Obama Promises a Fix of the ACA Website, But at What Cost?

Posted on November 1, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

By James Scott

A major flow of cash to the contractors building the new insurance exchanges was not enough to prevent an embarrassing website failure that has left the administration defending not just the healthcare reform package, but the technology behind it as well.

“There’s no denying it, right now, the website is too slow, too many people have gotten stuck.  And I am not happy about it.  And neither are a lot of Americans who need health care, and they’re trying to figure out how they can sign up as quickly as possible,” President Obama said during a visit to Boston on Wednesday.

“There’s no excuse for it.  And I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP.  We are working overtime to improve it every day,” the president said.

But a fix could be a costly proposition considering the amount already invested in the creation of the exchanges. According to a Bloomberg Government Analysis the administration spent almost $352 million on the creation of the exchanges during the six month run-up to the opening Oct.1.

“Given the seriousness of the IT problems and the fact that most of the contracts are on a cost-plus basis, the companies almost certainly are in line for another burst of spending aimed at quickly making repairs,” wrote Bloomberg Government analyst Peter Gosselin.

Even with this massive torrent of spending, when the website opened it failed and people seeking to gain mandated coverage were prevented from doing so. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed three and a half years ago and the creation of the exchanges have cost a total of $1 billion.

Republicans opponents of the ACA have jumped on the administration for its website failure, saying it is just another example of how the entire program is flawed.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the website is hardly the only problem.

“A website can be fixed. But the pain this law is causing – higher premiums and canceled coverage – that’s what’s really important. And that’s what Democrats need to work…to address by starting over fresh with true, bipartisan health reform,” he said.

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One Response to “Obama Promises a Fix of the ACA Website, But at What Cost?”

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This is what happens when you have a no bid contract, which is little more than rewarding your friends and contributors. In my town, those lead to future campaign contributions if not outright kickbacks. Plus, they always require round two of spending for “unanticipated” costs that they always seem to find after they have been hired.
This screwup is merely an extension of local corruption going national. More will come out about these contractors….. just wait and see.


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