Obamacare Looking for New Website Contractor

Image: Obamacare Looking for New Website Contractor

Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 12:18 PM

By John Blosser

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The Obama Administration is on the hunt for a new company to take over the contract to run its bug-plagued Obamacare website.

Given that CGI Federal's initial operation of the website caused crashes, glitches and long waits for people trying to sign up for Obamacare, chances are that the firm will not be in the running for the new contract, according to National Journal.

The Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) issued the 60-page modified contract solicitation 141542FFM on July 16, seeking a company that can "provide analysis, design, development, testing, implementation, documentation, services, maintenance and support for the FFM as it relates to the development of new system functionality, enhancements and support of existing system functionality, operations and maintenance of the system, environments, and operational business cycles in the individual and small group marketplaces."

After the website stumbled repeatedly during its "startup" phase, the White House dropped CGI Federal and turned the site over to Accenture on a one-year basis. Given the website's financial history, the contract is likely to be a high-priced one.

In 2013, Accenture estimated the cost of repairing the website to be $121 million to ready the site for the 2015 enrollment period, causing House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Ca., to complain to the Washington Times, "There doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for Obamacare website expenses."

Accenture's contract runs through Jan. 10 of next year and contract submissions are called for by Aug. 18.

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, who took much of the flack for the failed website and resigned in April, put the cost of running the Obamacare website through the end of October, 2013, at $667 million.

The website's access problems do seem to be stabilizing. The Commonwealth Fund recently reported that since its inception, 9.5 million previously uninsured people have signed up and the uninsured adult rate fell from 20 percent to 15 percent while the uninsured rates for young adults dropped from 28 percent to 18 percent.

However, Obamacare's computer systems are facing more problems. Breitbart reports that outsourcing computer company Infosys, hired for $49.5 million by Washington, D.C. to operate the District's health care exchange system, has been hit by a lawsuit charging the firm discriminates against Americans.

Layla Bolten and three other IT workers charge that Infosys has imported Indian computer techs, on H-1B visas, to staff their 59 locations in the US.

Bolten said she quit her job because she was "harassed because she was not Indian and excluded from work conversations by supervisors who spoke Hindi. People with less experience were promoted over her."

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