Three 20-Year-Olds Make Their Own WORKING Obamacare Site – In Just Three Days

By: Kristin Tate
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The Obama Administration has spent multiple years and over $634 million to build the Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov. Despite all of the time and money poured into the site, it still remains broken and glitchy.

Meanwhile in San Francisco, three 20-year-olds were able to build their own Obamacare website that actually works — and they did it in just three days.

Ning Liang, George Kalogeropoulos and Michael Wasser built HealthSherpa.com, which presents the Obamacare marketplace in a much simpler, more effective manner than HealthCare.gov does.

Currently, users must enter all of their personal information into the HealthCare.gov system before even getting a quote. On HealthSherpa.com, however, users only need to enter their zip code to see all of the plans and available pricing.

Liang said, “[The government] got it completely backwards in terms of what people want up front. They want prices and benefits, so that they could make the decision.”


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HealthSherpa.com says, “The Health Sherpa is a free guide that makes it easier to find and sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We only use carefully vetted, publicly available data.”

The trio claims they made the site to help people — not to make money. Wasser said, “There was no thought of, ‘How do we make money this time?’ It was like, ‘This is a problem that we know we can solve in a really short period of time. So let’s just do it.’”

The 20-year-olds’ project has many scratching their heads. With hundreds of millions of tax dollars at its disposal, why couldn’t the government get it right?

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Kristin Tate is a multi-media reporter for Breitbart News and BenSwann.com. Dedicated to fearless journalism, she regularly works on undercover stings with James O'Keefe to reveal government waste, abuse, and fraud. Tate was a Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) Chapter President and Founder. She will continue to fight tirelessly for individual liberty and free markets through new media. Visit Kristin's website at www.TheLibertarianChick.com.

  • RedEyeJedi

    This article ignores how the internet works. Does the website have an infrastructure built; is it designed to handle millions of users and billions of bits of data, or fend of DDoS attacks?
    Proof that affirmative actions for pretty white woman is alive and well in this country.

    • crappinrocks

      It’s better than anything the Obama administration’s produced so far.

      • RedEyeJedi

        Must be painful passing the rocks in your head through your digestive system.
        Try to contribute something next time.

    • SoEasyACaveManCouldDoIt

      Their website is pretty simplistic, but in all honesty could probably be tweaked in less than another day to be fully scalable, and while technically you cant make something completely DDoS-proof you could tweak your system so that you minimize the risk unless a person has a MASSIVE zombie network at their disposal. Easy changes to their website, and you could just hire some script kiddie to pretty up the site with some CSS in an hour or two.

      • RedEyeJedi

        You make good points, but Google and Apple don’t have billion dollar data centers for nothing; data needs to be sorted and stored. Anything on a country size scale needs enormous data processing.
        So the majority of costs is not site design, but infrastructure.
        Also, I really have a problem with this woman; she is obviously a student of the Faux Journalism School of Shallowness. Writing articles about affirmative action when she may benefit from it (pretty white woman), and not examining the reasoning behind affirmative action; calling the ban of a poison “a government power grab”, while showing a lack of understanding of the effects the poison is having; railing against environmental laws that prevent this country from becoming a garbage/toxic waste dump.

        • Michael

          Oh which laws are those? And you are right to mention infrastructure, but you also know that the infrastructure wasn’t meant to handle every state.. just the ones that wanted to sign up for federal exchanges. And also, not every citizen, since most who get it through their employer would never need the site, and most do it get it there. The reality is that the site doesn’t need as much as went into it and what has come out is not even working, at least for me in Florida.

          • RedEyeJedi

            I agree with the sentiment “that the site doesn’t need as much as went into it”, but that is a problem of our current economic/political systems (no bid contracts), and not just this administration.

          • michael

            I wish it was just an issue of current economics or politics. All government actions have the same problem the USSR did… good behavior can’t be incentived well. There are less indicators of good or bad and the biggest one, an election, covers a multitude of issues, so a person’s whole stance on everything is taken into account, not just one or two programs. But out of curiosity, what laws do you like that Kristen has posted negatively. She’s not the best, for sure, but I think she reports on issues from a liberty stand point.

          • RedEyeJedi

            We live in a version of Animal Farm, where the pigs make the election rules, pick who gets elected, and picks what laws are enacted. Animal Farm wasn’t just an indictment of the failure of USSR, but any system that is tries to pull together so many divergent ideas/people under a single banner. One group of people will determine they are THE necessary cog for the system to work, so install themselves at the head, and will bend whatever rules were first put in place to ensure their spot at the top (through political or economic means, and sometimes force) So it is about politics and economics.
            And exactly what is the Liberty Stand Point? Destroy

          • RedEyeJedi

            We live in a version of Animal Farm, where the pigs make the election rules, pick who gets elected, and pick what laws are enacted. Animal Farm wasn’t just an indictment of the failure of USSR, but any system that is tries to pull together so many divergent ideas/people under a single banner(even in a democracy).
            One group of people will determine they are THE necessary cog for the system to work, so install themselves at the head, and will bend whatever rules were first put in place to ensure their spot at the top (through political or economic means, and sometimes force), completely changing the system that gave them the power; in our case turning a previously pro-social welfare, free market republic into a individualist, bank-guided/semi-open market oligarchy.
            And exactly what is the Liberty Stand Point? “don’t tell me what to do because I know better”?

        • gpenglase

          RedEyeJedi, you are quite right that normally this would be an infrastructure issue more than anything else. But with modern high speed intelligent indexes and quickly scalable redundant server farms, given the limited nature of what this site is doing it this really isn’t a $600m. Unlike Apple & Google who are providing a plethora of services getting billions of hits daily, this is a fairly straight forward data mining and aggregation site, just on a (potentially) larger scale than most. None of the site setup nore infrastructure should be rocket science, nor ground breaking.

          However unlike other sites, what could add a massive layer of complexity and overhead is hooking it seamlessly into a spying network. But either it works or it doesn’t and with thorough testing you’d know before you deployed it where the weaknesses were, and also, NSA’s server farms are truly massive so I wouldn’t have thought that they wouldn’t have been ready for this to be hooked into it, so I still think there is more politics at work here than technical hurdles.

