How much did the website cost, and how fine does it work? us took a closer look. (AP/Jon Elswick)


Donald Trump, the celebrity business man who has shaken up the Republican presidential race, has actually been attack both Republicans and also Democrats in his speeches and also interviews. At one allude in a July 11, 2015, speech in Phoenix, he take it aim in ~ the Affordable treatment Act, president Barack Obama’s signature health treatment law.

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He singled out the website, which to be unveiled in the loss of 2013 v a panoply the bugs and glitches, calling the "the $5 exchange rate website because that Obamacare, which never worked. Quiet doesn"t work."

It’s a year and also a fifty percent after the website’s troubled launch, and also it’s to be awhile because we’ve bring away a watch at exactly how the website is doing and also what the has expense to build. So we made decision to watch if trumped has any type of basis either for saying the the website price $5 exchange rate or the it "still no work." (Trump’s camp no respond come an inquiry from

Let’s take each the these insurance claims in turn.

Did the website cost $5 billion?

The expense of the website has actually been a bone the contention ever because its launch, partly because federal contracting is complex, entailing some 60 significant contracts. Our friends in ~ the Washington post Fact Checker grappled through this concern over the course of two separate reports that contained several interim update as brand-new data surfaced.

Officially, the room of Health and Human Services claims the website cost $834 million. It is the number available by then-HHS Secretary-designate Sylvia Mathews Burwell at a Senate hear on might 8, 2014.

As that Feb. 28, 2014, Burwell said lawmakers, the facility for Medicare and also Medicaid services -- the part of HHS responsible because that the website -- "has mandatory a complete of approximately $834 million top top marketplace-related (information technology) contracts and also interagency agreements."

Not everyone has actually taken that figure at face value. Bloomberg government undertook a study that offered a an ext generous an interpretation of the appropriate federal spending. In the study, exit in September 2014, researchers contained several additional costs beyond the government’s official estimate -- $387 million in spending by the inner Revenue Service and also other agencies past HHS, and also a $300 million contract to process file applications, and extr spending through HHS ~ the cutoff for Burwell’s estimate.

Using this broader net, Bloomberg federal government came up through a number of $2.1 billion. That’s bigger than the main estimate, however it’s still no as big as what trumped said.

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We inquiry the Bloomberg government study’s author, Peter Gosselin, even if it is he believed the number could have an ext than doubled to $5 billion due to the fact that the study was exit 10 month ago. He was skeptical, saying that even if you add on a five-year follow-up contract with the for sure Accenture, it must "only acquire you about halfway to $5 billion."

So Trump’s number seems exaggerated. However, we have a hunch about where it come from, and also while the wrong, it’s straightforward to see exactly how someone can have do the mistake.