“Cast in thousands, cost in millions.” That ad line was popular among movie moguls like Cecil DeMille decades ago when they released an epic film. Back then a million bucks was worth something. Today it will barely buy you 0.005 of the cost of designing a website — provided the site in question is Healthcare.gov.
That is what CNNMoney is reporting the web development cost. Drawing on figures from the General Accountability Office, the article fixes as the programming costs split among six contractors. “Overall,” the article’s author, Chris Isidore adds, “the government has spent $394 million setting up the website and the exchanges through which the public can buy health insurance.”
Luke Chung, himself a software developer, put those costs in perspective, telling Fox News that billed at $200 an hour, the Obamacare website would require a million man hours, or 5,000 man years, to justify the cost.
“I don't think they had time to use 5,000 man years,” Chung is quoted as saying. “So I don't know where the money went. I don't know what these people were doing. There're not that many web pages. I don't get it! Where'd the money go?"
But at least the site is running like clockwork, and it’s not as though the money came out of the pockets of taxpayers. Oh, wait…
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