Will Obamacare Fix be the Biggest Hackathon in History?

HealthCare.gov contains an estimated 500 million lines of code. To put that in context, that is five times the amount of code as contained in a large bank's computer system. 

There is no doubt that millions of Americans are "looking for quality, affordable health coverage, and want to find it online," as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proclaimed in a blog post. 

The problem, however, is that HHS's own website, HealthCare.gov., is a disaster. Many Americans have been unable to create accounts on the site, which would then allow them to shop for insurance plans or apply for federal assistance. 

And so a "tech surge" is underway.

According to a New York Times report, "as many as five million lines of software code may need to be rewritten before the Web site runs properly." The entire site contains an estimated 500 million lines of code. To put that in context, that is five times the amount of code as contained in a large bank's computer system. 

That means the government is going to need some extra help. Hence, the "surge." According to an HHS blog post:

"Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve HealthCare.gov."

In the meantime, HHS wants you to join the conversation, and you can do so here:


Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less
  • What distinguishes humans is social learning — and teaching.
  • Crucial to learning and teaching is the value of free expression.
  • And we need political leaders who support environments of social peace and cooperation.

10 paradoxes that will stretch your mind

From time-traveling billiard balls to information-destroying black holes, the world's got plenty of puzzles that are hard to wrap your head around.

Big Think
Surprising Science
  • While it's one of the best on Earth, the human brain has a lot of trouble accounting for certain problems.
  • We've evolved to think of reality in a very specific way, but there are plenty of paradoxes out there to suggest that reality doesn't work quite the way we think it does.
  • Considering these paradoxes is a great way to come to grips with how incomplete our understanding of the universe really is.
Keep reading Show less

The philosophy of tragedy & the tragedy of philosophy - with Simon Critchley

Tragedy in art, from Ancient Greece to Breaking Bad, resists all our efforts to tie reality up in a neat bow, to draw some edifying lesson from it. Instead it confronts us with our own limitations, leaving us scrabbling in the rubble of certainty to figure out what's next.

Think Again Podcasts
  • Why democracy has been unpopular with philosophers
  • Tragedy's reminder that the past isn't finished with us
  • …and why we need art in the first place
Keep reading Show less