Health site needs dozens of fixes
WASHINGTON (AP) – Nearly a month into a dysfunctional health care rollout, Obama administration officials said Friday they’ve found dozens of website problems that need fixing and tapped a private company to take the lead. They said most of the problems will be fixed by the end of November.
Jeffrey Zients, a management consultant brought in by the White House to assess the extent of problems with the HealthCare.gov site, told reporters his review found issues across the entire system, which is made up of layers of components interacting in real time with consumers, government agencies and insurance company computers.
It will take a lot of work, but “HealthCare.gov is fixable,” said Zients. The vast majority of the issues will be resolved by the end of November, he asserted, and there will be many fewer errors. He stopped short of saying the problems will go away completely.
The administration also said it is promoting one of the website contractors, Quality Software Systems, Inc., to take on the role of “general contractor” shepherding the fixes. QSSI was responsible for two components of the website, a major linchpin that works relatively well, and an accounts registration feature that froze and caused many of the initial problems.
HealthCare.gov was supposed to be the online portal for uninsured Americans to get coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law. Touted as the equivalent of Amazon.com for health insurance, it became a huge bottleneck immediately upon launch Oct. 1. The flop turned into an embarrassment for Obama and will likely end up as a case study of how government technology programs can go awry.