(WASHINGTON POST) – private contractors in charge of the new federal health-insurance Web site told a House committee Thursday that they did not have enough time to thoroughly test the system before its problem-riddled rollout early this month.

Executives of two of the four companies represented at the hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said they needed “months” to conduct the testing, rather than the two weeks or less they were given before the Oct. 1 launch.

The contractors — CGI Federal, Optum/QSSI, Serco and Equifax Workforce Solutions — were called to explain the problems in view of previous testimony as recently as September that things were going smoothly and the project appeared on track.

In fact, the Web site for the new health insurances exchanges, HealthCare.gov, crashed almost immediately after it opened, when millions of uninsured people were supposed to be able to log on and sign up for coverage that starts next year.

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