Obamacare Website Tested Only Days Before Launch

Image: Obamacare Website Tested Only Days Before Launch

Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 06:40 PM

By Greg Richter

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

As contractors testified Thursday about the problems they experience building and testing the Obamacare website, federal officials admitted they had too little time to have a working product ready by its Oct. 1 launch.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services held a conference call with reporters to address the embarrassing launch of the system that was supposed to allow Americans to shop for health insurance easily on a website. Instead, people have been greeted with screens telling them the system is down.

"The system just wasn’t tested enough, especially for high volumes," NBC News quoted CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille as telling reporters. "Obviously, due to a compressed time frame, the system wasn’t tested enough."

The Obamacare website was tested just days before it went public, while similar projects are tested for months, the main contractors told a House panel investigating flaws that hobbled the debut.

Units of CGI Group Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc., which designed healthcare.gov, said a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was responsible for the end-to-end testing that they said should have been done months earlier.

 “It would have been better to have more time,” Cheryl Campbell, a senior vice president at CGI Federal Inc., the site designer, told the House Energy and Commerce Committee. She declined to say when the site would be free of impediments, and said it would be ready to meet all deadlines in the health law.

The Hill reported that the CMS conference call was wide-ranging,  but that CMS sidestepped a question on whether Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was aware of the extent of the problem before the Oct. 1 launch.

CMS also refused to issue figures on how many people have signed up for health insurance through the federal website. White House officials, including Sebelius, have said the numbers for October will be released in November.

"This tremendous interest confirms that the American people are waiting for quality, affordable healthcare coverage," Bataille said, returning to a theme offered by the White House in the early days of the website's launch. Bataille noted that 700,000 people have made applications, but that number includes exchanges set up by some states. And simply creating an account does not mean that a person actually purchased health insurance.

"We do know consumers are getting through," Bataille said.

Bataille added without elaboration that it was a "business decision" to require people to create an account before allowing them to window shop.

E-commerce sites, including Medicare.gov, routinely allow anonymous shopping, and customers set up accounts when they check out. Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said recently that window shopping wouldn't have let consumers first see if they were eligible for tax credits. The credits amount to a discount off the sticker price of premiums.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.




 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Pope Seeks to Bring Faith to 'Ends of the Earth'

Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 18:26 PM

Pope Francis baptized 10 people Saturday and urged them to bring their faith to the ends of the Earth as he presided o . . .

Conservatives Deride Effort to Rig Electoral College

Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 19:37 PM

Conservatives slammed the campaign to effectively end the Electoral College's role in presidential elections, saying tha . . .

Fox Executive Fired Over Flight 370 Charity Email

Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 18:22 PM

A veteran Fox executive who used her company email account to plan aid for loved ones of the missing Malaysian airplane' . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved