Affordable Care Act Is Most Downloaded Federal Document by Far

Monday, 16 Dec 2013 05:40 PM

By Cathy Burke

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The downloadable version of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been accessed about 13 million times since 2010, when President Barack Obama's signature health care law was passed — more than any other document in the Federal Digital System, Roll Call reports.

The Government Printing Office's digital library has 900,000 titles.

The downloading frenzy was at its peak Oct. 4, Roll Call reports, when the Obamacare document was accessed 256,000 times, roughly corresponding to the fevered pitch of congressional and consumer dismay with both the government shutdown and Obamacare's glitchy website.

On Oct. 4, a frustrated House Speak John Boehner indicated he had no intention of "rolling over" to Democrats' demands in the shutdown impasse, and the Obama administration announced the dysfunctional HealthCare.gov website would be taken down for weekend repairs.

GPO spokesman Gary Somerset told Roll Call that a distant second-most popular item in the Federal Digital System, also known as FDsys, is the agency's style manual, a guide to federal grammar, punctuation, and usage. That document has been downloaded about 6.4 million times.

With 2.5 million downloads, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Report, which in 2011 looked into the causes of the mortgage meltdown, was the third-most downloaded item.

Obama's fiscal 2014 budget, on the other hand, piqued the interest of those looking to download the document just 160,000 times.

Davita Vance-Cooks, chief executive officer of the GPO, said the 13 million mark notched by the Affordable Care Act was a "testament to FDsys and its reputation as the best site for access to authentic, published government information."

"GPO is committed to serving as the official, digital, and secure provider of federal government products and services," she said, calling FDsys "the backbone of that effort," Roll Call reports.

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