NBC News reports.
The Obama administration, including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, was warned in April that there was insufficient time to complete testing before launching Healthcare.gov, according to a document released by a House committee investigating the website’s botched rollout.
The document, a 15-page slide show obtained by the Energy and Commerce Committee from the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., compares an ideal situation when rolling out a website such as Healthcare.gov with what developers were facing.
According to the committee, the presentation was given April 4 to a group including Sebelius and Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the HHS agency responsible for the rollout.
The document states that an ideal situation would be “end-to-end integrated operations and IT testing,” but that the situation at the time was one with “insufficient time and scope of end-to-end testing.” The document also says that a “limited initial launch” would be ideal, but that a “launch at full volume” was instead the plan.
Republicans are questioning testimony Sebelius gave to the committee during a hearing two weeks after she got the briefing, when she said development of the site was “on track and on time.”
“At this point, our energy and resources are focused on getting it up and running, and we are on track and the contracts have been led and we are monitoring it every step along the way,” Sebelius told the committee April 18. “I can tell you we are on track.”
In a statement, the chairman of the committee, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., said that Sebelius had “appeared before our committee, looked us in the eye, and repeatedly testified everything was ‘on track and on time.’”
“We now know that was not the case and the secretary was aware implementation was in trouble,” he said.
So you can put this latest Obamacare lie by HSS head Kathleen Sebelius on the pile along with the Benghazi lies and the IRS prosecution of the Tea Party lies and the gunrunning to Mexican drug cartels Fast and Furious lies. Lies, lies, lies.
In fact, CNBC is now reporting that the Obamacare web site is still not complete – it is lacking about a third of its functionality, including payment capabilities.
Another day, another big, bad black eye for HealthCare.gov.
A crucial system for making payments to insurers from people who enroll in that federal Obamacare marketplace has yet to be built, a senior government IT official admitted Tuesday.
The official, Henry Chao, visibly stunned Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) when he said under questioning before a House subcommittee that a significant fraction of HealthCare.gov—30 to 40 percent of it—has yet to be constructed.
“We still need to build the payments system to make the payments [to insurance companies] in January,” testified Chao, deputy chief information officer of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that operates HealthCare.gov.
That so-called financial management tool was originally supposed to be part of HealthCare.gov when it launched Oct. 1, but officials later suspended its launch as part of their effort to get the consumer interface part of the site ready. The tool will, when it works, transmit the subsidies that the government is kicking in for many enrollees to offset the costs of their monthly premiums.
This is not a defect in existing functionality, this is missing functionality. This project should never have been released to Production.
As someone who has worked on electronic payments extensively, let me just tell you that this is not a simple part of a web application. Billing and payment systems are some of the most difficult parts of an insurance application, requiring in depth knowledge of the business as well as technical knowledge. So don’t expect this all to be fixed with a wave of a magic want.