HealthCare.Gov, the website that was supposed to connect millions of Americans with a marketplace for insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act popularly known as “Obamacare,” has been riddled with problems since its launch Oct. 1. A network failure on Sunday that which led to the site going down on Sunday morning was the latest of these problems.
According to an Associated Press report, this outage was due to cloud services contractor Terremark, a division of Verizon, which was responsible for the federal data services hub went down. The Washington Post reported that the issue was resolved and the site back in operation by 7 a.m. ET Monday.
HealthCare.Gov involved numerous outside contractors, which has caused a flurry of pointing fingers as different problems emerge.
As reports come in that HealthCare.Gov issues have been resolved, those involved in the shaky roll-out are being called to the House of Congress to determine why it has not operated as planned.
According to an Associated Press report, the Obama administration is facing intense pressure this week with Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner being brought to testify during a House hearing Tuesday. Another executive to face scrutiny is Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has been called to resign, and will be brought before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday.
CGI, a major contractor on the project, and others have said the EIDM entry portal was an initial weakpoint. But it was a late decision, just two weeks before launch, made by CMS to require consumers to register on the site before browsing that may have driven higher simultaneous usage of the registration system.
Cheryl Campbell, federal health and compliance programs and defense agency programs SVP at CGI, testified to the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee that much of the blame for the poor HealthCare.Gov rollout remains in the hands of the government body overseeing the project, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“CMS serves the important role of systems integrator or “quarterback” on this project and is the ultimate responsible party for the end-to-end performance of the overall Federal Exchange,” she stated. “Federal Exchange”, in this instance, refers to the communication between insurance providers and users implicit in the operation of HealthCare.Gov.
Open source advocates have even petitioned the government to release the code for HealthCare.gov in order to help do-gooder citizens find the flaws in the system.
Their help may not be needed, given that the HeathCare.gov was running faster Monday than in the past two weeks. Still, President Barack Obama is promising to put more experts to work on the online system last week, but it could still take time to smooth out the wrinkles in this mechanism that’s crucial to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.