Author Topic: Obama was briefed in spring on widespread website problems  (Read 340 times)

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Offline flowers

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Obama was briefed in spring on widespread website problems
« on: November 19, 2013, 05:28:37 PM »

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama, who has portrayed himself as surprised by technical problems with the government's new health care website, was briefed last spring on a detailed consultant's report that warned of system failure, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday.

Carney said the president's familiarity with the report and recommendations by McKinsey & Co did not contradict previous statements from the White House that described Obama as surprised by the scope of flaws in since it opened for people to enroll for insurance coverage on October 1.

Obama was told the problems identified by McKinsey were being addressed, Carney said.

After reeling from technical problems at its website for more than six weeks, the Obama administration on Tuesday also said that it is still months away from completing the back end of the system, including functions needed to finalize federal subsidies for consumers who buy health plans.

Administration officials said the complicated information technology system's financial management function would not be completed until mid-January, weeks after the first enrollees are scheduled to begin receiving benefits under the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010 as Obama's signature domestic policy.

Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), played down the January timeframe, saying the financial management functions are not among the high priority fixes aimed at ensuring a smooth operation for consumers to shop, enroll in coverage and make their first month's premium payment.

But the ability of the administration to deliver federal premium tax credits as partial premium payments for qualifying consumers is a vital segment of the function of the new online marketplace. Also not due until January are functions involving risk adjustments for insurers and the monthly reconciliation of enrollment data.

The McKinsey report, released Monday night by a Republican-controlled House of Representatives committee, is the most detailed analysis made public to date of the difficulties the site was facing late in its development.

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