, folks who like the bill please be heard, I would love to hear your opinion, especially in contrast to the F-35 issue.

      • Mark says:

        The very nature of the legislation is abhorrent it’s not just that it has problems.

        With your dislike for the F35 and it’s failures in conception to execution, which I don’t necessarily disagree with, how can you then entrust that same entity to be in control of your healthcare?

        Need another example of government muck, the Space Shuttle, promised to be everything to everyone and endlessly redesigned to do next to nothing it was promised it could.

        Just as there have been opponents screaming about the problems with the F35 only to fall on deaf ears, the same has been going on with Ocare. Every criticism of both programs has been downplayed and ridiculed over the years yet virtually all those criticisms have come true as was predicted.

  2. Mark says:

    Please, I’m begging you please stay out of the politics of healthcare and stick to aviation.

    ” Porkish, too big to fail, contractors run amok, not as promised, potential financial house of cards, high opportunity cost, blatant technological blunders, dependent on optimistic numbers, unrealistic timelines and a total lack of responsibility from bureaucrats…”

    That could apply to every single government program in every department having to do with everything possible from agriculture to home loans. If you want to talk healthcare, (god forbid) then talk health care don’t use the F35 as a way to do it.

    But if we must.

    As for Ocare, while there is a need to do something about costs and such in medicine, Ocare is not it. Addressing the issue beyond that is impossible without argument.

  3. Alex says:

    Is this grouping of hot-button issues simply click bait to drive up page views?

  4. Sanem says:

    aside from the politics

    both programs are a huge cost on public spending
    and because they are too big to fail, cannot be (easily) cut
    limiting the US’s ability to decrease its debt (ceiling)
    and forcing the government to keep on borrowing and printing money

  5. aerodawg says:

    I think there’s a difference in that you can eventually throw enough dollars and engineers at the F-35 and make it work to the level that’s been promised.

    You can’t throw enough money at obamacare to make it work as promised. From the get go, anyone with a bit of common sense and knowledge of basic math knew it wasn’t going to work as promised, would not lower costs and would not improve access to care. In order to cut health care costs, the only thing you can do is cut the “care” because that’s the only thing that costs. You simply can not cover more people, for more illnesses with fewer questions asked and have the whole system cost less. You might transfer the cost to someone else, but it certainly won’t cost less.

    Secondly, the whole system is based on the fallacy that health insurance = health care. A lot of people are going to get a big ugly lesson in why that’s not the case here shortly. In theory, they’re going to add millions more people to the demand side of the equation without adding a single bit to the supply side, ie no more doctors and probably less with the ones quitting early. At the same time, it pushes off a risk of not getting reimbursed on the provider. The end result going to be, doctors not accepting the exchange plans. People are going to be required by law to pay for these plans that they can’t use.

    At the same time, in order to fund the system, they cut medicare and medicaid reimbursement rates to providers. So going forward, don’t be surprised if the old and the poor can’t find a doctor either.

    Basically the net result is that the remaining doctors are going to be swamped and given the choice between obamacare policies that may not pay, medicare and medicaid that pay crap, and private insurance which will pay enough to make some money, which do you think they’ll choose?

    I married an MD and help manage the practice so I know a bit more about the effects of this from the provider perspective than most…

  6. Tom says:

    RE: F-35 and ACA

    Both are exactly alike with one exception: ACA doesn’t have an ejection seat!

  7. Sunshine says:

    One more note echoing Aerodawg, my doctor is in his later 50’s, decided to close up his practice due to Obamacare. His analysis was it financially foolish to spend to meet the increased medical records requirements. The RoI was not there in 10 years, so the net patient impact is less availability to healthcare.

    I worry about how long it will be until the U.S. Starts bringing in Cuban doctors, something the Brazilian government recently did to reduce socialized healthcare costs. The rural healthcare system is already tenuous with low Medicare reimbursement and increasing costs will only escalate the insolvency spiral.

    What I do not hear is pilots bailing out of USAF because of the F35 program. Decreased airframes and operating hours means fewer pilots but the disincentives seem at dramatically different scales.

    We’ve become 1960’s Britain, faced with mighty challenges.

  8. Don Bacon says:

    Today we get a non-news report on the high-level JSF CAPE meeting they held last Monday when “officials would receive an update on how the program was meeting cost and schedule targets, as well as progress on technical challenges including the millions of lines of software code being written for the planes.”

    The only “news” on that important meeting was that the program must put new language in its future contracts to assure “the quality and reliability of the F-35 fighter jet” and this must have been correct because it came from “officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly.”

    No cost figures, no test results. Nada, zip, zilch. So the cover-up continues, as does the stealth JSF program with higher production rates. It’s a symptom of a larger problem, what Bob Woodward has called the “secret government.”– “They need to review this secret world,” he said of the Obama administration on “Face the Nation” on CBS. “You get to a point where it’s what do you worry about? Secret government.”

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