Here’s an idea

In my reading today, I discovered that the website for Obamacare – you know, the one that doesn’t work – has cost taxpayers over $300 million dollars.

$300 million.  For the website alone.

It could actually be a lot more than $300 million.  HERE

Here’s an idea.

Let’s just create medical “bank accounts” for every person in the USA.  Heck.  Let’s include illegals.

Then let’s just give every man, woman and child $1 million, earmarked for healthcare.  You are born: ka-ching! – you get a million bucks for healthcare from the American tax payer.  Whatever the person hasn’t used in her lifetime can then just revert to the taxpayer.

$300 million.  For the website alone.   And Mooer’s Law is kicking in right on schedule.

What’s this all going to to cost by the time we get into it for a while?  Billions.  Probably trillions.  Good grief.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. pmullane says:

    Welcome to the world of Socialised (Socialist?) Medicine.

    Its rubbish.

    I’ve not got my crystal ball but dear cousins in America, I have seen your future, and it is the three words that strike fear into the hearts of any ill person in our cloudy little land……

    National. Health. Service.

  2. Louis Tully says:

    I think you might have your exponents confused. A $300 M website would only be enough to give all ~300 M people $1 each, not $1 M. To give 300 M people $1 M would take $30 trillion.

    [Oh yah? What’s this going to cost by the time we get done with it? I say, give us all $1 million now and save the money they’ll spend on stupidity downthe line.]

  3. Well, sure, they *could* just go ahead and give every man, woman and child a million dollars. But then the federal government couldn’t control the actions of every man, woman and child under the guise of “healthcare.” In the same way a few years ago, the federal government could’ve given all income earners a year tax holiday rather than opting for the stimulus packages. But then as now, allocating money to special interests and exerting control over the citizen is the top priority of the federal government… not actually giving citizens something that would help them…

  4. mamajen says:

    I’ve heard that figure before, and I am still trying to wrap my head around it. Sounds like a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes–some mediocre programmers/designers scammed somebody in our government into believing they could do the job, and it would cost that much. I would be interested to know how much, say, a bank website costs in comparison. Or, the Turbo Tax website. Or any number of websites that must be just as secure, if not moreso, and handle just as much traffic. What an irresponsible waste of money. I want to see the cost breakdown and find out who got extremely rich from this debacle.

  5. The Masked Chicken says:

    They could have just given the implementation to Facebook or the NSA. After all, they already collect and use personal information :)

    Seriously, where are the Catholic health plans? This is a golden opportunity both for evangelization and entrepreneurial muscle-flexing.

    The Chicken

  6. wmeyer says:

    The figure I heard the other day was $634 million. And the contractor is a Canadian firm. Come again? We can’t even build a website without resorting to the use of a foreign contractor? And surely they will not claim it was to keep costs down. Well, stupid as our pols are, they may.

    What I am hoping to find soon is a comparison among several complex sites, and what is cost to set them up, and to maintain them. Google and Amazon, for a start. Both highly successful, both effective and responsive. Both making money. E-bay. Barnes & Noble. I have no doubt that the hard costs for these commercial sites will make the cost of the Federal site even more ludicrous.

  7. Jim of Bowie says:

    And the website is not even secure. See Here

  8. Fr AJ says:

    I’ve often thought this, it might be cheaper to give each family or head of a household $1M for medical expenses than for the gov’t to take over and run the nation’s healthcare system.

  9. pannw says:

    But Father, if they did that, they wouldn’t have the money with which to enrich their crony capitalist friends who build and administer the monstrosity. And everything else Samwise said about controlling us.

  10. cajuncath says:

    300 million for a website that will eventually be fully functioning is a far cry from the more than 20 billion estimated to have been squandered in economic loss due to an irresponsible and inane shutdown of government services that provided no value to anybody. [Let’s put that money into the health care accounts too.]

  11. TNCath says:

    This is the best idea I’ve heard in a long time. We could call it “Z-Care.”

    The only problem is that the permanent underclass and other financially irresponsible in this country would likely blow through the million bucks within a year. And then what would we have to do for them? Give them yet another million? [earmarked for health care. I am not suggesting food… er um… Obama-stamps.]

