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Commentary reveals how e-health gov site was rescued by Silicon Valley pros

Obama’s Trauma Team, By Steven Brill, TIME, March 10, 2014.

“…This is the story of a team of unknown–except in elite technology circles–coders and troubleshooters who dropped what they were doing in various enterprises across the country and came together in mid-October to save the website []. In about a tenth of the time that a crew of usual-suspect, Washington contractors had spent over $300 million building a site that didn’t work, this ad hoc team rescued it and, arguably, Obama’s chance at a health-reform legacy…Had the Obama team brought in its old campaign hands in the first place to run the launch, there would have been howls about cronyism. But one lesson of the fall and rise of has to be that the practice of awarding high-tech, high-stakes contracts to companies whose primary skill seems to be getting those contracts rather than delivering on them has to change. “It was only when they were desperate that they turned to us,” says Dickerson. “I have no history in government contracting and no future in it … I don’t wear a suit and tie … They have no use for someone who looks and dresses like me. Maybe this will be a lesson for them. Maybe that will change.”

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