  • Vincent

    It remains broken because they don’t actually want it to work…. They have to spend our money somehow— why not spend it on a project that will never see the light of day (the way we expect it to)… Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are just funneling the money into the project, and siphoning it elsewhere.

  • Wendy

    I just tried this site…Amazing!!!!!!!

  • Brandon

    “With hundreds of millions of tax dollars at its disposal, why couldn’t the government get it right? Answer: Greed.

  • v.dodson

    Congrats to them, but they’ve missed the point of why the government set it up the way they did. The govt. wants to capture the information of the individual before the person selects which plan he/she wants. They also want to make sure the person is a registered voter before they get off the site. At least that’s my take on it. They don’t want to give the “customer” the advantage of knowing how much it costs until they’re deep into the system.

    • Cheryl Nelson

      Agree Bravo to these kids but maybe their point is being missed. Now you don’t have to wait or give anyone your information prior to getting the cost thus speeding up the civil unrest.

  • Matthew Parks

    Yet again, the “truth in media” is acting like a spin desk. So frustrating. BEN SWANN – If you want your site to really be about truth in media, tell your writers to follow your example!

    The gov site is sufficiently horrible on its own! You don’t need to spin things to make it seem worse than it is! What these three did is impressive and
    the gov’t’s efforts are rightly pathetic… so why the effort to
    exagerate them?

    This health sherpa site does not do what the gov’t website has to do. The
    requirements are very minimalistic. It’s a nice site, great UI, etc. but… gah, you get the point already.

    No offense Kristin, you’re not a software engineer, and who knows what deadlines and requirements you face. But any way you look at it, this is a spin article, not a truth in media article.

    • RedEyeJedi

      She isn’t even a journalist.

      • Shawny

        Because the real “journalists” have proven to have so much more integrity?

        • RedEyeJedi

          As exemplified by CBS: No.
          They used to. Then the desire for ratings trumped the desire for truth and open debate.

    • RedEyeJedi

      I think Ben found the transition to the internet a lot harder than he thought it would, so he has to find some way to drive up readership. How do you do that in this Internet age? Just take a light look at the problem, with exclamatory headlines and incendiary buzzwords.

      • brentwilliams2

        Ben has to realize that he is losing all the rational people who wanted real news. I’ll admit I had such high hopes for him that I keep hoping it will turn around, but it appears he would rather have clicks than substance.

        • Shawny

          I’d say it’s a successful marketing strategy given that we’re here and commenting. The real news these days is scandalous, scathing and incendiary or haven’t you noticed the tragic path “change” has taken?

    • beetlejuice

      Shut up Mark you don’t know what you’re talking about as usual, the govt site was designed to fail so that people could be penalized for not signing up. tick tac got it right as well, I hope you lose all your money to the Affordable Care/Obama Care Act then your eyes will finally be open to what the truth really is you stupid idiot who has diarrhea of the mouth.

    • Not Bob

      The point of the article is that it doesnt require 600 million to build a website that does the job the healthcare.gov supposed to do – trying to pick apart what they have done for ZERO dollars in a few days and compare it to a federal contract that ran for 18 months and spent hundreds of millions is not a fair comparison. For what they have done with little money and time is impressive and exposes the government for the corrupt inefficient mess that it has always been.

      • Matthew Parks

        Right non-Bob. I agree, that is the point. So why spin it? By spinning it, you allow people to point out all its faults and discredit it when it deserves merit!

    • gpenglase

      Matthew you are quite correct in that we are not comparing apples with apples here. Putting aside the fact that the boys can’t do that as they don’t have access to the same data sources and therefore the functionality and intent of the websites are going to differ, they did create a part of what it does, and theirs works, and they will get good media coverage and probably get some work or job offers from it.

      I would have liked to see the article point out that the two websites are different in scope and much functionality, but still point to the fact that overall they quickly fulfilled part of the exercise with minimal funding, so why can’t this top-end company fulfil all of the functionality with the obscene amount of funding it received. It’s not like it’s creating anything that technically hasn’t been done before.

  • tick tack

    The government couldn’t get it right because they needed to clam they spent the money on making the website when really all the top people in the government took the money and added it to their bank accounts offshore. The 20 year old’s don’t care about helping people, they just wanted to throw it in the face of the government and the media that they could do it and it didn’t cost nearly as much.

    • crazyredneck

      And there’s nothing wrong with that. It helps to bolster the thought that private individuals can do things better than government and drive home the fact that we don’t need them.

      • tick tack

        There is nothing wrong with that. I just like it when someone else stick it to “The Man”. Instead of “The Man” sticking it to us.

    • gpenglase

      They showed that a similar concept cold be setup fairly easily and quickly. Obviously they don’t have access to the same data sources and as such what they offer can’t be directly the same and will not operate at the same level – that wasn’t the point. What they provide is a simple comparison without a lot of data mining up front. And it does what it was intended to do.

  • kevin777

    Backend to? or just front end?

    • settheline

      Appears to be just front end…

      • Shawny

        Sure smells like backend though.

    • David Agosta

      It’s a skin. It’s not a website. The actual website has to access secure databases and these guys didn’t have to put any of that functionality in.

  • sharonhansen209

    I tried the site. Our premiums would be just under $2000 a month for about what we have now through my husband’s work. Can we afford that? No! Would we get a subsidy? No! Is it affordable? No! The government fails to recognize that we have other living expenses besides health care insurance. Do I think my husband’s employer will continue to offer us insurance at our current rate? No! Why would my husband’s employer give us the same insurance when the so called “affordable care act” is doubling what they are paying for us now? I doubt it. We will see.

    • david

      i hope you werent an obama voter…if you were then it shouldnt be a surprise.

      • sharonhansen209

        I am not an Obama supporter. I was talking about the web site these young men did so the government does not have all my info. The premiums that I was quoted from this web site was about the same as another one run by Kaiser. I know what his company pays for our plan. It’s about half what it would cost for Obamacare. So yes, it would double if his employer decided to quit covering their employees but they can’t because they have too many employees and the coverage is better than Obamacare.
        Sorry my focus wasn’t too good. My little dog was barking at me while I was writing that.

