Healthcare.gov, a government-run e-commerce website for the Affordable Care Act, does not actually need to exist. The still-dysfunctional federal site could have offloaded all of the work to startups, which were already building more sophisticated price-comparison alternatives to the official site, just like Orbitz does for airline companies. Healthcare.gov was supposed to be an information hub for the needs of millions of uninsured citizens who are now legally required to have a healthcare plan. The federal website ended up offering insurance directly, after 24 states (mostly Republican) refused to design their own e-commerce websites for their residents. Unfortunately, at launch, the federal and state sites crashed.