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Oct 30, 2013

Top Obamacare official apologizes for website ‘debacle’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s top health official apologized on Wednesday for the botched rollout of the government’s healthcare website, acknowledging it was a “debacle”, while also blaming insurers for cancelling coverage for hundreds of thousands of people.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, testifying at a congressional hearing on the troubled website at the heart of Obama’s healthcare overhaul, vowed to win back the confidence of millions of disappointed Americans.

Oct 29, 2013

Lower-cost coverage at risk if no quick fix of Obamacare website

By Lewis Krauskopf and David Morgan

(Reuters) – If technical problems with the U.S. government’s new healthcare website are not fixed in November, hundreds of thousands of Americans could lose easy access to lower-cost coverage, jeopardizing the Obama administration’s goal of making affordable insurance broadly available in 2014.

Consumers in 36 states are relying on Healthcare.gov to qualify for tax subsidies that will reduce coverage costs under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which was expected to cover 7 million people next year alone through new private insurance marketplaces.

Oct 29, 2013

Obamacare official apologizes for website glitches

WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. agency
responsible for the troubled new government-run healthcare
website apologized on Tuesday for the difficulty people are
having in obtaining insurance, but blamed the portal’s woes on
contractors and high traffic.

Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the U.S. Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), said the website faces
“complex technical issues” four weeks after it opened for
enrollment.

Oct 27, 2013

Data center glitch is latest problem in ‘Obamacare’ rollout

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A data center critical for allowing uninsured Americans to buy health coverage under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law went down on Sunday, the U.S. government said, in the latest problem for the “Obamacare” rollout.

Verizon’s Terremark operates the data center behind a federal system for determining eligibility for government subsidies to buy insurance nationwide and hosts HealthCare.gov, the website that makes insurance available in 36 of the 50 states.

Oct 27, 2013

Key U.S. official faces grilling over how Obamacare website became fiasco

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two months before the troubled October 1 launch of Obamacare exchanges, a key administration official overseeing the program assured a congressional oversight panel that work was on track to roll out a tested website that would make it easy for Americans to enroll in affordable health insurance coverage.

“This is a large and complicated endeavor that I am proud to lead, and every decision is being made by my prior work experience,” Marilyn Tavenner testified on August 1 before the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, describing the launch of the Healthcare.gov website.

Oct 24, 2013

Contractors describe scant pre-launch testing of U.S. healthcare site

WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – The Obama administration
launched its troubled healthcare insurance website after only a
minimum of crucial system-wide testing, despite contractors
warning officials repeatedly about performance risks, a
congressional panel heard on Thursday.

Witnesses said the administration did not conduct end-to-end
testing of the system’s technology backbone until just the two
weeks before one of the lynchpins of President Barack Obama’s
landmark healthcare policy opened to consumers on Oct. 1.

Oct 24, 2013

Contractor says warned U.S. officials about healthcare website risks

WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – One of the lead contractors
responsible for developing the government’s troubled healthcare
website said on Thursday his company warned the Obama
administration about rollout risks, while another expressed
confidence that it will be fixed in time for benefits to go live
on Jan. 1.

Andrew Slavitt, executive vice president with the parent of
Quality Software Services Inc, said his company told the Centers
for Medicare and Medicaid Services of concerns about testing the
Healthcare.gov website.

Oct 24, 2013

U.S. health care rollout undergoes first congressional scrutiny

WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – The troubled rollout of
President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare policy on Thursday
undergoes its first full-length public airing in a crowded
congressional hearing room, where lawmakers will question
technology contractors about the government’s crippled
Healthcare.gov website.

In proceedings before the House Energy and Commerce
Committee, lawmakers are trying to determine why the online
portal for uninsured Americans in 36 states has malfunctioned
since its Oct. 1 start, the beginning of a six-month enrollment
period that is expected to draw at least 7 million people to
sign up for federally subsidized private insurance for 2014.

Oct 24, 2013

More Democrats voice Obamacare concerns as website blame goes around

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The contractors for the government’s troubled healthcare website sought to deflect blame on Wednesday as more Democrats voiced concerns about the implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy.

Administration officials, in damage-control mode for nearly a week, held a closed-door briefing for Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and a private session with insurance company executives, who said they would assist in efforts to fix the Healthcare.gov website.

Oct 23, 2013

U.S. Contractors shift blame for Healthcare.gov problems

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two leading high-tech contractors for Healthcare.gov website sought on Wednesday to shift the blame for the Obamacare portal’s problems in testimony to a congressional panel investigating the program’s troubled rollout.

CGI Federal, the main contractor for Healthcare.gov, blamed early problems on another contractor’s software and also said the federal government was ultimately responsible for the website’s performance.

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      "David Morgan has covered news from Wall Street and Fleet Street to the White House, the Pentagon and Congress, including politics, macroeconomics, military affairs, corporate finance, U.S. intelligence, national security and the international markets. He has also reported from Atlanta on the rise of American conservatism, civil rights, homegrown terrorism and the Olympics, and helped chronicle the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath from Philadelphia, New York and Washington."
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