California State Government Spends $327 Million On A Website

woman working on laptop

Photo: WikiMedia Commons

Buried in a NYT article on California health care is the cost of building the Web site where some currently uninsured Californians will shop for health insurance: “Most of the money is committed to consultants, including Accenture, which has a $327 million contract to build and support the initial operation of the enrollment portal.”One of the amazing things about Obamacare is that it preserves the state-by-state restrictions on competition among insurance companies. So instead of the government building a single $327 million web site that all Americans can use, each of the 50 state governments gets to build its own $327 million web site (though of course, from a technical point of view, there is no reason that a single web site could not offer 50 different views of the same database, each view customised to show options available in a particular state).

[Compare to the Google search engine company, built by two Stanford graduate students in their spare time. Google’s expansion was funded by $100,000 in August 1998 and $25 million in June 1999 (Wikipedia). Amazon.com,, was funded by Jeff Bezos’s parents and then with a $1 million second round (source).]

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