Three California Programmers Create Alternative Healthcare Website


CBS Evening News reports S.F. programmers build alternative to HealthCare.Gov Website

On Friday, President Obama had this to say about problems with the Obamcare website during a speech in New Orleans: “I promise you, nobody’s been more frustrated. I wanted to go in and fix it myself, but I don’t write code.”

GTY_healthcare_websites_jtm_131001_16x9_992But plenty of programmers do write code. And three of them have created their own website that addresses some of the most annoying problems with HealthCare.gov.

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In a San Francisco office shared with other tech start-ups, three 20-year-olds saw HealthCare.gov as a challenge.

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With a few late nights, Ning Liang, George Kalogeropoulos and Michael Wasser built “thehealthsherpa.com,” a two-week-old website that solves one of the biggest problems with the government’s site.

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

Liang showed CBS News how it worked. “You come to our website and you put in your zip code — in this case a California zip code. You hit ‘find plans,’ and you immediately see the exchange plans that are available for that zip code.”

The CBS video interview is interesting.

Click on link at the top if video does not play.

Thanks to reader “Rick” for the link.

Not Quite Ready

I entered my zipcode, 60012,  and requested all plans for me alone – over 50, and no plans came up. I tried again with “you and spouse” and again no plans came up. Either they do not have all zipcodes entered or there are some other issues.

In my post Tips on Navigating Obamacare Costs on HealthCare.Gov – My Personal Experience – Obamashock! I noted there were 60 plans for McHenry County.

Perhaps they need to add “county” for some states.

Regardless, the website has a better interface and with a few bugs fixed, no one will need Healthcare.Gov, a website that cost taxpayers something on the order of $300 million.

I emailed the website developers and will post an update when I hear back. 

As is typical with government projects, it seems no one really knows for sure what the healthcare.gov costs.

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