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Government warned of glitches before healthcare.gov launch

Obamacare website hits reset on user passwords

(CNN) — A newly disclosed report indicates that officials in the Obama administration and the Department of Health and Human Services received warnings from a private consultant group that the federal online healthcare enrollment site could potentially fail to function properly for the October 1 launch date.

The analysis by McKinsey & Company was requested by the White House. It identified various problems with the exchange, including limited testing time and resources before the launch, and found that call-in centers wouldn’t function properly if the website malfunctioned.

The Obama administration has come under fire for the botched October 1 launch of healthcare.gov. The site has been plagued with technical issues barring many enrollees from signing up for the federal exchange though the site. This report suggests problems were brought to the attention of key officials as early as March.

The administration has said the President didn’t know of problems with the Affordable Care Act’s website until after its fumbled rollout — even though insurance companies had been complaining and the site crashed during a pre-launch test run.

CNN received the report from the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The committee said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius received a briefing at the HHS headquarters with these concerns on April 4, along with acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Marilyn Tavenner and White House chief technology officer Todd Park. Park was also present at a briefing on March 28 at the CMS headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland.

“Despite assurances from Secretary Sebelius, Marilyn Tavenner, and Gary Cohen that ‘all was well’ and ‘on track’ with the launch of the Affordable Care Act, we now have documents dating back to April that call into question what they told us,” said Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Tim Murphy (R-Pennsylvania).

On Tuesday, a House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee holds a hearing on the security of the federal healthcare website.

McKinsey’s report says the group reviewed 200 documents and sources, interviewed about 40 people across a variety of federal agencies and participated in some meetings and work sessions. But the analysis did not include outside interviews with insurers or access computer code or programs.

The report also points to potential areas of risk that never became a significant issue — like the data hubs used by the state sites and the federal site, to verify applicants’ income, citizenship and eligibility. Or prolonged call times, which have been brought down in the weeks following the launch.

The story was first reported by the Washington Post.

CNN Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
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1 Comment

  • Lee

    ObamaCare is a raving, rollicking, fantastic success. Stop calling it a failure.
    Here is what it was created to do. It is succeeding on all counts:
    1. ObamaCare was intended to bring about the Marxist dream — redistribution of wealth.
    Rich people, small business owners, and the middle class are being robbed, so that the money can be redistributed to poor people (who vote for Democrats).
    Think about it. If you’re rich or middle class, you now have to pay for your own health care costs (at much higher rates) AND 40 million other people’s costs too (through massive tax increases).
    So you’re stuck paying for both bills. You are left broke. Brilliant.

    2. ObamaCare was intended to wipe out the middle class and make them dependent on government.
    Think about it. Even Obama’s IRS predicts that health insurance for a typical American family by 2016 will be $20,000 per year. But how would middle class Americans pay that bill and have anything left for food or housing or living? People that make $40K, or $50K, or $60K can’t possibly hope to spend $20K on health insurance without becoming homeless.
    Bingo. That’s how you make middle class people dependent on government. That’s how you make everyone addicted to government checks. Brilliant.

    3. As a bonus, ObamaCare is intended to kill every decent paying job in the economy, creating only crummy, crappy part-time jobs.
    Why? Just to make sure the middle class is trapped, with no way out. Just to make sure no one has the $20,000 per year to pay for health insurance, thereby guaranteeing they become wards of the state. Brilliant.

    4. ObamaCare is intended to bankrupt small business, and therefore starve donations to the GOP.
    Think about it. Do you know a small business owner? I know hundreds of them. Their rates are being doubled, tripled and quadrupled by ObamaCare.
    Guess who writes 75% of the checks to Republican candidates and conservative causes? The GOP.
    Even if a small business owner manages to survive, he or she certainly can’t write a big check to the GOP anymore. Money is the “mother’s milk” of politics. Without donations, a political party ceases to exist. Bingo.
    That’s the point of ObamaCare. Obama is bankrupting his political opposition and drying up donations to the GOP. Brilliant.

    5. ObamaCare is intended to make the IRS all-powerful.
    It adds thousands of new IRS agents. It puts the IRS in charge of overseeing 15% of the U.S. economy. The IRS has the right because of ObamaCare to snoop into every aspect of your life, to go into your bank accounts, to fine you, to frighten you, to intimidate you. And Obama and his socialist cabal have access to your deepest medical secrets.
    By law your doctor has to ask your sexual history. That information is now in the hands of Obama and the IRS to blackmail GOP candidates into either not running, or supporting bigger government, or leaking the info and ruining your campaign.
    Or have you forgotten the IRS harassed, intimidated and persecuted critics of Obama and conservative groups?
    Now Obama hands the IRS even more power. Big Brother rules our lives. Brilliant.

    6. ObamaCare is intended to unionize 15 million healthcare workers.
    That produces $15 billion in new union dues. That money goes to fund Democratic candidates and socialist causes — thereby guaranteeing Obama’s friends never lose another election, and Obama’s policies keep ruining capitalism and bankrupting business owners long after he’s out of office.

    Message to the GOP: This isn’t a game. This isn’t tiddly-winks. This is a serious, purposeful attempt to highjack America and destroy capitalism.
    This isn’t a train wreck. It’s purposeful suicide.

    It’s not failing, it’s working exactly according to plan. Obama knows what he’s doing. Stop apologizing and start fighting.

    Oh and one more thing…Conservatives aren’t “terrorists.” We are patriots and saviors. We represent the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. We are the heroes and good guys. Unless you get all this through your thick skulls, America is lost…forever.

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