    • Shawny

      Oh but Obama’s big data base got all of your information (along with all the unvetted “Navigators”, the DNC, IRS, DHS, NSA, HHS and any other amateur hacker on the planet because the site’s not secure). That was worth signing on for and perhaps part of the reason it exists.

    • AussieDood

      Did your husband lose his coverage from his employer?

      • Jake Stine

        She said no, but she thinks he will, because of some vague and shoody “math” that says the premiums his employer is paying will magically double (even though Obamacare requires almost no changes to any existing employer-provided healthcare plans).

  • prostovanka

    The idea of getting price and benefits before you give up all your info and 20min to 1hr of your time sounds very attractive.

  • pancakes

    These 3 guys ruined all that hard work and all those millions of dollars just gone to waste. The politicians only wants to help those who help them (in therm of money). I don’t believe Obamacare was ever supposed to actually work. Although to the reasoning behind it i am not sure. Anyone care to enlighten me?

    • J to the K

      As that old adage goes.. follow the money. Over 600 million was spent on that Healthcare.gov website, going to people with strong ties to the Obama family. Hmm.. tell me you don’t think that is just a complete coincidence? This is just another example of politicians doing stupid things in order to better themselves at the expense of the common taxpayer.

    • margaret Bartley

      Private corporations are used to long development cycles. Software and web development companies have a culture of early-release, where the users are the beta-testers. It’s been going on for decades. Remember Windows 3? Of course not. It was a first-release, buggy and full of holes. Windows 3.1 knocked the socks off the rest of the world and created 10,000 millionaires in Seattle, who had gotten paid in stock options. Facebook releases all their updates on Tuesdays, and waits for the users to complain as their QA.

      I don’t know if you are old enough to remember in the 50s and 60s when “made in Japan” was a euphemism for shoddy workmanship, but by the 70s, they had advanced to the point of pushing aside Detroit, and taken over the home entertainment business.

      When China first industrialized, in the 80s, they focused first on toys and shoddy tools, because they knew it would take a generation to get to the level of world-class manufacturing. They’ve taken over the whole high-tech sector. None of that stuff is made in the US any more.

      This is a well-recognized technique – the first release is almost always crap. They watch the problems, and how people interact, and fix it on the move. Constant iterative development.

      Start doing your homework.

      • hammbino

        so why did the one developed by the 20 year olds work the first time?

        • Ken

          Big difference between a quickly thrown together web front end and a real production system that has to deal with security, performance, and actual data storage/retrieval. Anyone in software systems knows this article is pure BS.

        • margaret Bartley

          Because it was trivial.

      • gpenglase

        Sorry don’t buy it. Having been developing websites for corporates for over 20 years a web company’s deployment plan is not to release a half-baked site and get the users to test it – unless you have people in high places that will give you an open-ended contract regardless of performance, that is a recipe for failure as a competitive company. Any website can (and should be) thoroughly tested before deployment – normal clients don’t put up with continual failures or errors.

        As to Microsoft’s Windows 3. As you say until 3.1 arrived it was garbage, like much of the software actually developed in-house by MS. There were two other competing products on the DOS platform at the time which were better, but purely because of MS dominance provided by a stolen OS and their crazy open-ended contract with IBM, they followed the same process that they always have… throw cash at it until you end up with something decent and then use your monopoly to enforce usage.

        No-one else on the planet has had the position to follow that sort of business philosophy successfully.

        And your premise is totally incorrect – this is not a “long production cycle”. Even your examples are not relevant to this situation – what the heck has the development of production prowess in China (or Japan, or Taiwan etc.) got to do with this? Simply put it is a comparison website drawing on different sources (which they would have been given direct access to), using existing technologies, current standards and concepts – there’s nothing new here, no ‘gearing up’, no new ground to break.

        You say the 20yr old’s website was trivial – well then so is the basis of this website, just the amount of data it is cross-referencing and mining is potentially larger than most other similar websites, and subsequently the infrastructure required to support it. It has been done thousands of times before in different guises. And the scalability needs are nothing new. There are plenty of examples of large server farms setup to handle this sort of infrastructure, so given the amount of money thrown at it, why can’t they achieve operability when small startups with little money find ways to scale their sites to handle enormous traffic growth.

        No, you are dealing with a government that is playing a political game, one that will be used to benefit their own power base, their own pockets. Just watch the outcome.

  • Mario

    I dunno, the gov’t one isn’t that much more complicated and the sheepfold site just directs you to the main questions. The gov’t already collects info to sign you up for the plans and probably quickens the process. It’s all how you look at it. People are quick to invent flaws to further political agenda.

  • Not Bob

    The website built by the private sector works from the beginning, the website built by government contract never works and probably never will.

    I think the reason that Obama-care is such a dismal failure is that it is the preamble and justification for a universal single payer plan. They make it a failure which impacts the profit margins of insurance companies with the eventual goal of seeing it collapse and a new simple medicare for all plan pushed to replace it.

  • james84709

    “[The government] got it completely backwards in terms of what people want up front. They want prices and benefits, so that they could make the decision.”

    Well yeah, the government doesn’t care about offering prices and customer service first and foremost, what they really want is to capture all your data first. it’s a giant data mining service.

  • Peter Cornstalk

    It was all a scam to rip-off the taxpayers is why! The company’s VP is Michelle Obama’s college crony! You can bet the money is sitting nice in a Cayman Island or Swiss bank account now just waiting for Michelle to use it on extravagant vacations she is now accustomed too, after she leaves the white house!

    • AussieDood

      Unlike the previous administration, who would never do such a thing, oh wait, Haliburton, never mind.

      • dyun27

        Why in hell are we discussing the previous administration? Has anyone said anything about the previous administration being model citizens? Nope! Please… if your best defense is to say “but, but,…look at what the other guy did!” then that’s sad. They’re both terrible and the previous administration hasn’t really been in power for YEARS! At some point it’s time to move on put the blame where it actually belongs. Or maybe we should start saying “but look at what Roosevelt, Washington, Eisenhower, Clinton, etc. did!” every time someone points the finger at Obama. God forbid that guy ever gets blamed for anything, that poor blameless, powerless man.

