The American Health Care Act; Here We Go Again

03/14/2017 08:07 am ET Updated Mar 14, 2017

It looks like history is going to repeat itself.

Click for AUDIO version.

I have some grave reservations about the pending American Health Care Act, not because of political or health care reasons, but for management. Eight years ago I wrote about the outrage I had in how Mr. Obama's Affordable Care Act was concocted behind closed doors and written by lawyers. Any company embarking on such a huge undertaking would have first developed a Feasibility Study in order to make a proper business decision. This would have included a Project Scope specifying the limitations of the project, a Current Systems Analysis describing the strengths and weaknesses of the current system, Requirements to define the specifications for the new product, a System Approach to satisfy the requirements (with consideration given to proposed alternatives), a System Evaluation to enumerate the costs, schedule and financing of the System Approach, and finally a Review with participants signing off on the project.

This did not happen back in 2009 and it is not happening in 2017. Despite their best intentions, the Republicans are approaching this in the same manner as the Democrats. Today's American Health Care Act may be much smaller (123 pages) than what Mr. Obama offered, but it is still written with legal blather. Click to download a PDF version of the document.

I would have liked to have seen a Feasibility Study built in a Congressional Committee with input from both parties, not just one. A frank and open discussion would be one way to de-politicize the bill and build consensus, something we haven't seen in our nation's capitol for quite some time. Wouldn't it be interesting to read an accurate description of the strengths and weaknesses of the current system? In addition, I would have also liked to have seen someone think beyond mere insurance and consider such things as Tort Reform and the nightmare medical systems now in place, but such is not the case.

As I wrote in 2009, "If our Congress went through the motions of building a true Feasibility Study, it would promote cooperation through effective communications, thereby eliminating partisan sniping; it would produce a proper solution for the right set of problems, and; it would go a long way to improving the trust in the government by the American people, simply by assuring them that the "T's" were crossed and the "I's" were dotted (that it has been thoroughly thought through)."

Politicians will read this and claim it's nice, but "We don't have time to do it right." Translation: "We have plenty of time to do it wrong." This is the same excuse I commonly hear from programmers who practice "Fire, Aim, Ready," as opposed to "Ready, Aim, Fire."

Consider this, had we performed a proper Feasibility Study back in 2009, we wouldn't have this discussion now and we would have implemented a system we all are proud of, not a partisan pile of legal gibberish. Regrettably, it appears history is going to repeat itself.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a freelance writer and management consultant in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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