Friday, March 14, 2014
HHS Official Resigns, Blaming ObamaCare Bureaucracy
The best we get from government in the welfare states is competent mediocrity. What is impressive is the administrative incompetence. Every country reports the same confusion, the same lack of performance, the same proliferation of ageneses, of programs, of forms, and the same triumph of accounting rules over results.
Peter F. Drucker (1909-2006)
David Wright, PhD, an official in HHS, has resigned. Before departing, he wrote a letter of his boss, Howard Koh, MD, Assistant Secretary of Health at HHS. In the letter, he complained about government bureaucracy. The letter, written February 25, and just published in sciencemag.com, has received wide attention from the news media, including the Washington Post and Fox News.
Dr. Wright, who is returning to academia, says, among other things, that the bureaucracy is,
· “an intensely political environment.”
· “secretive, autocratic, and unaccountable.”
· “We spend exorbitant amounts of time in meetings and generating repetitive and often meaningless data and reports to make our precinct of the bureaucracy look good.”
· “I’ve been advised to make my bosses look good.”
· “I’m offended as an American taxpayer that the federal bureaucracy – at least the part Iv’e labored in – is so profoundly dysfunctional.”
· “I’m saddened by the fact there is so little discussion, much less outrage, regarding the problem."
Sour grapes? Maybe. But Dr. Wright, if he had followed the lead of other whistleblowers, could have been even more caustic. He might had said, for example, that “B” stands for Baffling, Bungling, Bewildering, Byzantine, Botching, Blockading, Bloating, Biggering, and Boasting about Government Bureaucracy.
He could have said the Bureaucracy simply has too many agencies, too many Bureaucrats, too many rules, and too many people protecting and promoting each other.
He could have said somebody, including the President, should be held responsible for the incomprehensible 2700 page Accountable Health Act, the 20,000 pages of regulations attached to it, and the disastrous rollout of healthcare.gov.
But Wright probably recognized that the bureaucracy is too entrenched and not of the President’s making. As the President and David Axelrod, he former chief advisor, have noted the bureaucracy is simply too big, too massive, too sprawling, too clandestine, for the President to control or to know what is going on in every corner of the bureaucracy.
Tweet: David Wright, former director of the Office of Research Integrity at HHS, has written a widely quoted letter of resignation complaining about government bureaucracy.