        • Debbie O’Neal Jones

          Tried to hit ‘like’ button more than once, but no good. So, just want to say “Well done!”

        • David Agosta

          Because history only exists when you want it to, otherwise, the Earth is created anew every day with no context and no time continuum.

          • Influence Freedom

            Are you siding with ACA being Bush’s fault?

          • David Agosta

            No. One poster opposes the ACA because of the ridiculous idea that there is a horde of illegal immigrants that will sponge off the system. That imaginary horde is not different than any other imaginary horde that Republicans have mixed into the kool-aid that you all drink.

          • Influence Freedom

            lol. David, you should maybe ask people questions before assuming. Such as I asked you politely the question. BTW I am not a Republican. Stick with divisiveness man, I can see it is getting you far.

          • David Agosta

            I didn’t say or assume that you are a Republican. I was just answering your question about why I mentioned them but since it went over your head, let’s see if repetition will help.You inferred that I blaming Bush for the ACA. One poster on this article objects to the ACA on the ridiculous notion that hordes of illegal immigrants will use the system. Obviously she’s drunk the Republican imaginary horde kool-aid. You don’t have to be a Republican to drink the kool-aid.

          • Influence Freedom

            Re-read them man. I asked politely, if you were blaming Bush? I did not insinuate anything, I asked kindly. Look at your response “you all.” Maybe you do not mean that towards me. Anyhow, it is usually best not to assume peoples political affiliations or if they drank kool-aid lol. I would ask the same question of a Republican btw if they were going back two terms ago to blame another President. I think both parties are destroying the system. All for nothing anyhow though. Obama admitted some fault today and proved the Republicans were right anyhow.

          • David Agosta

            Yeah – sorta like you turned ‘infer’ into “insinuate.” That stuff happens on the ‘net.

            But there are only four kinds of Americans:1. the obscenely wealthy, 2. their willing tools, 3.morons who fall for the deceptions of the first two groups and 4. liberals.

          • gpenglase

            My goodness David. I actually bothered to read some of your posts, and like Ben, was looking for some reasoning behind your vitriol, simply because I’m an outsider and wanted to learn more about both sides of the argument. What a waste of time. But this statement is a humdinger and shows that you are absolutely one-eyed in your socialist fervour. To be that blind to the real political world… it’s staggering.

      • Peter Cornstalk

        What does the previous administration have to do with it? That makes it OK for Obama to do it right? Right/Left paradigm much?

  • justaman

    All they wanted is all your information. They want failure to bring on single payer social-Fascism to 1/6th of our economy. You can’t think with any kind of integrity if you want to figure out what the government is really up to.

  • TexasLadyJuanita

    It is a fun article, and does make a glaring point that my grandchildren could probably build the site in short order. But, the site was never meant to work. Obamacare has not a chance in hell of working – and it was never intended to. Nobody is stupid enough to allow pre-existing conditions, therefore you will never get the minimum 7 million healthy young people to sign up for it. It is a backdoor to medicare – and shoving it down the states throat . . . and more importantly, tanking the private sector business to bring in the evil single payer system to save the day LOL It is disgusting how ignorant America for the most part is. At the rate of the real unemployment, there is no way to give free policies to all who will need them – and have the price of those signed up to pay for them all. It is the infrastructure they were after all along. Americans are doomed for crappy health care from about 6 months from now forward . . . UNLESS YOU ARE RICH AND CAN PAY CASH UNDER THE TABLE. :)

    • David Agosta

      Only a brainwashed moron who lives in a fantasy world that does not actually exist would oppose the preexisting condition aspect of the ACA. The blood clot in my head (which is a pre-existing condition because it was found by accident after I was hit by a woman who was texting while driving) will burst. As much as you might think that I should be left to die, that won’t happen. What will happen is that Yale will do a quarter-million dollars worth of surgery and hand me a bill. Sorry for being a lazy sponge but I don’t have a quarter-million dollars. After they take my house, they won’t tear up the bill. Some of the hundred grand that’s left will be covered by the Fed and State and the rest will get spread out across the system, resulting in higher rates and higher premiums for you and all the other brainwashed morons.

      • TexasLadyJuanita

        Nothing in my commentary said I
        disagreed with Pre-existing Conditions. I am pointing out that no healthy
        twenty or thirty something is going to pay for a policy when they don’t have to
        pay for the policy until they need it. The tax for not having a policy is tiny
        compared to twelve expensive premiums. Without a minimum of 7 million healthy
        young people buying policies, Obamacare will fail. They knew it would fail, and
        they want it to fail . . . so they can take us to a single payer system – which
        is unconstitutional.

        Right now the only remedy for Medicaid is to reduce, and reduce, and reduce the
        amount paid to doctors. The next step with single payer system is to force
        doctors to work for a pittance . . . therefore, we will have less and less
        doctors. It is what always happens under socialist governments; which is why so
        many foreigners with problems like yours come to the United States for help.

        The system was broken, but Obamacare is not the fix. I paid high premiums from
        the age of 19 forward for myself and my family. When I changed jobs, I would
        have to wait a minimum of 90 days for new coverage, and a year for pre-existing
        conditions. Our insurance should be seamless. After working 40+ years, I am
        disabled. I became unable to work almost 3 years ago, and I depend on my Social
        Security and Medicare that I paid into for 40 years. The reason my benefits may
        not last until I die is that Obamacare steals from the system that Americans
        pay into – to pay for Illegal Aliens. I live in Houston – we have a city of
        illegals and poor who use our emergency rooms for common colds, flu, and other
        such care that is not emergency care. You can barely find good doctors in the
        border cities because doctors will not work for charity wages.

        There are better answers than Obamacare, but there are too many socialists in
        our system who present to the public things like Obamacare and represent it as “utopia.”
        Utopia is not possible. (That is a whole other commentary.) Your case is not by
        choice and the system has always taken care of those who truly need care. While
        I was working, I did resent my high premiums to pay for anchor babies and every
        human with a common cold that has plagued our expensive emergency rooms. I
        should never have paid for insurance for 40 years to be told that no insurance
        company would sell me a policy if I had to stop working – and didn’t have the
        money for Cobra coverage. If I had not been able to seamlessly switch to my
        husband’s company insurance, I would have been without insurance for 2 years.
        When you get Social Security Disability, you have to wait 2 years for your
        Medicare to kick in. I worked for over ten years with disability because I loved
        working- but the day came when it became impossible. Why on earth one has to
        wait 2 years for the Medicare I paid into for 40 years once they have been
        approved for Social Security Disability is beyond me. I am sixty one – so I
        wasn’t at the eligible age yet to fast track to Medicare.

        Yes, they system needs fixing in many areas, but we are fixing it at the
        expense of good health care for everyone who isn’t rich enough to pay a surgeon
        under the table. I am sorry you are in a bad way – but Obamacare isn’t the best
        answer because all those healthy young people are not going to buy insurance –
        instead waiting until they are sick to get insurance because they will not be
        turned away. When only sick people are buying policies the system will fail.

        • David Agosta

          Do you mean real, actual Socialism as in government funded roads, airports, sewers, trash pickup and seaports or just your convenient selective definition of the term?

          • TexasLadyJuanita

            I mean that you do not have a right to the fruits of the doctor’s labor – that doctors and nurses are not the property of the state. To explain why Utopia is impossible to you would be like talking to a chair. Take from that any evil you want to ascribe to it. I am able to see beyond today to the results of bad law / policy. Read some actual correct history books – or move to Cuba where you will be so happy among the results of bad law / policy. You are still free enough to do that, but not for long. History is being erased very rapidly this time around. I send you sincere wishes for your recovery, and pray that you will engage your thinking beyond your personal situation soon. You can preach against reality, but you cannot escape the consequences.
            Goodbye David Agosta

          • David Agosta

            I’m not sure what’s more offensive. That the scapegoating is so transparent and obvious that you’d have to be completely ignorant to fall for it or that that ignorance is willful and based on your bigoted preconceptions.Either way, it’s obvious that you’re an idiot.

          • TexasLadyJuanita

            You are the one who started your side of the conversation by calling me a moron, and ended with calling me an idiot. You have offered no substance in your posts. I have only explained the reality of why it will not work. Since you have not given any substantive reply we will leave it to the readers to decide if either of us is a “moron” or “idiot.”

          • David Agosta

            How many illegal aliens are working in the State Dept., Senator McCarthy?

          • Ben

            David — her premise was that the ACA was designed not to work as a transition to a single payer system. Her reasoning: that the mechanism for compensating for covering people with pre-existing conditions – the mandate – will not work because premiums for young people are more expensive than paying the penalty. Whether or not you agree with that premise, I have a hard time finding a “scapegoat” as you so put it. Jumping immediately to being offended, or accusing someone of hating illegal immigrants (or really whatever your nonsensical posts were saying… it is difficult to follow) might not be the best approach. Name-calling certainly is not. So, here’s your chance to actually argue with what she was saying: do you think that the mandate will be an effective mechanism to displace losses in covering people with pre-existing conditions, and further, do you believe that the ACA was designed to fail as a stepping stone to a single payer system?

          • David Agosta

            There are three reasons to oppose the ACA.

            One is that it is not single-payer. The reason that it isn’t is, of course that is not viable politically and the reason that it isn’t is the stupid application of the “socialist” label that people who haven’t a clue as to what socialism is will object to because all they know is that someone told them that it’s bad.

            The second reason is that you’re very rich and this helps everyone but you and you must stop it.

            The third reason is that the very rich have figured out that stupid people will bend over for them if they just push the right buttons. And, as always bubbles through to the surface, that bubble is a threat from some ‘other’ group.

            As to your question,it is patently stupid because it compares the ACA to a non-existent reality in which those with preexisting conditions are not currently covered, in part by the government.

            You can compare apples to orangutans all you want.

          • Ben

            I’ll first give my opinion on why I oppose the ACA, then respond to some of your points.

            I oppose the ACA primarily because it doesn’t adequately address the real problem with our healthcare, which is our deteriorating health. That in turn is responsible for the rise in costs. ACA is more of a cost-shifter than anything. That has more to do with an incestuous partnership between large food industry and our “regulators” than anything, in my personal opinion.

            Regarding the “socialist” label. You are correct that many conservatives cherry pick the term socialism and only apply it to things they don’t like, demonstrating a misunderstanding of the term. But, it is clear that a single payer healthcare system would “socialize” medicine. It would make that industry a socialist one, for better or worse depending on perspective.

            Regarding the rich. I’d say they ACA does help the very rich. But “very rich” is a relatively limited class that essentially plays by different rules.

            I really don’t understand your third point, mind clarifying?

          • David Agosta

            Well no, the very rich are institutions that own stock in medical equipment companies, health insurers, etc.

            You ask an absolute question when the question is a relative question. What matters is how the ACA addresses pre-existing conditions relative to how the problem is addressed currently. We do not just let people die, whether they’ve been denied insurance or not. How it’s addressed currently is that it’s all hidden within the system in a way that we all pay for it but don’t see it. So what you’re asking is, why shouldn’t we keep our heads in the sand?

          • Ben

            No, I’m asking you whether a mandate is an effective way to replace the current way we deal with people with pre-existing conditions. I’m not trying to play a game, I’m trying to figure out whether you think its good, and your reasoning. I have no ulterior motive, I honestly am curious as to your perspective.

            I have no problem candidly giving my own. I think it is an ineffective method because it doesn’t address the disease, which is expensive care from an unhealthy population (due to lifestyle and diet). I think that government policies have favored industrialized food to the detriment of the common good, which is part of our lousy diet. I think the mandate simply shifts costs onto young people who would choose to purchase cheaper coverage or no coverage at all, but instead are forced to pay more so that the premiums for older generations (responsible for screwing things up in the first place) can go down.

            While I don’t purport to know the answer, I do believe that a policy of shifting the cost of an over-expensive healthcare system onto the young, and dressing it up like it helps them, is wrong.

          • Ben

            Also, you never really answered my question. I think you just attacked it as patently stupid. Perhaps the inquiry into whether the ACA is a stepping stone to single payer is a little high-in-the-sky. But, would you at least address whether you think the mandate is an effective tool to offset the costs of covering preexisting conditions, and why?

