Top 10 Upsides To Debacle

You didn't know there was a bright side to the botched rollout of the Obamacare website? Get your snark on.

Rob Preston, VP & Editor in Chief, InformationWeek

April 16, 2014

2 Min Read
Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius <br />(Source: <a href=",_Secretary_of_Health_and_Human_Services_3.jpg" target="blank">Wikimedia Commons</a>)

The October 1, 2013, launch of will go down as one of the biggest IT debacles in US history, as the malfunctioning site frustrated millions of Americans seeking to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the centerpiece of Barack Obama's presidency. Six months later, even with President Obama claiming success now that more than 7.5 million people have managed to sign up for private health insurance under the new law, the specter of the misfire looms large heading into November's midterm elections, especially with the resignation last week of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. 

Ah, but every cloud has a silver lining, no? The glass isn't half empty but half full? When life hands you lemons you make lemonade?

Maybe not. But with the benefit of six months of hindsight, we still choose to see the bright side of the botched rollout. And so we bring you:

The Top 10 Positive Outcomes Of The Debacle:

10. Provided huge monetary windfall for identity thieves, thereby increasing domestic car sales.

9. Set a bar that ensures relative success of all future federal government IT projects.

8. Doctor shortages lead to nostalgic use of leeches.

7. New, cool term "tech surge" replaced old, negative term "IT cluster#@&#."


6. By discouraging use of the healthcare system, inheritance tax revenue increased.

5. Boosted self-esteem of otherwise under-achieving hackers.

4. Made Bush Administration's Hurricane Katrina response appear competent by comparison.

3. Recent overuse has removed stigma from the term "computer glitch."

2. During her tenure, Kathleen Sebelius could not simultaneously serve as Secretary of Defense.

1. Made taxpayers appreciative of service levels at the local DMV.

Can you think of other upsides to's stumble? Leave a comment below.

Download Healthcare IT In The Obamacare Era, the InformationWeek Healthcare digital issue on changes driven by regulation. Modern technology created the opportunity to restructure the healthcare industry around accountable care organizations, but ACOs also put new demands on IT.

About the Author(s)

Rob Preston

VP & Editor in Chief, InformationWeek

Rob Preston currently serves as VP and editor in chief of InformationWeek, where he oversees the editorial content and direction of its various website, digital magazine, Webcast, live and virtual event, and other products. Rob has 25 years of experience in high-tech publishing and media, during which time he has been a senior-level editor at CommunicationsWeek, CommunicationsWeek International, InternetWeek, and Network Computing. Rob has a B.A. in journalism from St. Bonaventure University and an M.A. in economics from Binghamton University.

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