Steve Ballmer launches USAFacts.org to give American citizens a clear look at government spending

The former Microsoft CEO’s previously-stealth website cost $10 million to launch and will run $3-5 million a year to operate, funding researchers in Seattle and a grant to the University of Pennsylvania.
By Bill Siwicki
03:12 PM
Share
Steve Ballmer government spending

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wants U.S. citizens to know how much their government is spending. He has just launched USAFacts.org, a website overflowing with information on such spending.

USAFacts.org will include data relevant to the healthcare industry, including economic programs, government-run hospitals and public health initiatives, CNBC reported. 

Ballmer, who owns a big chunk of Twitter, has peeled off more than $10 million from his personal billfold to hire a team of researchers in Seattle and bestow a grant to the University of Pennsylvania to help collect data. The project will cost $3-5 million a year to operate, and Ballmer plans to fund it indefinitely, according to the New York Times report.

“I would like citizens to be able to use this to form intelligent opinions,” he told the Times. “People can disagree about what to do – I’m not going to tell people what to do,” further saying that people’s opinions should be based “on common data sets that are believable.”

Former President Barack Obama previously unveiled an open data portal that offered some public information, but while data from Obama’s term has been archived, so far the Trump administration has not posted any new information nor has it released any information on its plans for the Obama-era system.

USAFacts.org gets some of its information from the aforementioned White House effort, as well as from other sources in the government. Ballmer’s big rule, though, is to not use data from outside sources so that the data presented by USAFacts.org is accurate.

Ballmer has underscored the fact that the information he is presenting, according to him, is factual and nonpartisan.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com


Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn