How Government Fails and How you Can Fix It

A talk with the team who was called to fix healthcare.gov and what they learned from it.

Mickey Dickerson – engineer – Code for America

Haley

Reviewed O’reilly’s discussion of what food stamp app process for it is – Allen Williams – fellow who tested the system

  • Gov initially wanted to enroll 7 million – did not meet
  • after 2.0 – 8 million enrolled
  • Current numbers 16.4 million and going

Healthcare.gov 2.0 – build the healthcare.gov that should have been:

  • Scalable Login System
  • Plan Compare 2.0
  • Application 2.0

Use a standard consumer technology stack: – Backbone, Node, MY SQL, Capistrano

“One privilege the insured and well-off have is to excuse the terrible quality of services the government routinely delivers to the poor. Too often, the press ignores – or simply never knows – the pain and trouble of interfacing with government bureaucracies that the poor struggle with daily” – Ezra Klein, Washington Post

One excuse government has is that “it has limited technology”
Now it has Code for America
They design for experience


https://playbook.cio.gov/techfar/

The TechFAR Handbook highlights the flexibilities in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) that can help agencies implement“plays” from the Digital Services Playbook that would be accomplished with acquisition support — with a particular focus on how to use contractors to support an iterative, customer-driven software development process, as is routinely done in the private sector.
Link to Playbook:
The TechFAR Handbook for Procuring Digital Services Using Agile Processes

https://github.com/WhiteHouse/playbook/blob/gh-pages/_includes/techfar-online.md


iE: “The secret life of a food stamp” – Marketplace
Where someone tried to sign up for Food Stamps and went through the system in California – SF

  • What they went through:
  • On hold 45 minutes –
    • Users don’t have unlimited cell plan
    • Atms charge $.75 to check balances
  • Endless and extremely hard to understand food stamp qualification letter

End result
https://www.codeforamerica.org/apps/promptly/ – video 6:03 sec

IMG_4524

Things that can be fixed:

  • Warrants for unpaid parking tickets
  • Student loans (need fafsa #)
  • Foster kids identity theft
  • Federal Pensions
  • Veterans Benefits
  • Immigration and visas

Look for “People not Data” – Article on Medium

If you have time to donate:

  • govcode.org
    c4a.me/helpout
  • codeforamerica.gov/brigade
  • codeforamerica.gov/talent – forward to people recruiting for federal gov.
  • Presidential Innovation Fellows
  • ATF USDS – US digital service
  • Govtechfund
  • Small business admin
  • we the people
  • Organize around meeting people’s needs
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