Author Topic: Obamacare 'tech surge' experts are White House fellows  (Read 565 times)

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Offline happyg

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Obamacare 'tech surge' experts are White House fellows
« on: October 30, 2013, 07:49:49 PM »
President Obama promised elite Silicon Valley talent to fix Healthcare.gov, but so far his "tech surge" appears to consist of a handful of White House fellows assigned to the main contractor that designed the troubled website.

“If there were tech experts that were flown in from Silicon Valley, they did not land at our facility,” said a knowledgeable official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“There was not a Learjet that unloaded the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world,” the official said. Zuckerberg is the 29-year-old co-founder, chairman and CEO of Facebook.

A second official in a key position, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said, "There seems to be a few people out there, but I would say 'surge' is an overstatement, unless you count Jeff Zients.”
 
 
Zients is a former acting director of the federal Office Management and Budget who rejoined the Obama administration to oversee the tech surge.

Federal officials plucked participants in the Presidential Innovation Fellows program and assigned them to CGI Federal, the U.S. subsidiary of CGI Group, the Canadian firm that was awarded the $94 million main design contract for Healthcare.gov. Fellows typically spend six to 13 months working in a federal department or agency as “change agents” and to promote government-wide innovation, according to whitehouse.gov.

Healthcare.gov is the Obamacare program's web portal and was launched Oct. 1. The site immediately suffered so many malfunctions that it became a massive embarrassment for the president.

So far, the government has spent an estimated $600 million on the site's design, which until last week was managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Columbia, Md.-based QSSI was also a Healthcare.gov contractor, but was promoted by Zients to replace CMS as the website project's systems integrator.

Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, asked at an Oct. 24 hearing if a CGI executive or any of the three other contractors testifying before the panel could identify the surge participants.

All four witnesses said they were unable to identify them. CGI Senior Vice President Cheryl Campbell said she thought they “have small businesses of their own.”

Gardner said he was shocked to learn of the White House fellows being dispatched to CGI Federal.

“It’s simply shocking to hear that the level of assistance they provided was less-than-junior-varsity help,” Gardner told the Washington Examiner.

“The president promised the ‘best and the brightest.’ He didn’t promise to bring in substitute players for an already-failed system,” Gardner said.

Obama said Oct. 21 in a White House Rose Garden presentation that help was coming from “experts from some of America’s top private-sector tech companies," and claimed that “we’ve had some of the best IT talent in the entire country join the team."

The next day, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius boasted in a blog post that "veterans from top Silicon Valley companies” had been recruited to assist the tech surge.

Sebelius is scheduled to testify Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“In terms of this new revelation, I would be very interested to hear what she’s said about the so-called 'best and brightest' that were brought into CGI,” Gardner said.

Julie Bataille, CMS' spokeswoman, declined to tell journalists during an Oct. 28 conference call how many people are working on the surge.

Doing that, she said, would be "a distraction."

Bill Allison, editorial director of the Sunlight Foundation, said, “It’s unbelievable that they haven’t announced who is behind this. You would think they would want to highlight the people to just reassure the country that we’ve got these experts.”

Sunlight is a nonprofit that works to increase transparency and accountability in government.

“You want to know who those turnaround specialists are. I think their silence just speaks volumes,” Allison said.

Scott Amey, general counsel of the Project on Government Oversight, said, "Especially with the problems the website rollout has encountered, it would be in the best interests to disclose whoever CMS has brought in to remedy the situation.”

A CMS spokesman did not reply to emails seeking comment.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/obamacare-tech-surge-experts-are-white-house-fellows/article/2538190

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Obamacare 'tech surge' experts are White House fellows
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 07:51:15 PM »
and they think this will be fixed by the middle to end of November.   **nononono* **nononono* **nononono*
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline happyg

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Re: Obamacare 'tech surge' experts are White House fellows
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2013, 07:54:42 PM »
and they think this will be fixed by the middle to end of November.   **nononono* **nononono* **nononono*

They don't care. Single payer is the real objective.


Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Obamacare 'tech surge' experts are White House fellows
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2013, 08:05:17 PM »
Yep, that is all Beckel is talking about on The Five.. he keeps proclaiming how great Medicare is and ignores the fact everyone with Medicare has to buy a private plan to pay for all the stuff medicare doesn't cover - like the first part of hospitalization on Part A... you know all the stuff our private plans paid before we were forced into Medicare  - the so-called single payer plan that isn't.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Chieftain

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Re: Obamacare 'tech surge' experts are White House fellows
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2013, 08:46:10 PM »
yah...I hit the ceiling the first time I heard someone yap that phrase. 

The bottom line here is that the people who set this up are the same ones who set up Organizing for Obama (now Organizing for America), the Obama campaign website.  These people had no frickin' clue what they were doing.  Any tax professional in the Country could tell you that the last thing you would ever be able to integrate successfully is the IRS computer system.  It is notorious for not being able to let one field office link to another, and yet this crew in DC decided to let the IRS oversee this fiasco anyway.

Tech surge my arse.  That's a snappy phrase someone came up with to stall while they try and fix all of the problems on the fly.  Anyone who has ever worked at IT at any level can clearly see how and why this disaster is unfolding, and knows full well you cannot troubleshoot and fix this while continuing to allow it to operate.  I wonder how badly it has already been hacked...if they won't admit to any numbers of signups, why would they admit to any of the details of what they are attempting to fix??



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