Confessions from Obamacare website bigwigs

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Photo Credit: CBS

The man who designed the Obama administration’s new-fangled online health exchange website told industry officials that he had serious misgivings about the debut of his creation.

“Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience,” Henry Chao said, according to an Oct. 12 New York Times article.

Deaf ears were listening carefully, it seems.

“For the past 12 days, a system costing more than $400 million and billed as a one-stop click-and-go hub for citizens seeking health insurance has thwarted the efforts of millions to simply log in,” The Times reported. “The growing national outcry has deeply embarrassed the White House, which has refused to say how many people have enrolled through the federal exchange.”

Even insiders said the problems were bigger than mere technical snags.

According to The Times:

“These are not glitches,” said an insurance executive who has participated in many conference calls on the federal exchange. Like many people interviewed for this article, the executive spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying he did not wish to alienate the federal officials with whom he works. “The extent of the problems is pretty enormous. At the end of our calls, people say, ‘It’s awful, just awful.’ ”

Those working on the project missed deadlines again and again. One contractor, CGI Federal, got a $94 million deal in December 2011, but the firm couldn’t do its job in designing software code until the spring because government officials took so long getting CGI specifications for the work, according to The Times. That held up everything else, including feature changes and password protection requirements.

Then there’s the overload factor. In what The Times called a highly unusual decision, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services took on the role of “project quarterback,” “making sure each separately designed database and piece of software worked with the others, instead of assigning that task to a lead contractor,” The Times wrote. With the already-understaffed agency charged with overseeing 55 contractors while also running the site, many called its role a “major risk” to the entire project, according to The Times.

A Times researcher was able to register at 6 a.m. on Oct. 1, but was unable to log in over the next 11 days, the article said.

As conservatives watch this train wreck, they wait patiently for more and more Obamacare advocates to see what is right before their eyes. It’s nice for lawmakers who stand firm on their unwillingness to give in to be able to tell the leftist media to read their own news before attacking them.
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