          • SovereignMary

            TexasLadyJuanita – When you are communicating with the mental amoeba by the name of David Agosta you have to visualize the fact that he hopes to be a Jackbooted Thug in the New World Order who has dreams of destroying everything this sovereign nation’s Constitutional Republic stands for.
            That is why he believes he has the superior right to call you vile names and stoop to the lowest common denominator when attempting to communicate with him. Oh, but by the way – more then likely he believes that you should not have the similar authority to call him out, because he actually and moronically believes that he is more intelligent than you and all the founding fathers rolled together.
            There is nothing harder then attempting to communicate with someone who cannot put one brain cell in front of the other … or whose brain is filled with a “Box of Rocks.”
            All your best attempts are futile when you run into an Obama Zombie.”

          • TexasLadyJuanita

            Thank you SovereignMary. I have only met one actual Obama Zombie down here on the Texas Gulf Coast. I have asked her 3 times in recent times if she has her free Health Insurance yet. hehehe She keeps saying she just hasn’t had time to finish the enrollment. She will be saying that for as long as she thinks I will soon stop inquiring. Fortunate for me, I am a native Texan and therefore mostly know intelligent people (as long as I don’t go to the border, or go to Austin for anything other than good music and wine)
            .

          • David Agosta

            Of course currently on the planet Idiot, health insurance companies don’t determine the parameters of doctor’s “fruits”

          • David Agosta

            You really are an idiot.

          • gpenglase

            Calling yourself an idiot? Well, as I always say, in every argument there’s always some common point that we can find to agree on, David. And you found it.

        • David Agosta

          And we all already know that your ridiculous, unsupported by statistics scapegoat for this cycle is illegal immigrants stealing jobs, just like it was gays destroying the fabric of society last cycle, the non-existent hordes of Willie Hortons the cycle before that, welfare mother before that and so on all the way back to – how many Communists are in the State Dept., Sen. McCarthy?

      • Personal Responsibility

        Why didn’t you have health care prior to finding out you had a clot? Seems like you were willing to role the dice prior to finding out there was something wrong with you. Personal responsibility. In the mean time, yes you will get treated. Yes you will get a huge bill. All of the financial burdens you’d endure would be in response to you not deciding to purchase coverage in the first place. Personal responsibility.

        • David Agosta

          See – this is the problem with that political philosophy. You can throw the term “personal responsibility” out with having or taking any responsibility to know the situation of the person you’re talking about. I have had health insurance for over 35 years and have never really used it for anything (except,well you know male over Forty). In 2013 dollars, I, my employers or my wife’s employers have paid, rough guess, $150K into a system. The marriage lasted 17 years and right at the end of the Cobra (another “evil” government health-care regulation) that kept me on her insurance. I was hit head-on by a woman who was texting and driving. They did an mri of my head and neck and there’s a blood clot and four bad disks. Without the ACA, no one has to and no one will insure any of it. With the ACA, i have access to the system that I’ve supported without using for 35 years, Without the ACA, the half-million dollar bill (for hospital profits, pharmaceutical profits, health-care equipment profits and the neurosurgeon’s Bentley) isn’t going to vanish because you think it does. You will, in one form or another, get your part of that bill.

          • David Agosta

            Even if you ascribe to the “you should just die then” philosophy, that’s not what will happen. Without the ACA you will pay for detailing that Bentley.

      • gpenglase

        Ah yes, here come the insults again. True to form David, true to form. Nothing like a well reasoned personal insult to bring the point home. Aren’t there some liberals somewhere that can see past their own personal grievances or ideology to consider a range of competing concepts/facts and discuss the options sensibly? I guess not.

      • sunshine puppydog

        maybe the blood clot was karma for you being a raging asshole?

        just a thought

        • sunshine puppydog

          The world will become a little more polite and less condescending when that clot goes – and that’s not a bad thing.

  • Jordan Thompson

    “We’re Working On It

    Washington has their own healthcare exchange, and hasn’t shared that data with us yet. We are working around the clock to import their data from state records.

    If you’d like to be notified when we add WA plans, you can sign up for our email list below.”

    Oh yeah, it works all right…

  • Bethany

    First of all I’ve been on healthcare.gov I was able to get general quotes without giving a bunch of information. If you want specific quotes then yes you have to give them a lot of information because of the subsidies that are available. For example a family of 3 making 50k will pay more than a family of 6 making 50k. There are a lot of different subsidies that will effect your individual quote, so unless these 20 year olds factored all that in as well, the website doesn’t help much. Please note, I’m not for aca, nor am I defending the aca website, or saying that the money the government spent was worth it. The government obviously needs to get it together (or better yet get rid of aca). What I am saying is that unless this website can do everything the healthcare.gov is suppose to do, it is an unfair comparison. I do however applaud these young men for their good work, they have bright futures ahead of them.

    • gpenglase

      Your point is quite correct. But of course there can never be a ‘fair’ comparison unless the boys don’t have access to the same data channels (which of course they never will). however the fact remains that this is a totally *obscene* amount of money for a website. Only a government dept could sign off on such a ludicrous amount of “other people’s money” for such a product. And the 3 boys showed clearly that this sort of tech can be set up for pennies in comparison to what is being spent – thus there is a reason for the obscenity that is the Obamacare website and the stratospheric payments. And believe me it will have nothing to do with the issues involved with creation of working health comparison website.

  • BDPSU

    Obviously they’re racist terrorists!

  • Pulseguy

    There could have been a website that showed subsidies available based
    on your tax return. A simple info website that requires no logging in,
    just showing the formula and how to apply it to your situation.

    Then, there could be a
    website such the the three young guys wrote that only showed plans
    available with links to the actual insurance company. The insurance company, the one making the money, could then take the application. The insured could then apply for the subsidy on a third website.

    Pretty simple.

  • Pulseguy

    The same company built the long gun registry in Canada. The government spent $2 billion on it. It was supposed to cost a small fraction of that.

