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Though the health-care bill doesn't really kick in until 2014, it mandated that the Department of Health and Human Services build out the Web site for comparison shopping by July 1, 2010. That seemed a bit odd to me, as the shopping it could promote wasn't shopping through the exchanges, but in any case, is live now, and it's a slick, easy-to-use site, which may be the best thing out there for seeing both the public and private health-coverage options for people in your situation in your area. And the obvious advantage of starting the site this early is that there's a lot of time for the tech team to play with it, improve it, and get comfortable with it before 2014, when it really needs to be working.

By Ezra Klein  |  July 1, 2010; 10:25 AM ET
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It's striking how similar is to Massachusetts Commonwealth Connector site. I suppose one might expect that given how closely the ACA is modeled after MA's law.

Posted by: Nied1 | July 1, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Any estimate yet on how far over budget the cost of the website development is? My money is on it being at least twice the cost included in the health care bill.

So far any other element of the health care bill that's been updated since the bills passage has found the cost estimates included in the 'deficit-reducing' bill to be woefully understated, meaning this health care reform will eventually add hundreds of billions to the conservatives, realists, and anyone with a working knowledge of a 6-function calculator predicted.

So would we expect the web-site development costs to be any different?

Posted by: dbw1 | July 1, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Several PPACA requirements (that is, requirements on the Secretary of HHS, not requirements on citizens) kick in today (1 July 2010). Some public service groups are even arranging bus transportation to make sure that every eligible participant can make it to his local HHS office to sign up for newly available benefits (some of which, like the federal high-risk pools, have implicit enrollment limits due to fixed spending caps).

Oddly enough, many of the groups offering transportation are opponents of the PPACA. The intent seems to be to "swamp the boat" with potential participants and their paperwork.

Posted by: rmgregory | July 1, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Actually, right now, it's a good source of info on the new law, but as for your state options, a much better sources Coverage for All website:

Posted by: ciocia1 | July 1, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Glancing over the "What's Changing and When" page in the "Understanding the New Law" tab, I noticed something odd. They have a graphic view of a timeline for when different provisions become effective. The graphic location, however, doesn't match the actual effective dates (which are provided in the blurbs). Am I misunderstanding this timeline, or is it a design error?

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | July 1, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

dbw1 above: I've submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the website development cost details you mentioned and you might wish to do the same. The FOIA request must be in writing (which can be electronic writing via the agency's web-based form) but thereafter HHS must reply, in writing, within 30 days with the requested cost justification documents.

Let's all help the government by fully and completely examining the implementation cost of the PPACA! Each and every FOIA request helps to stop the sort of waste, fraud, and abuse that every PPACA advocate wishes to eliminate!

Posted by: rmgregory | July 1, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

nice site but pretty useless. I put in some sample data and it basically told me to go get Medicaid. Nice!!

Posted by: visionbrkr | July 1, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

memo to Klein and other members of the late Journolist: It's "Affordable Healthcare Act" -- not just healthcare. Calling things by the names we give them is imperative. Can you say interview with Zeke Emanuel? Interview with Orszag? We're watching you. comm. office

Posted by: truck1 | July 1, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

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