Obamacare sites cost more than Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

An array of issues surrounding the recently launched websites for President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act have rendered them largely unavailable during the last week, and a lack of funding might not be to blame.

With the official launch of so-called Obamacare last Tuesday, millions of Americans flocked instantly to brand new Web portals where people could sign up for inexpensive health insurance plans. Bugs, glitches, an overload of traffic and other snafus resulted in many of those sites voluntarily shutting down while programmers picked through code and attempted to revamp the websites in recent days, but a new investigation by Digital Trends’ Andrew Couts suggests that a stupendous amount of money was involved in getting some of those sites off the ground — only for them to crash and burn almost instantly.

Couts has since revised his original estimate since going live with his report on Tuesday this week, but his latest round of research led him to assume that American taxpayers spent over $500 million on the Obamacare websites that have been plagued by problems since their launch one week earlier.

The website for healthcare.gov, Couts wrote, has been so prone to problems “that its track record for failure is challenged only by Congress.” Perhaps an even better example of something the two entities have in common is the vast amount of money spent on making either all too unbearable.

According to Couts’ calculations, data from the US Government Accountability Office and subsequent IT contracts he has stumbled on suggest that at least half-a-billion dollars has been invested in Healthcare.gov and other similar websites so far, which might not seem all too much when compared to other endeavors entertained by Washington.

Compared to other websites, though, Couts says the cost is astronomical.

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