    In the meantime, a group of Alberta farm wives ran a cow registry. It turns out there are about the same amount of cows in Canada as there are long guns. Each cow is marked and registered and tracked. If it goes down, unexpectedly, within minutes every rancher who has had livestock that has come into contact with that cow can be informed. This was all done for isolating diseases, especially mad cow disease.

    The cow registry is the same size as was the long gun registry, and actually quite a bit more complicated.

    A group of volunteers ran it out of someone’s kitchen. I think there was one or two people paid. It cost something like $.04 a cow a year, and is self-funded by the farmers. Meanwhile the government run registry cost something like $100 a gun per year and was a massive bureaucracy.

  • David Agosta

    So this “working” website must be able to get through all the security and tap into the IRS database to verify income. That’s pretty impressive. I’d like to see that work.

    • Jon

      Here you go, smartass. http://www.thehealthsherpa.com/

      • David Agosta

        “Connecticut has their own healthcare exchange, and hasn’t shared that data with us yet.” Perhaps you should look up the definition of “working.”

        • BK425

          The three 20 somethings probably didn’t arrange to be interviewed or write that headline. It’s mass media’s job to get your attention and that’s what they’re doing here.

  • David Agosta

    You mean “Three guys write a non-working mock up of a site that would work if it worked.”

  • Laura Leone

    Site is STILL down! I’ve been trying to get my disabled son healthcare since Monday! Can get no further than the intro screen!

    • David N

      call them

  • Wolfgang Weicheier

    Hey uber-geeks, try to make a website showing how hard you’re going to get screwed by being forced to buy something you don’t want at an inflated price.

  • cohesive1

    When are people going to realize it was not a mistake! These politicians aren’t as dumb as they look on TV, and if they are, they have absolutely no control. This is nothing but a data mining operation. Why else set up the site to get all data first? This is the beginning of pre-crime ladies and gentlemen. The goal is to try to get enough info out of you to determine mental illness, so when you want to purchase a gun, no dice. Also, they get a huge list of troublesome citizens who DON’T sign up and pay the penalty. Data mining.

  • Justin Hilbert

    The Gov. Didn’t get it backwards.They are getting exactly what they want: a consolidation of all of America’s personal & financial information. They don’t care that you can’t sign up. The website is doing exactly what it was intended to do, gather domestic information.

  • Mike Abrams

    A guy on Hannity said he could have done the entire site in under 30 days and feel guilty charging a million bucks! Pretty sick!

  • wisefool

    That’s probably because the guv site is full of bloated snooping sh** you don’t actually see happening.

  • redbirdy

    You answered your own question…why couldn’t the gov get it right with so much money and time….TOO MANY COOKS IN THE KITCHEN! Everyone wanting their say and their name attached to it…and then making constant changes along the way, right up to the end, from the sounds of it.

  • RCB

    Heh, the govt. didn’t want to get it right, but it is true that they would have most likely been incapable of doing so even if it were in their desire to do so.

  • Influence Freedom

    The senate cannot write revenue generating bills because it violates Article 1, section 7 of the Constitution. Therefore, the Senate hijacked the H.R. 3950 bill that the House passed that was revenue generating military tax code. Then the Senate stripped H.R. 3950 and hijacked it and turned it into the ACA. Then they all lied ALL OF THEM, and acted like it would not be a tax. Then acted ALL SURPRISED that the United States Supreme Court passed that it was Constitutional as a tax. So, while lying and or keeping silent about the tax and how the bill truly originated, they also told America they could keep the insurance they wanted. Also, while telling America that Obama would not sign any law that was not first put up to review for at least 5 days by the American public, while Pelosi said we needed to pass the bill to even see the bill. Then we shell out over $600,000,000 to companies who could not even fulfill the obligation it had. Then, they decide to change how it will be set up and forcing people to enter in personal info just to get simple ideas of quote. (BTW, I was an insurance agent). Now, at some point it is time people are fully honest about the calamity of this all. Also, I would stress for future law, that everyone contact their representatives and explain they want a safeguard to be put in place that stops the Senate from violating Article 1, Section 7, by not letting them HIJACK bills, that the House had passed as law for completely different purposes. Otherwise, we just keep making Congress weaker, while empowering the Senate (Which is dangerous as they already get 6 years per term, so they already think they are gods) and the President and even corporations etc., because we trhe people are allowing the congress to become more vulnerable. Congress has to run every two years they have the shortest terms and we as a population are better off backing them, because they have to answer to us every two years, not every six. Encourage your Congressional reps, to stop allowing this hijacking of bills by the Senate. If the Senate could not hijack bills, then H.R. 3950 would have never been hijacked and the ACA may not even exist today.

  • David Agosta

    Here’s a few questions: When you were told that death-panels were in the ACA, did you fall for it? Were you aghast? Has the reality that death-panels aren’t in the ACA sunk in? Have you taken the very small logical step to ask, who wanted me to believe that death-panels were in the bill, why and what else have I been told about this that is simply not true?

    • JD

      In a free market, you can get any treatment that exists if you pay for it. Under socialized medicine, if the government decides that a type of treatment will not be funded, it will not be available at any price, because no one will find it economically viable to produce it. The term “death panels” refers to being told by government that you will not get treated no matter what you do. This concept automatically exists under any socialized medicine.

      The lie some use is that there is no difference between this and not being able to pay for treatment. This lie ignores the most basic of economic fundamentals.

      • David Agosta

        You’re right. The government is not going to pay for botox or for someone to wave a dead chicken over you and chant backwards in Creole. it is a leap of logic that is not substantiated by anything real to extend that basic sanity to the insane notion of death panels. But the gullible sheep on the Right, because death panels fits into their ridiculous preconceptions, will gladly make that leap without applying any thought to it and simply accept it as true.

        The truth is that the only hurt the ACA causes is to the bottom line of big, powerful corporations, executive compensation and institutional investment. Everyone on this site will benefit from it long-term. The lobbies of those corporations have long ago figured out that if they feed you the right manure, you will ignore facts that do not agree with your incorrect assumptions and preconceptions and eat the manure.

