When the Affordable Care Act went into effect last week, Healthcare.gov essentially collapsed under the high volume of visitors — but that’s not the worst of it.
A new report from Digital Trends reveals that the glitchy health care website may have cost taxpayers more than anticipated.
The exact cost to build Healthcare.gov, according to U.S. government records, appears to be $634,320,919.
That’s more than it took to initially create Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
According to Digital Trends, Facebook operated for six years before hitting the $600 million mark. Twitter only recently reached $400 million. And Instagram managed to get by with only $57.5 million until last year, when Facebook bought it for $1 billion.
The site itself reportedly underwent major code renovations over the weekend, Digital Trends added. However, the site still rejects user logins and fails to load drop-down menus, among other technical malfunctions. These glitches make it nearly impossible for uninsured Americans to purchase affordable health care — which is the primary function of the website.
So why does it seem so impossible to launch a functional site without spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars?
According to the Department of Better Technology, the government’s process of distributing contracts to vendors is essentially broken.
“Contracting officers — people inside of the government in charge of selecting who gets to do what work — are afraid of their buys being contested by people who didn’t get selected,” writes the author. “They’re also afraid of things going wrong down the line inside of a procurement, so they select vendors with a lot of ‘federal experience’ to do the work.”
And when things go wrong, the author adds, contracting officers throw “more money at the same people who caused the problem to fix the problem.”
A recent poll from the Associate Press reveals that 7 percent of Americans reported that somebody in their household has tried to sign up for insurance through health care exchanges. However, only 10 percent of those who attempted to sign up were able to successfully purchase health insurance.
About 75 percent of those polled said they experienced problems while attempting to sign up.
According to The Daily Caller, the Department of Health and Human services did not respond to their request for comment.