Obama Administration Was Warned HealthCare.Gov Wasn’t Ready To Launch

Obama Administration Was Warned HealthCare.Gov Wasn’t
Ready To Launch

President Obama and HHS
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the White House Rose Garden on Oct.
1, 2013.

The
Obama administration was warned one month before the launch of
HealthCare.gov that
the website where millions are expected to sign up for health care
plans was not ready to go live, despite the White House’s
insistence to launch on Oct. 1.

According to a
confidential document obtained by CNN,
a private contractor tasked with building the Affordable Care Act
site warned of a number of serious problems plaguing the
exchange.

The document, submitted in response to
a request by the House Oversight Committee, said the testing
timeframes for the site were “not adequate to complete full
functional, system, and integration testing activities” and
described the impact of the problems as
“significant.”

The report stated there was “not
enough time in schedule to conduct adequate performance testing”
and was given the highest priority. The contractor also warned, “we
don’t have access to monitoring tools” and “hub services are
intermittently unavailable,” meaning the “site’s not working
sometimes.”

The news comes amid another outage
at the federal healthcare site Tuesday evening — the second time in
three days online enrollment has been
halted.

“The Federal Data Services Hub is
currently experiencing an outage,” a statement from the Conn. state
exchange said about the Obamacare site.

The
federal official who oversees the exchanges apologized publicly
Tuesday for the troubled launch of the site, but insisted the
issues are “fixable” and promised that the site would soon work as
promised.

“I want to apologize to you that the
website has not worked as well as it should,” Medicare chief
Marilyn Tavenner said. She
declined to say how many Americans have successfully signed up for
health plans on the site and acknowledged the administration
expects the initial registrations “to be
small.”

Health and Human Services Secretary
Kathleen Sebelius is expected to testify before the House Energy
and Commerce Committee on Wednesday and plans to tell lawmakers
that the contractors who built the site are at fault for its many
problems.

“The initial consumer experience of
HealthCare.gov has
not lived up to the expectations of the American people and is not
acceptable. We are committed to fixing these problems as soon as
possible,” Sebelius plans to say, according to her prepared
remarks
.

“To build the Marketplace, CMS
[the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] used private
sector contractors, just as it does to administer aspects of
Medicare,” Sebelius says. “CMS has a track record of successfully
overseeing the many contractors our programs depend on to function.
Unfortunately, a subset of those contracts for HealthCare.gov have not
met expectations.”