THE BLOG
11/10/2013 05:18 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Rx for Obamacare In Estonia

Will President Obama's decision to apologize personally for its failings arrest the narrative that healthcare.gov is a national laughingstock? Country music stars Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley captured the mood at the Country Music Awards this past week: "Obamacare by morning / Why is this taking so long? / I'm going to wind up with hemorrhoids / If I sit here 'til dawn. / We'll have cataracts and dementia / Oh this is getting on my last nerve. / Obamacare by morning / Over six people served."

Where should the administration turn? The answer may lie in Estonia. With a population just 1.29 million, Estonia is one the most advanced e-societies in the world. Heard of Skype? Techies from this small Baltic state developed the code for the Internet 2.0 pioneer recently acquired by Microsoft. In addition to boasting one of the world's fastest broadband connections speeds, Estonia is home to the most startups per capita.

Perhaps even more impressive at this moment: in 2007, Estonia became the first country to permit online voting in a general election. Its citizens have submitted tax returns electronically returns since 2000; e-Health records since 2008, and prescriptions since 2010.

Estonia's technological leadership starts at the top. An acclaimed cyber expert, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is credited with putting the "E" in "E-stonia." In this video filmed at the Concordia Summit in New York City, President Ilves explains how he has helped transform one of Europe's smallest nations into a global powerhouse in e-governance.

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Interview conducted by DC-based video journalist Monica Gray. Interview was originally published by the Diplomatic Courier magazine and has been republished with permission. Copyright 2006-2013 The Diplomatic Courier™. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.