  12. Magash says:

    As I understand it the web site was created by a company owned by an Obama contributer. I’m sure that didn’t entered into the calculation of why that particular company was chosen. There’s been a lot of FUDD on this. Was the contract bidded out or wasn’t it? Who actually bid on it? Why were the particular companies that were chosen picked?
    Some new organizations maintain that it was done as a Single Source Contract. Others maintain there were 31 bidders for some parts but only 4 for the actual web site. No one has reported who might have bid, and they might not be allowed to, sometimes that information is not released publicly.
    Over on /. they’ve been arguing over the software end of this. The consensus seems to be, even from those who are supporters of OBamaCare, that this was a case of incompetence all around. The procurement people on the government side were poor managers, provided bad requirements, did poor contract oversight and basically are out of their depth. The contractor(s) were incompetent to perform the necessary IT support, programming, wed administration, and design. The time scale allotted for development was to compressed, likely by years. Someone who sets up these kinds of systems for industry talked about a 5 year roll out cycle from setting requirements to systems on line for use. The government hadn’t even set the initial requirements till last spring, and as late as the end of summer were still changing them. Many of the decisions seem to have be politically based, no surprise there, such as requiring someone to register before giving them access to cost tables, based on the premise that once they see those they’ll go ahead and pay the $95 penalty. I understand cost quotes include subsidies, but they fail to mention you pay up front, and don’t get your subsidy money until tax time. If you look at the cost without subsidies be prepared for sticker shock. But no worry. People making up to $95,000 a year can get something from your Uncle to defray the cost. So basically almost anyone who isn’t Upper Middle Class or above is beholden to the government. The 45% becomes the 85%, but in most cases what you’ll pay in increased taxes will more than make up for the dole the government is giving back.

  13. ASPM Sem says:

    As a web programmer: it’s a completely ridiculous price.

  14. James Joseph says:

    A few years ago, Bill and Melinda Gates, purchased $750,000,000 worth of contraceptions and gave them ‘charitably’ to the Hindus.

    They could have done the same thing. Setup a fund for each person in India earmarked for emergency healthcare and then rolled over the unused portion to the next generation.

    These are not interested in providing healthcare to the masses. These are interested in destroying life.

  15. cdbeard01 says:

    I like this idea. The only thing I would add is that money left over after people die could be sent to a pool to benefit people who exhaust their funds and fit XYZ conditions. (I’m primarily thinking of folks with chronic but non-fatal illnesses.)

  16. acricketchirps says:

    It’s cute, but of course, the idea doesn’t work. The money comes free. The resource it is for to buy remains scarse. Soon it’s $100,000 to remove a mole and $500,000 for an appendectomy.

  17. Joe in Canada says:

    “Whatever the person hasn’t used in her lifetime ….” Practicing for next year’s LWCR conference?! [Just trying to redress centuries of linguistic discrimination.]

  18. Johnno says:

    Do not worry. That $300 million was printed out of thin air by the Federal Reserve anyway. It’s worth nothing but the paper its printed on, so understandably whoever built the website gave them their money’s worth.

  19. The Affordable Care Act is just the most prolific and costly act in a line stretching back to the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency. The unfortunate truth is that when you factor in the costs of Obamacare, the eventual tax increases that it will cause, as well as current Federal and State taxes, the average American may may see up more than 50% of their income taken away from them. We are rapidly approaching a day in America, probably within the next couple of decades, when Americans will have to pay more to fund the government and its programs than they receive for their labor, which is not only unjust, but economically unsound and approaching violation of the Laffer Curve. I’m taking an Economics course right now and my professor has some very blunt criticisms for the current economic policies of the United States of America.

  20. guans says:

    What about the cost of all the extra IRS employees hired to enforce it,
    and the cost of advertising and the cost of hiring (what do they call them.. ) the helpers for the exchanges.
    BTW, apparently the website would have worked had not last minute changes required by the White House to make sure the cost of the chosen plan would not come up until after all the personal information was listed.

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