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Manoush Zomorodi Headshot

Like Expedia for Healthcare? Techies Look to Cash In on Obamacare

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For a lot of us the Affordable Care Act is abstract.

But the numbers are pretty clear for techies and entrepreneurs.

"This is the largest sector of the U.S. economy -- 2.7 trillion dollars. If you took healthcare out of the US economy, it would be the 5th largest economy by itself. It's as large as France, it's huge!"

You can hear the excitement in Cyrus Massoumi's voice when he says, "Obamacare will introduce 30 million new patients into the system." Massoumi is the CEO of Zocdoc, a 6 year-old company that's already tapping the healthcare sector.

But there's a new opportunity with the online healthcare exchanges that states are required to launch. Enrollment is supposed to start on October 1 for anyone who doesn't already have a private insurance plan or Medicaid. The theory is that these portals will act as healthcare marketplaces and competition will drive down prices.

We talked to numerous software entrepreneurs who left jobs at Google, the New York Times, and the New York Stock Exchange to build these healthcare exchanges.

Think of them as travel websites but for healthcare. Getting insurance should be as easy as booking a flight.

But these are really complicated, tech-heavy sites. The engineers who are building them are working 18-22 hours a day to turn piles of data into consumer-friendly platforms. Get inside the minds of these entrepreneurs and hear them describe the intense challenges that come with attempting to create a whole new way of doing healthcare. Listen to WNYC's New Tech City.

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