Ever since the Affordable Care Act went into effect at the beginning of October most of the complaining I have been hearing in regards to it have been about all the issues and glitches with healthcare.gov, the website in which you can register and apply for the Affordable Care Act. I have one major issue, why is no one treating this like the startup it is? I mean, it looks like a startup, it acts likes a startup, so why is everyone treating it like an established business with no issues. The honest way to look at the online vessel for the Affordable Care Act is as a startup with the government as its VC.
There are a lot of great design elements. The UI/UX is simple and easy to follow. Does this look like any government built website that you’ve ever been to or does it look like the website of a startup? The FAQ section is phenomenal. If you are looking for information on the Affordable Care Act in regards to what you need and who you need coverage for, the non-intrusive questionnaire for your situation create a series of helpful articles to help clarify any questions you might have. In addition to the FAQ you can live chat with a representative online or call for more information.
Any startup that launches online has bugs and that’s with minimal traffic. Can you imagine trying to get everything 100 percent working when millions of people are trying to access your site within hours of it launching? The fact is that nothing like this has ever been attempted before. No startup has ever launched with the “user base” healthcare.gov has. I mean, we all remember the all too common “fail whale” with twitter as it tried to scale to its rapidly growing user base. Can you imagine trying to scale to these numbers on launch day? I certainly can’t.
I certainly understand being frustrated, but it’s being handled the proper way like most startups with scaling issues due to user demand, the founder, in this case President Obama, has vowed that his development team will work to fix the capacity issues. This shouldn’t be alarming this is the status quo of how any new business would adapt to the real life challenges we all face. Also, in this case the program doesn’t actually kick in for 3 months and you have 6 months to go and fully register. There is no need to hurry, it is not a limited invite beta. Just be patient.
The bottom line is healthcare.gov solves a need for many people, including entrepreneurs like myself, who have gone far too long without affordable coverage. You can bash the Affordable Care Act based on your ideologies, but to bash it based on the technology is obscene, unfair and misguided effort to trash something simply because you don’t like it.