Obamacare Website Fix to Cost $121 Million
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 09:03 AM
By: Drew MacKenzie
House Republican leaders have denounced the escalating expenses of Obamacare websites as the new contractor hired to fix the federal exchange revealed that it will cost the government $121 million for repairs and renovation - $27 million more than to build it.
Accenture Federal Service was brought in on an emergency basis to remedy HealthCare.gov after the system’s original builder, CGI Federal, was fired in February following a series of glitches that delayed or prevented millions of Americans from getting insurance coverage, according to The Washington Times.
The business management and technology company revealed the contract on its website Tuesday, and said that it includes the repair work and the creation of new features such as “enhancing the back-end capabilities to improve issuer payments.”
The original cost to the government of building HealthCare.gov was $93.7 million while the $121 million fix fee for one year’s work is $30 million more than the government estimated a few months ago, according to the Times.
“There doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for Obamacare website expenses,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, a California Republican, told the Times.
“Developers are still being brought in to finish building HealthCare.gov, some states are abandoning their own failed sites, and federal taxpayers are still being handed the bills for it all.”
Rep. Michael Burgess, who wants to repeal and replace Obamacare, also slammed the Accenture contract, declaring, “This thing just stinks from top to bottom.”
The Texas Republican noted the extra expenditures prove the GOP was correct in stating that the Obamacare system was doomed to failure from the very beginning.
Burgees added that Americans will take into account the glitches, expenses and canceled health policies when they vote in November, according to the Times.
But the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees HealthCare.gov, defended the contract, saying that the renovated federal website will be easier for consumers to access and negotiate.
“As CMS moves forward in our efforts to help consumers access quality, affordable health coverage, we have finalized a one-year agreement begun in January with Accenture to continue their work on Healthcare.gov,” spokesman Aaron Albright said in a statement.
“We are pleased that more than 8 million consumers have enrolled in a private plan through the federal marketplace and look forward to continuing to work with Accenture to prepare for the next open enrollment period.”