Follow Us

Tag Archive: ACA

How Much Did Healthcare.gov Actually Cost?

by

The new healthcare exchange site has been the topic of several news stories these past few weeks. Many of them are quoting vastly different numbers for how much it cost to build. You'd think that sites like USASpending.gov or the Federal IT Dashboard1 would be able to give us some idea. But in reality, that's just not how federal spending is reported. healthcare_ladyMuch of government spending is bundled into huge contracts called IDIQs (indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity) that are meant to span many years and may go to multiple recipients. They're a lot like regular contracts except they can have very vague requirements and once the IDIQ itself has been competed, the government no longer has any requirement to compete any contract within that IDIQ. CGI Federal has one of these IDIQ contracts with the Department of Health and Human services. It was signed in 2007, long before the Affordable Care Act became law, and lasts until 2017. Within each IDIQ, the government creates purchase or task orders for specific services, which you can find in the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). You can see a list of all the task orders for the CGI Federal IDIQ here. Given a few constraints (was the task order post-ACA? does the description sound like it might contribute to healthcare.gov?) I highlighted in blue my guesses at what task orders might be related to healthcare.gov. I think my guesses err on the over-inclusive side. Even so, if you add them up, it's about $70 million. That's not unheard of for a government website and it's certainly far lower than the $600 million cost that has been reported in some places. But the fact that we can't figure it out shows the dire state of federal spending transparency.

Continue reading
Share This:

Easy Problems, Hard Problems and Healthcare.gov

by

a screenshot from healthcare.gov This Reuters article about Healthcare.gov has been getting some attention today. Alas, it's not very good, focusing on client-side optimizations that are probably unrelated to the site's early woes. Healthcare.gov's problems are almost certainly occurring at a deeper level of the system, making it very difficult, if not impossible, for an outsider to gauge their seriousness. To explain, let's do one of those analogy things. Say that Kathleen is planning a birthday party for herself.

Continue reading
Share This:

CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) Today 59063

Charity Navigator