Forbes – Why Obama’s Healthcare.gov Will Never Work As Specified

29 Oct

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“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

Thus answered the HAL 9000 computer in the classic Stanley Kubrick movie 2001: A Space Odyssey after internal contradictions in its software programming drove the computer mad. In a case of life imitating art, we have just seen what happens when you try to translate 11,000 pages of Obamacare regulations into software.

When humans try to implement rules and regulations rife with contradictions, errors, and omissions, they use judgment, rationalization, corruption, bargaining, and selective ignorance to resolve the gridlock. People have spent thousands of years honing these skills, learning to live under a succession of despots. But computers have not yet advanced to the point where they can divine our rulers’ intentions rather than their stated instructions, much less know what they can—and cannot—get away with in order to make the system function.

To read the rest of the column click here.

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