Reader Jim shared a link with me to the Health Sherpa, which is a project of three brilliant young men around San Francisco who are computer programmers.
What a great website! What it does is ask for your zip code, then immediately provide you with a list of ACA-compliant policies offered in the Health Care Marketplace for your neighborhood. You can get age-adjusted premiums. You can add your wife and kids. They even have another box to enter your MAGI — which everyone calls income, but you regular readers of mine know is “modified adjusted gross income”, and use your 2012 number for that.
News accounts say it just took these guys three days to put the search feature together. Why couldn’t the private government contractors come up with such an easy-to-use website like this? This has really been a bad year (or good one, depending) for government contractors, hasn’t it? Edward Snowden singlehandedly dents the IT business for companies like IBM in China. Then, a bunch of doofuses contracted with HHS botches the rollout of one of Obama’s key domestic initiatives.
The government should really start outsourcing computer problems to crowdsourcing, and reward the people who come up with the useful solutions.
These guys are heroes, who get the information people are seeking right to those people’s fingertips.
[Update 11/15/13: I tested the site against what healthcare.gov quoted me as a net official price. They were only 59 cents off, which is great.]