AirTalk for October 24, 2013

Washington grills IT for ACA website flaws

House Holds Hearing On Affordable Care Act Implementation Failures

Alex Wong/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24: (L-R) Senior vice president of CGI Federal Cheryl Campbell, group executive vice president for Optum/QSSI Andrew Slavitt, corporate counsel for Equifax Workforce Solutions Lynn Spellecy, and program director for Serco John Lau testify during a hearing on implementation of the Affordable Care Act before the House Energy and Commerce Committee October 24, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Developers who helped to build the website for people to buy health insurance under Obamacare testified before the panel on what had gone wrong to cause the technical difficulties in accessing the site.

The rollout of the online health insurance exchanges that make up the backbone of the Affordable Care Act was anything but smooth. Consumers faced long waits, trouble logging in and wrong information about federal subsidies. Now, the key contractors behind the websites are being hauled in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee today to explain what went wrong and how they plan to fix it.

CGI Federal, the Virginia-based company called the “face” of the HealthCare.gov, website is going to face a particularly tough grilling over the glitches and why a Spanish-language version of the site is still not ready.

How quickly can these tech companies get everything fixed and running smoothly? Will the White House delay provisions of the ACA because of the technical problems? Is a “tech surge” a realistic option for fixing these problems? How is California’s insurance exchange faring versus the national site?

Guests:
Shannon Pettypiece, health care reporter for Bloomberg News

Ben Simo, software developer and past president of the Association for Software Testing


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