The power of the absence of government.

Three random 20-year-old dudes build fully functional ObamaCare web site in a few days

By —— Bio and Archives--November 11, 2013

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Want to make just about anything work better? Keep the government as far away from it as possible, then step back and behold the wonderment and goodness.

Here’s what you get. It’s simple and quick, gives you all the information you need and links to the insurers so you can buy.

Via Chicks on the Right, with a hat tip to my friend Sarah Barnes, San Francisco residents Ning Liang, George Kalogeropoulous and Michael Wasser suspected that HealthCare.gov would have worked just fine if it had been thought through correctly from the start, and built using simple logic and basic common sense. In a few days, with a budget of exactly zero, they proved it. The UK’s Daily Mail reports:

‘They got it completely backwards in terms of what people want up front,’ Liang told CBS News. The programmer continued: ‘They want prices and benefits, so that they could make the decision.’

  HealthSherpa.com, which is just two weeks old, allows a user to simply input their zip code and view all the health plans available to them.

  The website claims: ‘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 programmers are also adding features to the site, such as a section on tax subsidies. But the three 20-year-olds say they worked on the project as a service rather than to make money.

I just tried it, simply inputting my zip code, and the available plans came up instantly. (And I’m working with a bit of a slow connection today thanks to something going on with Verizon. Every other site I try is slow, but this one came right up.)

Now in fairness to the proprietors of HealthGlitch.gov, HealthSherpa doesn’t presume to do everything the real one is supposed to do. For example, you can’t actually sign up for coverage. But it does provide links to the insurance companies so you can buy directly from them if you want. And maybe that’s a better plan anyway. You click a link and you sign up. That is exponentially better than spending hours in ObamaCare web hell.

Remember, they built this thing in days. For free. Meanwhile, the federal government spent three years and $634 million and got a disaster, which they knew wouldn’t work days before launch, but launched anyway because political promises overrule common sense at all times.

This is a perfect encapsulation of why everything is worse when government tries to run it. Three 20-year-old dudes with basic competence and a pretty clear idea of what they want to do can create something that works in a few days because they’re not concerned with political patronage, politics, insane contracting rules, reporting requirements and the like. They’re just concerned with getting the job done.

The government sees a project like this as an excuse to spend hundreds of millions of dollars and keep thousands of people busy, all in the service of creating something that doesn’t work. And these are the same people who think they have to run health care, and everything else, because it will be fairer and better if mirco-managed by the “experts.”

Maybe we’d be better off if we put 20-year-old dudes in charge of everything. All right. That might be pushing it.


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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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