Reviewing the Obamacare Roll-out Like a “Real World” Product Launch

obamadoctorA few days ago, a Liberal young lady responded to one of my Blogs about the disastrous roll-out of Obamacare, posted on Ted Cruz’s Facebook Page, by saying that I knew nothing about the “Business World” and that “bad stuff” happening during Product Launches “all the time”.

As a VP of Marketing , I had a good chuckle at that, and informed the young lady that in the “Real World”, Product Launches are well-planned and well-executed, because if they fail, people lose their jobs.

On August 26, 2013, Forbes.com published an article titled “Five Steps to a Seamless Product Launch”. Let’s look at their suggestions and see how the President’s Signature Legislation stacks up.

      1. Expect bad things to happen. No matter how unsexy they are, every business needs contingency plans. Don’t think that what happened to others won’t happen to you. For example, will you be cycling millions through a payment processor over a 7-day period? Put multiple processors in place and rotate them to avoid slowdowns.

Well….The “smartest guy in the room” made no contingency plans. After all, he’s The Lightbringer. He had Top Men working on Obamacare. Top. Men. His latest “contingency plan” involves suggesting that Americans go to the insurance companies’ websites to find out about Obamacare…a self-defeating plan if I’ve ever seen one.            

So, Obama was forced to make ‘contingency plans on the fly, looking like a Junior Executive in an important meeting with his Board of Directors after the laptop that help his ground-breaking proposal crashed.

2. Bring on extra staff. A big product launch is no time to run lean and mean. Let full-time and temp staff know they’ll be working around the clock, and compensate them well. The large influx of business will create customer service and technical issues you don’t normally experience, and you’ll need people to handle them. A new customer’s first impression is usually a permanent one.

Obama brought on extra staff…and paid them well…with our money. However, Forbes was referring to competent business professionals, not a failed IT Company out of Canada, who donated to Obama’s re-                             election. Nor were they suggesting hiring felons to as “Obamacare Navigators”, manning the Customer Service Lines

Obamacare’s “first customer” was America. and the customer’s impression is that it stinks on ice.

3.  Improve your reputation. When buzz is generated, people will research your product and business. Make sure what they see is very good. Have existing customers or staff write blog posts and create videos to enhance your search results. Promote these on your website to generate more revenue during your launch.

The disastrous roll-out of Obamacare has ruined whatever was left of Obama’s reputation. Unfortunately for the CEO, it’s has to write bolog posts about this”product” when it has been impossible to acquire it. And,                as far as promoting Obamacare on healthcare.gov…the website would actually have to work to do that.

  4. Set expectations. Launches are hectic; let the people in your life know you’ll be largely unavailable. Eliminate other major obligations during this time.

Last weekend Obama played his 150th round of golf as President of the United States. Evidently, it was a major obligation.

5. Schedule weekly check-in meetings. About three months pre-launch, my team meets every single week for up to two hours to stay on schedule. This discipline reduces procrastination and the need to urgently handle miscommunicated responsibilities.

On March 22, 2013, Avik Roy, writing for Forbes.com, said,

Obamacare’s reorganization of the U.S. health care system is slated to go on-line on January 1, 2014. That’s when the law’s key provisions go into effect: its individual mandate; its rules requiring higher premiums for young people; and its expansion of insurance coverage through Medicaid and the law’s subsidized private insurance exchanges. Increasingly, officials in the Obama administration are worried that the rollout of the exchanges will be chaotic, given the law’s complexity and unrealistic deadlines. “We are under 200 days from open enrollment” on the exchanges, noted Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, at a recent conference. “I’m pretty nervous—I don’t know about you.”

I would say that knowing that a “Product Launch” was going to go South, 9 months ahead of time, and doing nothing about it was a serious case of procrastination, wouldn’t you?

Plus, it’s not like this was a Product Launch of a new spatula or something, this “Product Launch” involves Health Insurance Decisions, affecting Americans’ lives.

As I mentioned earlier, the success of a Product Launch is measured by its results.

So, what are the results of the Obamacare “Product Launch” so far?

Reuters.com reports that

States with functioning exchanges have signed up 49,100 people compared with the 1.4 million people expected to be enrolled for 2014, according to the report by healthcare research and consultancy firm Avalere Health.

With enrollment in the federal HealthCare.gov website serving 36 states stalled by technical failures, the weak sign-ups for functioning insurance exchanges could be due to the administration’s difficulty to promote the program as a success, Avalere said.

The government is due to release national enrollment figures for the month of October this week. Open enrollment ends March 31, 2014.

Eventually, a report on the success of a Product Launch is published. When results are less that what was expected, corporations will usually “massage the numbers” to make a disastrous roll-out look better.

Of course, Obama has the power of the Federal Government behind him, so, these numbers won’t just be massaged….they’ll be expanded.

