The huge technical failures and obstacles of the HealtahCare.gov website have been apparent to consumers since the website launched Oct. 1.
For insurance companies whose officials had a glimpse ahead of time, the system had them “pulling out their hair” even before the launch.
Now a Canadian report has documented how the primary company given hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars for the still-inoperable website had built a reputation for failure, cost overruns and calamity for years before being hired by the Obama administration.
It’s one qualification, according to Sun News’ Brian Lilley, is that the company, CGI, seems “to do computers for all the right progressive causes such as government healthcare and gun control.”
Lilley reported the company had been fired because it failed to build a much smaller health care database in Ontario.
Which perhaps is how Barack Obama came to be explaining to the American public, “There’s no sugar coating it. The website has been too slow. People have been getting stuck during the application process.”
The Wall Street Journal observed that its experts found the government site “appeared to be built on a sloppy software foundation.”
Lilley noted that perhaps someone should have been raising “red flags” about CGI.
Besides the failed health care system for Ontario, it also failed to assemble a system for New Brunswick. And it failed to make the nation’s gun registry a working website.
Observed Lilley, “It never worked the way it should have.”
Previously, The Washington Examiner explained that the Obama administration only considered the one firm for the federal website.
“Rather than open the contracting process to a competitive public solicitation with multiple bidders, officials in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid accepted a sole bidder, CGI Federal, the U.S. subsidiary of a Canadian company with an uneven record of IT pricing and contract performance,” the report explained.
The report said from 2009 on, U.S. officials awarded 185 separate “task orders” to CGI – for a total of $678 million. Nearly $100 million was for the HealthCare.gov site alone.
The Examiner also reported that CGI Federal was the prime contractor for state health exchanges in Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Vermont, and three of those states reported major software problems. Only Massachusetts, where the system has been in place for years, didn’t report major problems.
Members of Congress now have been asking whether it’s right, or even possible, to fine Americans for not signing up for health care when the system that is supposed to deliver that signup doesn’t work.
Digital Trends reported earlier the Healthcare.gov website already has “shut down, crapped out, stalled, and mis-loaded so consistently that its track record for failure is challenged only by Congress.”
“The site itself, which apparently underwent major code renovations over the weekend, still rejects user logins, fails to load drop-down menus and other crucial components for users that successfully gain entrance, and otherwise prevents uninsured Americans in the 36 states it serves from purchasing healthcare at competitive rates – Healthcare.gov’s primary purpose,” the report said.
The El Paso Times reported that major insurers, state health care officials and even Democratic Party allies of the Obama administration repeatedly had warned that there were “significant problems.”
“Despite those warnings and intense criticism from Republicans, the White House proceeded with an Oct. launch. A week after the federal website opened, technical problems continued to plague the system, and on Tuesday people were locked out until 10 a.m.,” the report said.
Fox News quoted computer software experts who said the problems were unlikely to be resolved any time soon.
“[It's] like trying to repair a car while someone is driving it,” said George Edwards, a computer professor at the University of Southern California.