Testimony About Obamacare Website Leaves Everyone Baffled
By Karen Weise October 24, 2013
If House lawmakers wanted a clear admission of guilt during today’s testimony from four government contractors behind the botched healthcare.gov launch, they must have been sorely disappointed. Instead, the committee hearing offered a daisy chain of blame and interconnected responsibilities—a reflection of just how convoluted the massive effort became.
An official from CGI Group (GIB/A:CN), the main contractor for the Obamacare health exchanges, described 55 different subcontractors who worked on the site, which consisted of six main “complicated systems” and interacted with numerous government agencies, from the IRS to the Department of Homeland Security. Given how responsibilities were sliced up, each contractor could talk only about their own piece of the work, and the government agency responsible for tying it all together wasn’t at the hearing at all.
CGI’s Cheryl Campbell told lawmakers at one point that she favored analogies to houses because her father worked in construction. As lead contractor, she noted, her company was responsible for the facade and interiors of the house but not “the front door that you go into.” That portal fell to Quality Software Services, a division of UnitedUnitedHealth Group (UNH)Health Group, at least in part.