HealthCare.gov cost $174M — so far
October 30, 2013 in Medical Technology
Eventually, however, after asking similar questions about the ACA, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., asked the hardline cost questions to Sebelius. How much has the HealthCare.gov website cost? Sebelius gave straight answers. “We have spent about $118 million on the website itself and about $56 million has been expended on other IT to support the web.”
Some $197 million has been obligated to CGI — one of the major contract vendors in charge of the entire website application — to last through March 2014. About $104 million of that has already been expended, Sebelius said.
[See also: What happened to Healthcare.gov?]
The website “has not lived up to the expectations of the American people and is not acceptable,” said Sebelius in the hearing. “We are committed to fixing these problems as soon as possible.”
The federal health insurance exchange website was down again last night and this morning, inviting further criticism from Republican lawmakers. As Upton pointed out, “the website was supposed to be the easy part.” Consumers, Upton added, are “now being forced to go onto an inept website.”
Waxman responded that he’s tired of the “litany of rejections from Republicans about the Affordable Care Act which has driven them to such a frenzy that they actually closed the government.”
When Blackburn took her turn for questioning, she also asked the secretary who was responsible for the website flaws. Sebelius explained that the Verizon cloud server, which hosts many of the websites, was down Saturday into Sunday, and after speaking with the Verizon president, they’re reportedly still having issues. After pointing to the shortcomings of many of the vendors, Sebelius responded, “Hold me accountable for the debacle. I’m responsible.”
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, made the analogy of Sebelius, who served in the Kansas legislature but was born and raised in Ohio, to The Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy: “Madam secretary… you’re not in Kansas anymore,” a comment that elicited surprise from many and criticism from Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J.