Startup investor Brad Feld on Obamacare: forget the ‘tech surge,’ shut down and reset

Brad Feld, Foundry Group Thumbnail

To fix the glitch-ridden website for the government’s new health insurance marketplace, President Barack Obama and the Department of Health and Human Services said they’re mounting a “tech surge” of talent to help address the problems. But in a blog post, investor and entrepreneur Brad Feld said he thinks this is “exactly the wrong thing to do.”

Citing engineer and The Mythical Man-Month author Frederick Brooks, he said adding more engineers to an already delayed project tends to only further stall progress. Instead, he suggests taking all of the health exchange sites offline, setting a new launch date for July 2014, firing all of the contractors and hiring former Obama for America CTO Harper Reed as CTO of HealthCare.gov.

Feld (who will be one of the speakers at a GigaOM meetup tonight in Denver) isn’t the only skeptic of the tech surge. Despite President Obama’s attempts to downplay the website’s problems as mere “kinks,” other IT experts have said they believe the site’s issues reveal deeper issues with its underlying architecture and that adding more programmers could slow things down.

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