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BY Miranda Neubauer | Sunday, April 6 2014

A Michigan web developer named Charles Gaba, an active member of the Democratic blogging hub, has built the go-to site for data about Obamacare's progress. Now the DailyKos community is thanking him for his efforts, raising $59,000 on ActBlue to compensate him for his volunteer efforts. Read More

First POST: Displaced

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 31 2014

Untangling the #CancelColbert Twitter protest; tracking your own online "shadow"; tallying all the Affordable Care Act sign-ups; and much, much more. Read More's Missed Opportunity: Private Online Insurance Brokers Still Left Out

BY Alex Howard | Tuesday, February 25 2014

Nearly five months after the troubled launch of, private online health insurance brokers are still not selling plans eligible for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act directly to consumers over the Internet, even though the mammoth law explicitly mandates that option. While consumers who aren't eligible for subsidies can use the online alternatives to, like, and, just as they have been able to do for years prior, a key component of the Obama administration's efforts to get people insured still isn't working quite right. Such brokers, classified as "Web-based entities" (WBE) by the United States government, have been chafing at the delays. Read More

Survey Finds Young People Disapproving of Obama, Conflicted over Snowden

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, December 4 2013

A majority of young people 18 to 29 disapprove of President Obama, Congress and the Affordable Health Care Act, according to the new fall survey from Harvard University's Institute of Politics, which also found mixed opinions about how young people viewed Edward Snowden and government collection of personal digital information for security purposes. While three out of four respondents said they did not consider themselves politically engaged or active, an analysis of the data found a correlation of between political engagement and a higher number of social media accounts. Read More

First POST: Crisitunity?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 20 2013

Why the Obamacare mess may be far, far worse for the Democratic party than people realize; the latest in voter-targeting TV ads; thinking about "popular data" as a new way to grow civic engagement around open data; and much, much more. Read More

Sublime to Absurd: The Debate, From Procurement Reform to Cats and Jon Stewart

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, October 23 2013

Many commentators in the past few days have criticized the media coverage of's launch problems, highlighting what they see as a lack of technical understanding. Meanwhile, the issue has sparked a complex, passionate discussion among some experts on Twitter debating the root of the problems, comparisons with the Obama campaign's Narwhal system, the difference between campaign and government technology, the inherent flaws in the procurement process and how to improve government technology. Three of the key figures in the ongoing Twitter debate, storified below, over the past few days were Clay Johnson, technologist, founder of Blue State Digital and a 2012 Presidential Innovation Fellow, writer and consultant Clay Shirky, and Harper Reed, CTO of Obama's 2012 election campaign. While among them and others the discussion has been a wonky, almost philosophical conversation about the role of technology and government, rooted in their experiences, Rep. Darrell Issa Wednesday opted for a more sensational approach when he decided to cite Johnson's Oct. 7 blog post calling the contractors "sloppy" to create "8 Cats Who Called 1-800-ObamaCare but Still Couldn’t Get Healthcare." Read More

First POST: Kinks

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, October 22 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers:: The website mess is getting uglier; comes under criticism from the liberal-left; Bloomberg's tech legacy for his successor; and much, much more. Read More

What's Innovative, and What Isn't, in the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace

BY Nick Judd and Bailey McCann | Tuesday, March 19 2013

The new federal health care marketplace elevates government IT — but only so far. Credit

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The federal Department of Health and Human Services is giving an open-source face to the complex new world of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Under that open-source face, though, will be complex systems procured and built just like many other government technology projects: Through multi-million-dollar firms that are part of huge companies and, in one case, a vendor owned by the same parent company as a major health care provider — a situation that presents the appearance of a conflict of interest. Read More

On Insurance Exchanges, States Have a Choice: Hurry Up, or Lose Out

BY Bailey McCann | Tuesday, December 4 2012

States can get federal help to create an insurance exchange - if they do it soon. Photo: Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: While the subject matter may seem dull on its face, the Affordable Care Act calls on governments to launch large-scale, user-friendly clearinghouses of information about which insurance plans are available to customers. States are being asked to build something that is intuitive, efficient, and works at scale — three things government websites have not historically been known to do. And after a deadline extension in the wake of the November elections, governors have until Dec. 14 to indicate the direction their states will take. Read More

Reps. Delete Tweets Celebrating Overturning of Affordable Care Act

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, June 28 2012

It wasn't just CNN that jumped the gun Thursday morning by publishing the wrong headline. A number of members of Congress, in the rush to break the news on Twitter prematurely, sent out messages celebrating the overturning of the Affordable Care Act. They've since deleted the tweets, but the Sunlight Foundation's* Politwoops web site, which tracks members of Congress' deleted tweets, has retained the posts for posterity. Read More