        • Libertarian

          Hahahaha

          Obamacare will only hurt the corporations? Then why are all the major insurers stock prices up more than the general market since the ACA was passed? Because they have a government individual mandate to force all americans to buy their service. Imagine if Apple had an individual government mandate that you have to buy an iphone or face a fine. Their stock price would hit $5000. Sound preposterous? The justification would be that everyone has a first amendment right to free speech and an iphone enables free (nsa monitored) speech.

          • David Agosta

            They haven’t laid out any money to cover the pre-existing conditions yet, have they? Try thinking beyond the next quarterly financial report. Oh no wait, you’re a Libertarian. Try thinking.

          • David Agosta

            And this is yet another example of ‘not getting it.’ The stock prices have risen, not because anyone is investing in these companies. This is gambling. Fourth quarter earnings will come out. People like you who just don’t get it will buy the stock thinking that these companies are doing well. The gamblers will dump the stock, the cost of pre-existing condition mandate will start to be seen and the gamblers will then short-well it – and will have extracted money from system (which you would probably call ‘working hard and succeeding’).

          • SovereignMary

            David, who do you think is actually paying for this very UN-Constitutional Act called ‘Obamacare’? The government tooth-fairy? No … it’s the taxpayers and the small businesses who hire more than 50 employee’s who are going to be taxed to the gourd, as well as gross higher premiums and abusive and insane deductibles.
            The true problem is that we have so many like you who are more than willing to swallow the ‘Obamacare’ Kool-aid and march like lemmings of the Socialist Cliff.
            You’ll probably cheer when your next placed in a government commune while the industrious and freedom loving individuals pay for all your necessities.

          • David Agosta

            The flaw in your logic is that we don’t all somehow pay – and pay more – now for all of it. We do not let people die. People are treated and the bills don’t vanish into thin air. You’re comparing a bill you see to a bill you don’t see and because adherence to a political philosophy is more important to you than reality, you’re quite happy to ignore that reality and pretend that the bill you don’t see doesn’t exist. It is this sheep-like supidity that lets large corporations reach into your pocket.

          • gpenglase

            Why do you have to get personal whenever someone doesn’t agree with you? Is this a typical leftist approach? … slam people personally coz your arguments are losing traction? How about the fact that even the Dems ‘fess up to the so-called ‘ death panels’ affect in the legislation. So I’m not sure what basis you are sprouting on from. Anyway I tend to listen to the arguments from people who can argue their point with conviction, not with insults. Insults are a sure sign of a lesser mind or a poor argument.

          • David Agosta

            Because I don’t believe that you hold an evil political philosophy because you’re evil. I believe that it’s because you’re stupid. So, take the compliment.

          • bonnie

            I agree with you.

          • Pete Preston

            I’ve heard some people say the money was set aside and already spent. How is it spent or set aside when people aren’t even paying into it yet? Hmmm, thinking indeed.

    • j_robinson

      a rationing of who gets what procedure is a default decision on who gets their life saved or not.

      The rationing of the medical procedures will be based on financial costs. Eventually providers (doctors) will be forced to accept the terms of payment offered by the biggest payer (the government) or go out of business.

      then the gov has the biggest seat at the bargaining table and it gets to say which persons are reimbursed for which procedures.

      yep. there ya go.

  • http://sisyph.us/ ErikSchwartz

    Are they looking for bug reports? Because their pricing algorithm is wrong. Going from 3 children to 4 should not increase your premium. In their algorithm it does.

    • Pete Preston

      Why wouldn’t an extra person cost more?

      • http://sisyph.us/ ErikSchwartz

        Read the law. It’s all in there.

  • [email protected]

    When they said they were having problems linking the Obamacare programming with the insurance industry computers etc my first intuition was how can that be a problem they all use the same handfull of systems…
    I forgot to think about legacy government systems…remember the Y2k problem? how it was only a problem on government computers?
    I know a guy who knows a guy who makes 1/3 a million a year programming for NATO. I know for a fact the government employs programming language which is not in use in civilian life.
    I am going to be the first to come out and say that the problem with the Obama-care website does not involve anything users of that website are privy to.
    The Obama-care website was designed by a foreign sourced team.
    They are not going to have the resources to fully implement what they create seamlessly with what the government has in place secretly.
    I’m going to come out and say that the problem with the Obama-care website is a problem with getting a civilian program to work with secret programs without endangering the security of those systems via back-channeling.

    Looking at the recent WIKI LEAKS Snowden data on the spy grid and the case of Seattle’s spy grid being linked to everything secret…
    I’ll be the forst to come out and say the government is not having a problem with the Obama-Care website per-se but is having a problem plugging it into their spy grid.

  • dan690

    Too bad, they could have split the $600+million and the taxpayers would have saved $300,000,000 to fix it.

  • SovereignMary

    I Only Hope That They Don’t Lend Their Expertise To Obama and His CORRUPT (in more ways than one) ‘Obamacare’ Website!

  • KissesandNoise

    I’ve said this on another thread: I have no idea how a website could cost 94 million dollars. It is virtually impossible. Sites like Amazon and Facebook have teams of people building, testing, and optimizing user experience and programming and I would doubt that they’ve spent that much money to date on their sites. I’m not sure what kind of back-end technology was needed to make the Obamacare site, but I seriously doubt the complexity of development and programming is worth that much. This is what happens when you put simple tasks in the hands of government; a small group of people got wildly wealthy from this project at the expense of the middle class and the underpaid team used to build the project developed an inferior product.

  • j_robinson

    One difference is that these young techies don’t have to interface with all of the backend databases that HealthCare.gov does BY DESIGN. Healthcare.gov checks dozens of different systems across the alpyhabet soup agencies like the IRS, DHS, HHS, Dept of Ed, etc etc etc…. all because Healthcare.gov is supposed to be able to know everything about you financially in order to calculate your subsidy.

    These kids did it right! So did http://www.InsurersOfIdaho.com which has been doing exactly this since 2005!!

  • Pat Roberts

    A project of this size and complexity wasn’t going to work right on the first go-round no matter who did it or how much was spent – not with the hard time limit they were given. Frontend functionality doesn’t mean it would handle a supermassive influx of users all at once, or the nightmare of linking up with dozens of disparate systems of various ages in various programming languages.