Obamacare Contractors Were Big Campaign Donors

The list includes mainstays of federal contracting, such as Northrop Grumman and Booz Allen Hamilton.

A woman looks at the HealthCare.gov insurance exchange internet site October 1, 2013 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Oct. 10, 2013, 12:13 p.m.

The list of con­tract­ors that helped im­ple­ment the White House’s land­mark health care re­form law in­cludes a who’s-who of top-tier polit­ic­al donors, ac­cord­ing to a re­view by the Sun­light Found­a­tion trans­par­ency group.

That im­ple­ment­a­tion pro­cess has come un­der heavy scru­tiny re­cently be­cause of soft­ware glitches and long wait times that have plagued Health­Care.gov, the gov­ern­ment web­site de­signed to con­nect un­in­sured people with af­ford­able cov­er­age, since the site’s Oct. 1 launch.

The Sun­light Found­a­tion com­piled a list of 47 con­tract­ors that worked on as­pects of the health care re­form im­ple­ment­a­tion, us­ing in­form­a­tion from two gov­ern­ment con­tract­ing sites. The list in­cludes main­stays of fed­er­al con­tract­ing, such as Northrop Grum­man and Booz Al­len Hamilton.

A sub­set of 17 con­tract­ors on the list spent $128 mil­lion on lob­by­ing in 2011 and 2012, the found­a­tion said, and 29 had em­ploy­ees or polit­ic­al ac­tion com­mit­tees that con­trib­uted $32 mil­lion to can­did­ates dur­ing that elec­tion cycle, in­clud­ing nearly $4 mil­lion to Pres­id­ent Obama.

White House of­fi­cials have at­trib­uted the early Health­Care.gov prob­lems to one part of the web­site that helps users cre­ate ac­counts and stores in­form­a­tion about them. The sys­tem wasn’t built to with­stand the large volume of people who vis­ited the site in its first days, they said.

The White House has de­clined to say which vendor was re­spons­ible for that sys­tem.

Con­tract de­scrip­tions on the web­sites the Sun­light Found­a­tion mined are of­ten in­com­plete — es­pe­cially on USASpend­ing.gov, the site for his­tor­ic­al con­tract­ing in­form­a­tion — so it’s not clear pre­cisely what work most con­tract­ors did on be­half of the law’s im­ple­ment­a­tion.

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