Washington Examiner: HHS Disarray Spurred Obamacare Website Snafus

Friday, 18 Oct 2013 04:46 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The malfunctions dogging the Affordable Care Act website resulted from chaos within the Department of Health and Human Services, says Richard Pollock, senior watchdog reporter for the Washington Examiner.

"All of us assumed that the IT [information technology] people were testing and pretesting and dealing with stress tests and dealing with the whole issue of user friendliness for consumers in terms of the website for Obamacare," Pollock told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Story continues below video.

"What we've discovered was that there was such chaos, such disarray within the Department of Health and Human Services that it wasn't until a week before their launch that they decided to begin testing the operation of this massive website."

Pollock said it may be weeks — or even months — before the snafus preventing Americans from signing up online are fixed.

"This is a very serious problem because Dec. 15th is the deadline in which to enroll or sign up for Obamacare," he said.

"They may be able to begin operating it in a few weeks or perhaps close to the December 15th date and we can only just imagine at that point what the traffic might look like as well.

"It's very interesting because HHS has indicated that they will not relax the deadlines for this."

Pollock said the country may be about to see the president's signature program implode "in living color."

"This is really a spectacular disaster. I don’t' think we've ever seen anything – probably the last we've seen anything like this was when those first rockets were being shot off Cape Canaveral in the late 1950s, early 1960s and we had a couple of disasters," he said.

He believes heads will likely roll in the months ahead.

"We are all looking at the individuals who made up the leadership of this program at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, part of HHS, and there will probably be calls for a good number of people to resign," Pollock said.

"We can just expect to see a whole range of House and Senate investigations, public hearings."

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