As the Nov. 30 date looms to fix the myriad technical problems with the HealthCare.gov website, the punch list is snowballing. The most recent revelations: 30 percent of the site is not yet developed, and computer hackers may already have compromised the system.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Henry Chao, the Obama administration official charged with overseeing the site, told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee Tuesday that he couldn’t promise the site would be fully functional by the end of the month, the drop-dead date President Obama promised Americans.
The website, where Americans go to register for the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, has been a dismal failure since its Oct. 1 rollout. System freezes and timeouts were followed by performance problems and bugs that kept the software from working properly.
“There’s still a lot of moving parts,” Chao told the committee. “It wouldn’t be prudent to give 100 percent guarantees about where we are going to be, but I think we are on the right track.”
However, at a hearing Tuesday before the House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee, an information-technology expert testified that HealthCare.gov “is either hacked already or will be soon,” Fox News reported.
The site is particularly vulnerable because security wasn’t built into it from the beginning, David Kennedy, CEO of information security firm TrustedSEC, told the panel.
“It’s not only Social Security numbers. . . it’s one of the largest collections of personal data — Social Security and everything else — that we’ve ever seen," he said.
Kennedy and three other cyber security experts advised Americans to keep off the site for now.
“You can bolt a metal door on to make a house better, but if the foundation is bad . . . ," Kennedy said, suggesting that a lot of work still has to be done to make the website secure.
The Department of Health and Human Services, meanwhile, reports that 26, 794 people have enrolled in the federal exchange and 79, 391 have enrolled in state-based exchanges so far. But at the same time, nearly 5 million Americans have received notices that their plans will be canceled at the end of the year, Forbes reports.
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