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HHS Secretary Kathleen SebeliusTestifies on HealthCare.gov While the Website Is Down

Wed October 30 2013 9:21 am  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=67104
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Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius admits responsibility for the flawed launch of healthcare.gov. Commits to fixing the site.

Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before the House Energy & Commerce Committee this morning regarding issues affecting the functioning healthcare.gov since it was introduced on October 1, 2013.

Last week, four government contractors working on HealthCare.gov, including Cheryl Campbell, Senior VP at CGI Federal, and Andrew Slavitt, Group Executive VP at Optum/QSSI testified at the hearing. Tuesday, Marilyn Tavener, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, appeared before the Ways & Means Committee.

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The contractors basically claimed they built the bad product that they were asked to build. Rep. Steve Scalise (R) Louisiana explains that Healthcare.gov cost $500 million, which is more than Facebook cost to build for the first five years — and FaceBook has 7 million users per day. Congressman Frank Pallone (D) New Jersey lashed out against his Republican colleagues at the House Obamacare hearing — calling the hearing a monkey court. He accused Republicans of trying to scare Americans with the failures of the website and other Obamacare issues, including scares about privacy, and said that users were not asked about health conditions. Pallone said that Republicans are scaring people so that they won’t apply — therefore delaying legislation on Obamacare. Pallone predicted that 20 million are going on the website, and are going to enroll, or already have enrolled.

CMS is responsible for setting up the federal marketplace for insurance exchanges and the Medicaid expansion. Rep. Fred Upton chairs the committee and Rep. Henry Waxman serves as Ranking Member.

SCREEN SHOT captured at 9:03 a.m. October 30, 2013 that shows that HealthCare.gov is down “The system is down at the moment.” The message appeared after the user selected “Illinois” and then clicked on the green “APPLY ONLINE” button.


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