Obamacare Website Still 40 Percent Incomplete

The health insurance marketplace's chief digital architect says the project still has a long way to go

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Henry Chao, deputy CIO and deputy director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Office of Information Services, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

The Obama Administration has set a deadline for the end of the month for 80 percent of people to be able to buy health insurance through the federal exchange, but a more crucial percentage might impact that goal. The marketplace’s chief architect said Tuesday that a high percentage of the program’s management systems still have to be built.

Speaking before a panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said that there’s a long way to go, with somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of the marketplace’s behind-the-scenes workings are still under construction. “We still have to build the financial management aspects of the system, which includes our accounting system and payment system and reconciliation system,” Chao said, according to the New York Times

Chao said that the computer systems are largely completed, but many crucial parts are still being repaired. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius played down the Nov. 30 deadline in remarks to reporters on Thursday, saying, “The 30th of November is not a magic go, no-go date.”

[New York Times]