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Sunday, November 19, 2017
HomePolicyPlotzing about HealthCare.gov? Open source it.

Plotzing about HealthCare.gov? Open source it.

Barbara Glickstein is co-director of CHMP and working hard to keep up with the awesome nerds out there.

photocredit:Code for America

photocredit:Code for America

Yes, chaos. The launch of HealthCare.gov has been chaotic. That’s been said by many, and now we know from the Washington insider notes leading the launch what a mess it’s been.

For the most part, the States running their own exchanges are doing better then the Federal site. They are dealing locally with their data issues and insurance companies.

The Feds have been over-run with problems managing the exchange directly for 27 states and in partnership with 7 other states.

It’s not just a problem with traffic. The HealthCare.gov site is riddled with serious technical issues.  News reports say there are over 500 million lines of code that have to be rewritten.

Health and Human Services is on the case with a “technology surge” to address the problems.

There’s an exciting parallel conversation in the tech world that says it’s time to open-source it.

Programmer Matthew McCall issued an open call asking the government to publish the code behind the website to open it up to public scrutiny.

In AVC,  Fred Wilson writes, “Open source the healthcare.gov project, or at least all the components that easily lend themselves to open source. I think that some of it may already be open sourced. But instead of hiring an army of contract developers who will cost us so much money, harness an army of volunteers, who are likely better engineers, who will do the work for free.”  

S.E. Smith‘s blog on care2 addresses the potential risks and privacy concerns involved in publishing code.

I’ll bet on the enthusiastic volunteer nerds who have stepped up wanting to make our government website work to figure that out.

All bets are on they can do this.

Is it time to release the code America?

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