Darrell Issa Will Investigate Why Obamacare Window Shoppers Had to Register

The last-minute change to HealthCare.gov was requested by CMS and not fully tested, contractors said.

Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) arrives for a House Oversight Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, September 19, 2013.
National Journal
Clara Ritger
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Clara Ritger
Oct. 24, 2013, 9:10 a.m.

House Over­sight and Gov­ern­ment Re­form Com­mit­tee Chair­man Dar­rell Issa an­nounced earli­er this week that he would in­vest­ig­ate why CGI Fed­er­al was in­struc­ted at the last minute to dis­able the an­onym­ous shop­ping fea­ture on the Obama­care web­site  and re­quire con­sumers to cre­ate pro­files be­fore view­ing health in­sur­ance prices.

The design has been cri­ti­cized by web de­velopers, who note it could be one of the reas­ons Health­Care.gov crashed.

At Thursday’s House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee hear­ing on the faulty Obama­care web­site, Rep. G.K. But­ter­field, D-N.C., read por­tions of a let­ter from Issa, R-Cal­if., seek­ing a re­sponse from Cheryl Camp­bell, seni­or vice pres­id­ent at CGI Fed­er­al, the com­pany con­trac­ted to cre­ate the on­line fed­er­al-ex­change in­ter­face.

“Al­though CGI of­fi­cials were not able to identi­fy who with­in the ad­min­is­tra­tion made the de­cision to dis­able the an­onym­ous shop­ping fea­ture, evid­ence is mount­ing that polit­ic­al con­sid­er­a­tions mo­tiv­ated the de­cision,” the let­ter reads.

Issa’s of­fice con­firmed Thursday they were briefed last week by CGI of­fi­cials. Camp­bell cast doubt on Issa’s let­ter.

“I don’t be­lieve that mem­bers of CGI ac­tu­ally made those state­ments dir­ectly in that man­ner,” Camp­bell said. “I think they may have been taken out of con­text but I’d have to get back to you on that and no the White House has not giv­en us dir­ect in­struc­tions.”

A spokes­per­son from Issa’s of­fice said But­ter­field’s ques­tion wasn’t worded care­fully enough. The let­ter spe­cific­ally says the Cen­ters for Medi­care and Medi­caid Ser­vices was giv­ing in­struc­tions to CGI, and when pressed for jus­ti­fic­a­tion of the site changes, CMS would say it was what the White House wanted, the spokes­per­son said.

Later in the hear­ing, Camp­bell con­firmed that two weeks be­fore go­ing live, CMS in­struc­ted CGI to dis­able the fea­ture to al­low an­onym­ous shop­ping.

That last-minute change re­quired test­ing, said An­drew Slavitt, vice pres­id­ent at QSSI, the com­pany hired to work on the Data Hub and oth­er veri­fic­a­tion as­pects of Health­Care.gov.

“We in­formed CMS that more test­ing was ne­ces­sary; we in­formed CMS of the pieces of the sys­tem that had is­sues that we had tested,” Slavitt said.

Un­answered at Thursday’s hear­ing was who de­cided to move for­ward with the Oct. 1 launch and why, the ques­tions Issa is seek­ing to an­swer in his in­vest­ig­a­tion.

What We're Following See More »
“OUR MOVEMENT IS ABOUT LOVE”
Trump Again Brings Up Charlottesville in Angry Speech
11 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Vice President Pence and other speakers in Phoenix Tuesday night appealed "for unity and healing." President Trump himself said his movement "is about love." But then he became animated and angry as he revisited his comments about Charlottesville, reading them aloud. "You know where my heart is. I’m only doing this to show you how damned dishonest these people are,” he said. He also suggested he still intends to pardon controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Source:
THE PRESIDENT’S POCKET
16th Charity Cancels Function at Mar-a-Lago
19 hours ago
THE LATEST
OVER N. KOREA NUCLEAR PROGRAMS
U.S. Imposes Sanctions on 16 Companies
20 hours ago
THE LATEST
U.N. REPORT REVEALS DETAILS
North Korean Chemical Weapons Shipments to Syria Intercepted
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Two North Korean shipments to a Syrian government agency responsible for the country's chemical weapons program were intercepted in the past six months, according to a confidential United Nations report on North Korea sanctions violations."

Source:
PARTICIPATES IN TOWN HALL TONIGHT
Ryan: “There Are No Sides” on Charlottesville
1 days ago
THE LATEST

After taking fire for not forcefully condemning President Trump's statements on Charlottesville, Speaker Paul Ryan today issued a statement that takes issue with any "moral relativism" when it comes to Neo-Nazis. "There are no sides," he wrote. "There is no other argument. We will not tolerate this hateful ideology in our society." Ryan participates in a CNN town hall tonight from Racine, Wis.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login