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MEDIC! Google, Oracle, Red Hat docs race to save crippled Healthcare.gov

It's flatlining - charge defibrillator... CLEAR! Bzzt-doofff

Two men gather round a computer in the press room at south by southwest, one dressed as superman, one as the incredible hulk

Techies from Google, Red Hat, Oracle and other unnamed firms have parachuted in to fix the disastrous rollout of the United States' healthcare.gov website.

Google and Oracle confirmed on Thursday that staff have been deployed to help fix the healthcare marketplace's ongoing mega-bork, although Google stressed this is not a company-led initiative. Employees from Red Hat and other unnamed companies are helping out as well, Bloomberg reported.

The techies have been sent in to try and diagnose and fix the problems plaguing the politically important website.

Healthcare.gov is supposed to be portal allowing Americans without health insurance to join healthcare plans using government tax credits – an initiative made possible by the rollout of Obamacare (also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010).

The site launched at the beginning of October and has suffered numerous glitches due to what White House spokesman Jay Carney termed "the extraordinary number of people coming to check out plans and find out more about Obamacare".

The website's budget ran to more than $500m dollars, and was built by major contractors including CGI Federal. The UK's own massive national health service computer project, which was supposed to overhaul medical IT systems, is thought to have cost the country some £10.1bn despite bungled rollouts by CSC and BT. Thus, our sympathies go to the Yanks, but we reckon it's going to get worse before it gets better – despite the help from Google, Red Hat, Oracle, and other sympathetic companies. ®

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