Liberal media still has not gotten around to looking at this part of the story. Makes you wonder how liberal the media really is. I wrote this diary at the end of December, as the sign ups were ramping up on the first deadline. Updated some numbers after the second ramp up.
Joe Biden was right. It is a BFD. How big? Let us calculate. It will answer the naysayers who have said, "They can't even get a stupid web site to work!". "Private sector velocity man! This is what you get from Government!".
Of course the stupid government will deliver a 4 oz letter to any damned God forsaken wilderness for 50 cents of so. And the private sector will ask give you a window between "9 AM and 5PM for the cable guy to show up", "Take six weeks to process your stop-junk-mails request" and stiff you with a 40$ late fee if the check is late by one day. But I digress.
As of today, 24 Dec 2013, the enrollments are pushing some 6 million including private plans and expanded medicare. Given the mix of couples, single parents, singles, and families, it would amount to 3 million accounts that have signed contracts. Each contract is worth approximately 6000$ in premium + subsidies or 9000$ including out of pocket costs, between 18 to 27 billion dollars. Let us be very conservative and value it at 20 billion dollars.
Update: As of April 08, 7.1 million in exchanges, 5 million in medicaid expansion. 12 million people, 6 million accounts. Value of the business referred to by healthcare.gov is 36 to 54 billion dollars, 40 billion conservatively.
Let us go looking among the vaunted private sector and see how many of them have 2
million account each worth between 6000$ and 9000$.
Amazon. Launched in 1995 it took 13 years to grow up to sales over 20 billion sales volume.
Facebbok does not have 680 million users. Those accounts are its product. It sells their dwell time in the site to advertisers. It has far fewer than 2 million advertisers and has just 5 billion in revenue. And it took forever to grow to this size.
Google Started in 1998, it had ramped up to total revenues of under 12 billion dollars by 2006.
eBayLaunched in 1996, its revenues (not sure if it is the revenue for the company or the total sales volume) reached 7.7 billion in 2008 with 15000 employees. The right number to compare would be the total sales not the revenue to the company.
We can go down the list Twitter, eBay, Reddit, and pretty soon you are in the mySpace, boing-boing, yahoo territory! Fact is there are very few web sites that have 4 million accounts or more. Even dailykos is slowly nudging up to that number, even very popular sites like slashdot and blogspot etc have much fewer number of accounts, and almost none of them have 6 million accounts each with more than 6000$ worth of transactions through their sites.
Even financial and trading sites, credit card sites, bank sites, where the accounts might have transactions exceeding thousands of dollars per year, do not have 6 million such accounts.
Even the few ones that have, may be Schwab.com or Citi.com or Fidelity.com or Vanguard.com did not reach anything like what Healthcare.Gov achieved. between 36 and 54 billion in transactions in the two quarters of launch.
So next time a wingnut blowhard says, "just a web site", let us explain what a BFD this thing really is.
Granted, we could have launched it better. We could have started the income verification and subsidy calculation a few months before the launch. We would have about 4 million people with certificates of eligibility showing what they would lose personally if Obamacare is repealed. We still could show the people in 36 states what they lost because their Republican state government did not expand medicare. We will before Nov 2014. But the site is up and working far beyond what the private sector has attempted or achieved.
This will only grow and the link between employment and healthcare would be severed. That would be a very good thing. Very good thing for all Americans.
[Edit 1: Fixed a typo, and added data about eBay]
[Edit 2: Redid some numbers for April 2014]
Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 3:04 PM PT: Updated based on current set of numbers.