According to Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius, the troubled ObamaCare enrollment website lacked four years of critical development and testing prior to its rushed roll out Oct. 1.
Admitting that the “very complicated project” did not receive the forethought it required, she addressed mounting concerns regarding the efficacy of the site and the unpopular law it exists to facilitate.
While Sebelius did not pass the buck on to Barack Obama for forcing the launch, a letter from the House Oversight Committee details the pressure developers felt from the chief executive.
Based on the correspondence, which was sent to the White House, Obama and his staff routinely made demands of the contractor as the site was being developed.
“For example,” the letter states, “CGI officials told Committee staff that the ability to shop for health insurance without registering for an account — a central design feature of the health insurance exchange — was removed ‘in late August or early September.’”
According to CGI’s own testimony to the committee, the Oct. 1 launch date was unrealistic, describing a “lack of coordination and an abundance of confusion between stakeholders involved in setting up the website.”
Furthermore, testing of the fledgling site’s features commenced just five days before it was set to be introduced live to the general public.
While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services initially expected testing to begin a month before the roll out, the site was not evaluated in earnest until Sept. 26. Involving an incredibly small sample of applicants, the trial run still ended in a crash of the site.
Sebelius, along with CMS head Marilyn Tavenner, are scheduled to finally address questions about the botched site next week in front of the House Ways and Means Committee. As a result of these testimonies, it might be easier to determine whether the HHS or the White House ultimately made the decision to stick to an Oct. 1 launch despite obvious problems.
Given all officials’ reticence to elaborate on the brouhaha surrounding healthcare.org, though, we might be left with more questions than answers.
At this point, the only thing that is certain is that this administration continues to force feed the American public a deeply flawed and largely unsustainable new government program the majority of us openly reject.
–Western Journalism staff writer
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