April Todd-Malmlov was scapegoated. I am opposed to MNsure in ideology, concept, and practice, but it’s hard to feel schadenfreude. Rather, as an uninvested bystander I feel some ire at the injustice, seeing this person take the fall for what can’t be helped. Anyway, note these truths:
The reason MNsure doesn’t work is because the site opened for business before it was done. Its launch was given a go live date that came from the legislative process rather than a software development process. If it isn’t obvious, you can’t do it that way. In the practical world, you plan on building software along a schedule, and you take it live on the prod date if development goes mostly according to plan and you finish with a functional package. Maybe there’s caveats in there for minor bugs that you launch with.
But you don’t do what MNsure did and the feds did, which is abide by an arbitrary launch date and take whatever code you (think) you have finished into production without testing. If you do, it’s inevitable that you’ll launch a non-functional system.
But that’s what they did, because in the political world they had to abide by the political dates. And I guess insofar as someone has to be made responsible for the absurdities of ACA at the local level, Todd-Malmlov is as good as anyone else to fire, shame, and embarrass. But MNsure’s failure to this point is not a reflection of her competence. She was compelled to abide by a process that was doomed to have early failures and embarrassments. Any person appointed to this position was going to fail, and thus any person in charge was doomed to be fired about this time, as the coverage date approached.
Put another way, she’s getting fired as if the original project plan with its launch date was actually realistic. It wasn’t. You’re not a failure if you fail to execute a project plan that was hopelessly naive.
Then the thing is, if you have a software project that’s heading to the ground like a lead zeppelin you can’t have an expectation that the director / manager will tell people to get cracking and work twice as hard and get things fixed ship shape no time flat. You can’t have an expectation that’s going to work, anyway. The reality is, things get fixed as you are able to fix them. I’m dubious that she was malfeasant in her attention to the portal difficulties.
It’s not apparent at all that she’s underqualified or malfeasant.
Public stories indicate she’s got a MS in public health. Young-ish, go getter type.
Her vacation around the Thanksgiving break was not an abuse of public trust. I know there’s a matter of appearances, but I roll my eyes at that.
Stories this morning say that’s a $135k job she had. That’s under market for the responsilibility.
I read the MNsure release and it’s not apparent to me that Todd-malmlov has lost her employment with the state. That would be apropos and a small grace, if true.
But if this gal hits the private sector she’ll end up with a VP job in analysis and tens of millions in earnings over the next 30 years. So there’s that for her.
Is it just me? I have some feeling she’s being Amy Koch-ed, i.e., slut shamed, in Todd-malmlov’s case for going on vacation to the tropics with a man. Where she was PROBABLY HAVING SEX doncha know.
The prurient vibe here is bizarre. In any case, I blame KSTP first for the report framed in the way it is, and the Democrats second, for being suckered into it. I haven’t observed Minnesota Republicans dwelling much on this but I may be wrong.
And who do they bring in to save the day? A pasty middle aged white guy. The Democrats need really need to stop their war on women!
I’m with the various national eggheads who have said this is ostensibly an easy portal to build. That its screwed up here in Minnesota as well makes me infer a dependency to the screwed up subsidy calculation engine that exists at the federal level. Again, not Todd-malmlov’s fault.
This notion that the state exchanges are doing better than the fed exchange? True, if you never actually assert an actual comparison.
This post was written by Erik Petersen and originally published on Zingy Skyway Lunch.
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