According to The Washington Post,

The fight over how to define the new health law’s success is coming down to one question: Who counts as an Obamacare enrollee?

Health insurance plans only count subscribers as enrolled in a health plan once they’ve submited a payment. That is when the carrier sends out a member card and begins paying doctor bills.

When the Obama administration releases health law enrollment figures later this week, though, it will use a more expansive definition. It will count people who have purchased a plan as well as those who have a plan sitting in their online shopping cart but have not yet paid.

“In the data that will be released this week, ‘enrollment’ will measure people who have filled out an application and selected a qualified health plan in the marketplace,” said an administration official, who requested anonymity to frankly describe the methodology.

Just as Obama lied that “if you like your health plan, you’ll be able to keep your health plan”, and if “you like your doctor, you’ll be able to keep your doctor”, no less than 29 times, he and his Administration are about to lie about the results of the Obamacare Roll-out, in a desperate attempt to make chicken soup out of chicken you-know-what.

To quote the great actor Claude Rains, in his unforgettable role as Captain Renault, in the classic movie “Casablanca”,

I am shocked…shocked.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,

When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,

Count your many blessings, name them one by one,

And, it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

I cannot tell you how many times in 30 years of singing in choirs, that I have sung that wonderful old hymn.

As I’ve gotten…older, the truth of those wonderful words, has hit home, this year, more than ever.

Yes, I did my share of whining and crying after the Presidential Election, but, then, I realized, God is in control.

I am still His and He is mine.

I still have my wonderful Bride, my children, my grandson, my loving sister and her family, and all my friends, who are my extended family.

Plus, since June of this year,  I have a wonderful new job. I am blessed beyond measure.

I said to myself, self…this would be a wonderful time to, once again, give my testimony of how a 53 year old, working at a Government Internship to try to help ends meet, became a Vice-President of Marketing, literally overnight, through the Grace and Mercy of God.

As we all know… (originally posted 6/9/2012)

Obama’s feckless Economic Plan has done about as much good for our country as a screen door on a submarine.

I know.  I was one of those affected by it.

Beginning in January of 2009, I attempted to sell Health Insurance, first with AFLAC, then as an agent with an Independent Broker.

I gave it my best shot, battling against Obama’s war on the American Healthcare System.  However, as I soon found out, creditors don’t take promises as collateral.

Desperate to try to bring some money into the household, a good friend of mine told me about an opportunity for a technology internship, working with a quasi-governmental non-profit agency that came in from Canada to work with the schools after Hurricane Katrina.

At the age of 52, I became the world’s oldest intern.

I began with them in January of 2011, working at a local school for 30 hours a week and the local branch of the state Employment Office for the remaining 10 hours each week.

It was a good experience.  The Lord taught me humility, while allowing me to catch up with technology, such as Skype and interactive whiteboards.  I also had the opportunity to work with some great professionals, and some great young interns.

While at the Employment Office, I was able to observe folks down on their luck, struggling to find work and survive in this economy.

I also saw American families whose existance living on the Government Dole, had become generational.

It is these people whom Obama and the Democrats have hypnotized into believing that Uncle Sugar loves them, and is their only solution to surviving a stifling existence.

They are so, so wrong.

The strength and vitality of America does not come from the benevolence of a Nanny-state Federal Government.

As the greatest American President of our lifetime, Ronald Reagan said:

The nine words you never want to hear are:  I’m from the Government and I’m here to help.

Being enslaved to the Government Dole steals one’s ambition.  It takes away any impetus or desire to create a better life for yourself and your family, to challenge yourself to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and pursue the American Dream.  It makes you reliant on a politically-motivated spider’s web full of government bureaucrats who view you and your family as job security.

I watched American citizens trapped in this web of government bureaucracy,  so numbed of any initiative that they once had, that they seemed offended that they actually had to prove that they inquired about three jobs that week in order to keep their “benefits”.  Others seemed puzzled that they had to search through the state data base and pick out a job that they wanted to talk to an interviewer about receiving a referral to, and weren’t just simply handed a job when they walked through the door.

My last day as an intern was yesterday.  This Monday, I begin an new adventure.  Thanks to another very good friend, I was given the opportunity to interview for a position at a 100 person, 5-company corporation.

Last Saturday, my friend called me with the good news:  I got the job!

The title:  Vice-President of Marketing.

I’ll be doing some Internet Marketing, including Blogging and Tweeting, writing press releases and newsletters, attending Chamber of Commerce Meetings, and, of course, other duties as assigned.

It wasn’t Uncle Sugar/the Obama Administration that gave me this job.  

It was a God thing and I hope you understand.

Epilogue:  Now, don’t be mistaken, we are  still struggling paycheck-to-paycheck, to get out of the debts we accrued, during my period of unemployment and underemployment. 

But, with the help and encouragement of family and friends, and the Grace of God, I know we’ll male it.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31 (ESV)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Until He comes,

KJ