Developments in the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare mess of a debut are fast and furious.
Bottom line: Healthcare.gov’s fiasco-ridden launch was the result of insufficient testing and poorly-led development.
The federal contractors entrusted with the website’s creation made that clear Thursday in testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which saw its share of political wrangling among its members.
The contractors sought to place most of the blame on the Obama administration, fueling the ire and resolve of Republicans who want to kill the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, many Democrats are frustrated and anxious over the goings-on behind the scenes of the $400 million project that are coming to light.
Developers of the Obamacare website said that a last-minute decision to have Healthcare.gov users sign up before shopping for insurance overwhelmed the system and spurred error-filled responses.
They said they failed to perform an “end to end” test until just before the website’s rollout.
Meanwhile, the administration said Thursday that 700,000 applications had been completed for insurance coverage. Administration officials also said that testing was not done earlier because of the tight deadline to launch the site by Oct. 1.
“This system just wasn’t tested enough, especially for high volumes,” said Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, during a call with reporters. The agency oversaw the Obamacare site development for the Department of Health and Human Services.