Healthcare.gov Contractors Face Bipartisan Wrath on Capitol Hill

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Government contractors responsible for designing the health care reform website faced bipartisan scorn from members of Congress Thursday morning, at the start of a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

In opening statements, Republicans said the bungled rollout of healthcare.gov showed the Affordable Care Act is flawed and should be delayed or rolled back. Democrats demanded a quick fix.

“This is taxpayer money on the line,” said Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. “The past three weeks of exchange messiness have demonstrated that nobody can be a blind cheerleader for the Affordable Care Act.” The exchange web site launched on Oct. 1 and quickly became hobbled by error messages and bottlenecks, rendering it largely unusable. Those familiar with the process of developing the web site say it was not properly tested, lacked the capacity to handle heavy traffic and contains bad computer code that’s currently sending garbled and duplicate enrollee information to health insurers.

(MOREAmericans Losing Faith in Obamacare)

Several of the contractors represented at Thursday’s hearing played central roles in developing the web site, which was ultimately overseen by bureaucrats at HHS’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In prepared statements released Wednesday, contractors sought to deflect blame for the web site troubles, pointing to each other and the federal government.

When representatives from the same contractors appeared before Congress in September, they assured House members that the web site was on track and ready for launch. “They said there was nothing wrong and they expressed nothing but optimism,” said Democatic committee member Rep. Diana DeGette. “Three weeks later, here we are. We’re still hearing reports of significant problems.”

“For the Affordable Care Act to work, these problems need to be fixed and these problems need to be fixed fast,” she added.

MORE: Traffic Alone Didn’t Crash the Obamacare Site. Bad Coding Did, Too

3 comments
allthingsinaname
allthingsinaname

The Answer is, repeat after me, Single....... Payer....... System.......... SS, and Medicare work fine.

I am certiianly happy that we haven't privatized SS and Medicare, like we have Health Care. Man what a mess it would be.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Thank you Media for telling us over and over that 'both sides' find this really really bad.

Just as little as I need a input from a veterinarian about the impact of default on our economy (Congress critter Yoho) do I need outrage over tech problems by a bunch of twits who had a serious discussion (not so long ago) about the intertubes of the internet.

Yes - people who don't know technology are howling about the issues. Because back home there are people who know even less that are howling.

And like a bunch of Pavlovian dogs we've reach a consensus among people who know very little about technology that the interface of ACA - how to connect and gets signed up is bad so that automatically translates in our lizard brain that the actual law is not ready.

Maybe some Media savvy person can explain that even IF we delay the interface it WONT change the law one bit.

How did we become the kind of 'Gods of perfection' today out of people who defeated superior army with skiis and crowbars.

(Look at the first winter war between Finland and Soviet back in ww2 where a much smaller unit of Finnish soldiers on Skiis defeated a superior mechanized army through ambush and prying the wheels of the Soviets tanks with crowbars and such).

Maybe what I'm trying to say is that we get 10 posts from Time about how outraged and mad the fainting couch political critters are, but very little analysis about what ACA does for REAL people with REAL problems in need of REAL solutions.

tommyudo
tommyudo

@MrObvious


"but very little analysis about what ACA does for REAL people with REAL problems in need of REAL solutions."

You know by now that  it  would take some real reporting to do that. At least the Dem complaints about the roll out are genuine, while complaints by rustic nitwits like Blackburn are self serving and playing to her base. The GOP wants nothing more than Obamacare to die , and go back to the costly and inefficient system we have, where access to it is the laughing stock of the industrialized world.