White House Was Warned About Obamacare Website Problems

A report warned in March that Healthcare.gov was heading for trouble

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The Obama administration received warnings as early as March that its now-troubled health insurance enrollment website was falling behind schedule and heading for a problematic roll-out, according to documents released by House GOP officials probing the botched introduction of the reform law.

McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, prepared a report in March for the Department of Health and Human Services, warning that critical issues were threatening the health care roll-out’s tight timeline, the New York Times reports. The report specifically cited “insufficient time and scope of end-to-end testing,” and “significant dependency on external parties/contractors” in building Healthcare.gov. McKinsey held briefings on the report in the spring at Health and Human Services headquarters and at the White House, the Times reports.

As the administration scrambles to meet a promised end-of-November deadline to ensure that Healthcare.gov works for the “vast majority” of users, the White House said on Monday that it’s exploring a change in the law that would allow consumers to sign up for plans directly through insurance companies, rather than through the federal exchange. Under the health care law, people can buy plans directly from insurers, but they will only receive federal subsidies for plans that are also available on federal and state-run exchanges.