In spare time, 3 guys in 3 days make a “Affordable” Care Act website that actually works

This is from Breitbart:


Even as President Obama has issued a constant refrain of how upset he is that his Obamacare website doesn’t work and promises that he’s on top of the fix, three 20-year-old website designers in San Francisco made a working Obamacare website using’s own code. They did it in only three days.
The three web developers who created the site,, programmed it to do much of what, the Obamacare website, is supposed to do.
The enterprising young men whipped up their version of Obamacare in just days working in their off time.


No, this doesn’t seem to be a joke.

The JOKE is the “AFFORDABLE” Care Act.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I saw a news story about this on CBS Evening News a few days ago. Here is the video report:

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    A squadron of chimps could have done better than HHS on this “rollout”.

    I am a total cynic, but, I believe Obamacare was never intended to succeed, hence it’s laughable implementation.
    With a sufficient clamor from the people, a “single payer system” will perhaps be introduced, as a way to obtain what has been the Holy Grail to liberals for decades, socialized medicine paid for by our government directly, no middle man.

  3. Peggy R says:

    I believe it. Good for those guys. Don’t give or sell it to the feds. Keep this thing inoperable. already existed with insurance plans available at a variety of price points and ranges of coverage for each state. HHS could have bought them out. We had to buy in the private market last year and found it useful.

    Now, there’s not much variety and are fewer carriers thanks to Ocare.

  4. Clinton says:

    According to the GAO, the cost of the Obamacare website was close to $400 million.
    Bloomberg Government analyst Peter Gosselin released a report last Thursday that puts
    the cost for the website at closer to $1 billion. Mr. Gosselin stated that the GAO study was
    too narrowly focused, and that he had expanded his search of the federal contracts database
    to include all contracts involving the Affordable Care Act. The result was that “… in
    looking at the full range of contracts for just ten firms, the Bloomberg Government analysis
    found more than $1 billion in contract awards”.

    What kind of budget did these three guys have?
    On a slightly off-topic but interesting note, about three weeks ago the House Energy and
    Commerce Committee held hearings over the Obamacare website. According to the
    Washington Post, representatives of website contractors admitted under questioning
    that the website is not compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
    Act, and that that non-compliance was per this administration’s specs for the website. HIPPA
    is the law that protects the privacy of electronically transmitted medical records. Basically,
    it’s come out in the hearings that one’s medical history, which one must enter into the Obama-
    care website to proceed to the purchase of insurance, is not protected from datamining by
    third parties. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy from the website at this time.

  5. JonPatrick says:

    It is generally true in the IT world that small teams of talented and motivated individuals are the way to go and are much more effective than larger teams. There was a book written some time ago called “the Mythical Man-Month” about this. Software development more resembles a surgical team doing an operation, you wouldn’t assign 6 surgeons and expect the operation to get done in 1/6th the time but that often happens in the software world. One axiom mentioned in Mythical Man-Month is adding people to a late software project makes it get done later not earlier. You end up spending more time coordinating with people that you do getting real work done.

    The Apple MacIntosh was totally designed (hardware and software) by a team of about 20 people, in a “skunk works” where they operated more or less independently of the company hierarchy. Look what they were able to accomplish.

  6. catholictrad says:

    But Father! The bishops support the Unaffordable Care Act! (and violation of law via illegal immigration). Isn’t it wrong to oppose the UCCSB?

    I sure hope not because I oppose them consistently when they contradict the Bible or doctrinal documents of the Church.

  7. robtbrown says:


    From a tech standpoint there is no reason why the project couldn’t have been designed to use small groups to produce modules.

    A few months ago one of my former theology students who is now a canon lawyer told of me of the problems within the code. I replied that the code is merely a reflection of theology. If there are inconsistencies in the code, it’s because they exist in the Vat II theology that it attempts to codify.

    I suspect that it’s the same with the Obamacare website. Probably, those who wrote the law and regs didn’t think it through well enough to produce something cohesive enough that it could be broken down into modules. And I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there were comments by the designers that the project was a mess. Good IT design depends on good communication with the users (in this case, whoever at HHS was in charge of the project). My guess is that the size of the contract combined with various less than competent HHS managers (incl the likely presence of political appointees) was an impediment to communication.

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