Americans won't soon forget the botched launch of Healthcare.gov. Nor will President Obama, since the fiasco turned his signature legislative achievement into a sideshow that took months to patch up. Eventually it got there with the help of some bright engineers from Google, Oracle, and other Silicon Valley companies. Now the same team that came to the site's rescue is determined to improve thing further for round two. Healthcare.gov's second enrollment period begins November 15th. Five months may seem plenty far off to those of us on the outside, but after such a nightmarish start, the "Marketplace 2.0" group isn't taking any chances. Wired has the full story on what you can expect from Healthcare.gov the second time around, and the underlying goal is to make everything more intuitive.
That starts with the improving the application. Millions have already used it to request coverage, but the process didn't exactly earn rave reviews. The team is working to craft a revised user interface that's more efficient, according to Wired, and one that will compel more people to sign up when they visit Healthcare.gov. Unfortunately "about 35 to 40 percent of applicants" — people with more complex coverage needs — will be stuck with the same convoluted process as last time. The application is also being optimized to work better on smartphones and other mobile devices. Fixing up the plan comparison tool is another priority.
But nothing's quite as important as reliability. To help make Healthcare.gov less crash-prone, parts of the site will now be hosted by Amazon Web Services, the same powerful infrastructure that's the backbone of Netflix, Instagram, and other popular apps. Incorporating outside servers required a long certification process, but it should result in fewer people losing their entire application while trying to obtain something as essential as health insurance. For other details on how Healthcare.gov is constantly being massaged into a site that can match Obama's original vision, head to Wired.