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The Almighty Buck Businesses United States

D.C. Awards Obamacare IT Work To Offshore Outsourcer 402

dcblogs writes "Infosys, an India-based offshore IT outsourcing firm, recently announced that it had won a $49.5 million contract to develop a health benefit exchange for the District of Columbia. The contract was awarded to a U.S.-based Infosys subsidiary, Infosys Public Services. That's one of the larger government contracts won by an offshore outsourcing firm, but it's unclear whether any of the work will be done overseas. The District isn't disclosing any contract details. An FOIA request for the contract has been submitted. Infosys is one of the largest users of H-1B visas, and has been under a grand jury investigation for its use of B1 visitor visas."
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D.C. Awards Obamacare IT Work To Offshore Outsourcer

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  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @12:10PM (#44155027)

    Is this cost plus or fixed price?

    I ask because I suspect the former and that there will be lots of extra costs not factored into the quote. Like rewriting it over and over when the lowest bidder not surprisingly supplies crap.

  • Re: Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by StormyWeather ( 543593 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @12:36PM (#44155319) Homepage

    I work for Accenture, my counterparts in India cost 1/5 of my wage and in many ways equal my quality. I'm not going to stick my fingers in my ears and him loudly, it is the facts.

  • by ( 551216 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @12:43PM (#44155431) Homepage
    I'm not sure you're familiar with the facts. First, the number of H1B's given to this company indicates precisely that they are _not_ an offshore, outsourcing enterprise - the place of employment (and where taxes are paid by the employer and employees) is the US. Second, H1B requires that employers "Pay the nonimmigrant workers at least the local prevailing wage or the employer's actual wage, whichever is higher; pay for non-productive time in certain circumstances; and offer benefits on the same basis as for U.S. workers;" ( Of course, there is some wiggle room, but that is natural and appropriate for a free market society. The H1Bs I know are getting paid far above what certain US nationals make in similar jobs, because they're worth it. Their job hunt is international, and so are their careers. For other H1Bs - well, don't forget that this country was founded based on immigration. I agree that there are problems though - see Moryath's comment below. The bigger question for me is why it takes $50M to make a website backed by a database, to serve a tiny state in which most potential users will have employer-provided healthcare anyway.
  • by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @01:05PM (#44155701)

    It is in the best interest of the citizens on this country to get people back to work.

    That all depends on who's interests you are invested in.

  • Re:Groan (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thoth ( 7907 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @02:41PM (#44157049) Journal

    You know, I know the argument tends to reach fever pitches of hysterics on both sides, but the core reasons for not undertaking government sponsored health-care is because ultimately it makes promises that the government won't be able to deliver on in the long run.

    How is this any different than private corporations running the insurance? They'll make the same promises and just declare bankruptcy when they can't meet the obligations. They'll prescreen their population to ensure profitability (i.e. no pre-existing conditions, jacked up rates for the elderly, etc.) so enter government regulations... and if the government has to regulate to ensure fairness, why not let them administer the program? It seems to work (so far) in basically every other country in the world.

    Fundamentally, health care (and education for that matter) aren't "market" products. Everybody needs them, and that is something the "free market" doesn't handle well in the case where some portion of the customer base cannot afford them.

    The free market handles car sales and stuff like that great - prices float, lots of competition, but ultimately if you can't afford one you can do without. Maybe its inconvenient, but that's entirely different that say you with the congenital heart defect, who cannot afford the health care you need to stay alive.

    Now the free market would simply say "fuck you" to those people and let them die. Can't afford the service = you don't get the service. After all, they were selected by random biology to suck up more resources to screw them, right?

    The rest of us in the modern world, with the richest country in the history of the known universe, find this outcome simply unacceptable. In fact, rather than piss away the resources of the country on random bullshit to benefit the wealthy, how about investing some into the actual literal welfare of the population. You know, one of those functions government is supposed to provide for its people?

    Your nightmare scenario about the failure of government health care leading to chaos is exactly balanced by the same failure of the private insurance/medical industry causing the same chaos. People get sick and have their retirements wiped out. A car accident through no fault of their own tosses the family into poverty. Debts mount people simply can't handle. Etc. Sorry but this is a time when government reliance is the only answer, that being: too goddamn bad medical industry, we're imposing a ceiling on the profits you're allowed to make. That's what it all revolves around, capping fees and controlling costs, versus private industry exercising monopoly situations to extract maximum profit of people's suffering.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun