The Federal government interaction with citizens online has taken a couple big hits recently. One was the NSA scandal, which has hopefully led to a discussion of privacy versus Government surveillance. The other was the problematic launch of Healthcare.gov.
Addressing the second problem, the Atlantic published an article on Estonia’s more tech-savvy government. According to the article, each one of Estonia’s 1.3 million citizens has a unique digital ID, which creates the groundwork for all the online technology to interact effectively.
I think this is great. But to put it in perspective, the population of Estonia is only one-tenth the size of the World of Warcraft population. And Blizzard, the company which makes World of Warcraft, has pretty effectively implemented unique digital identifiers for the entire population of their online world.
The United States is a much more difficult proposition. The total population is 314 million. While we often think of America as a very tech-savvy country, this doesn’t apply to everyone equally. In fact, according to Pew Research, 15% of Americans don’t even go online.
You can probably assume there is a lot of overlap between the 15% who don’t use the Internet and the people who don’t already have good employer provided health insurance.
Convincing Americans to adopt a new, digital unique identification is also not an easy task. Besides the inherent distrust of Government in this country, there is the new evidence of over-reaching on the part of the NSA.
The article on Estonia is still a good read, and worthwhile. But I don’t think it really adds to the discussion of Healthcare.gov.
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