HealthCare.gov — Obama can’t build that

For anyone that remembers the Kevin Kline movie Dave, these days call the scenes of the accountant going over the national budget like a normal business person would. When it comes to getting HealthCare.gov working, it’s probably reaching the point where Murray the accountant would be tearing out what hair he had left.

The latest news is that the initial estimates for fixing the site were grossly underestimated. That’s no surprise, but that doesn’t make it any better. Accenture is claiming that it will need $121 million to make it through January 10, 2015.

To place that in perspective, just the latest figure exceeds at least one set of estimates for 10 highly popular web start-ups. That is exceeding the cost to start all of them, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, Pinterest and Vine. You can even throw in a healthy dose of green pigs and egg wielding Angry Birds in that much smaller figure of approximately $7.25 million. That was adding up the high-end estimates and rounding up a bit.

Yes, the cost to just fix one website for the government apparently costs close to 17 times what it probably cost to start ten of the most popular websites out there. Just makes you yearn for the good old days when the biggest ticket items people would complain about in government budgets were $200 hammers, and $500 toilet seats, doesn’t it?

Remember, this is just to get Accenture through to January of next year. The government is opening all of this up to bids, so that means they’re going to try for another company to really fix everything. As for the qualities they are looking for in a company to take up this job, don’t expect them to have anything at all to do with network development experience. No, they won’t be talking to the eggheads behind any successful business sites, either. It will be all about affirmative action, and giving jobs to people in economically depressed areas.

Yes, the requirements look like they’ll be searching for a company in urban slums, because they’re sure to find many gifted computer programmers there.

Before anyone gets really upset about this, remember something very important. This website is meant to be the backbone of our new health insurance system. If it keeps failing as miserably as it has been, it will cause a great deal of chaos in our healthcare system in general - more than it already has been.

Additionally, the more that the administration proves that it is utterly incapable of managing the simple task of hiring competent programmers to make a website that works, the less likely anyone is going to buy into what some have argued was the whole point of ACA in the first place. If it’s just a stepping stone to a single-payer system, it won’t be difficult to scare the masses enough for them to actually wake up, and fight against it.

HealthCare.gov is turning into a hanging rope - we just have to see how much we have to give to the administration before it hangs itself.


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