SEBELIUS DID IT: Firms behind botched ObamaCare site implicate HHS

Published on October 24, 2013

The contractors behind the troubled ObamaCare website are planning to spread the blame around during highly anticipated testimony Thursday morning on Capitol Hill.

While Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is skipping the hearing in order to visit an ObamaCare call center in Phoenix, representatives from four contracting companies are expected to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. They are acknowledging problems with the site, but according to prepared testimony also pointing a finger back at the Obama administration.

A top executive with CGI Federal, one of the contractors paid millions to create the ObamaCare website, said the Department of Health and Human Services “serves the important role of systems integrator or `quarterback’ on this project and is the ultimate responsible party for the end-to-end performance.”

Senior Vice President Cheryl Campbell also said in her prepared remarks that “no amount of testing” could have prevented the site’s problem-plagued start.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing is the first since the site’s disastrous Oct. 1  launch — marked by crashes, slow response times and its inability to let customers make purchases. Contractors will likely face tough questioning from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, though the witnesses appear to be implicating government officials overseeing the project.

Prepared testimony from contractor Optum/QSSI blamed in part a “late decision” to require customers to register before browsing for insurance, which could have helped overwhelm the registration system.

Read more: