CGI Federal announced in 2011 that it had been awarded a $93.7 million contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to build the federal health insurance exchange, healthcare.gov, which formally launched on Oct. 1, 2013.
Digital Trends called the $93.7 million estimate a “chunk of change, but nothing near where it apparently ended up.”
But an official at CGI told TheBlaze those saying the federal heath insurance exchange cost $634 million are incorrect. The official said this figure includes all of the company’s contracts for a Health and Human Services Department program over the last seven years, covering 114 transactions. The cost of building healthcare.gov was issued under this contract.
The official noted CGI was awarded the contract to build the website through a competitive procurement process.
Even though the site didn’t cost upwards of $600 million to build, many are still questioning why — with the $93.7 million tag — it still wasn’t up to snuff.
An AP-GfK poll released Tuesday found that 7 percent of Americans had somebody in their household try to sign up, which could represent about 20 million people. Just one in 10 people who tried to sign up succeeded in purchasing health insurance. Of those who signed up, about 75 percent said they experienced problems with the process, and 40 percent of Americans felt the launch hasn’t gone well.
Overall, the the AP-GfK poll, conducted Oct. 3 through Oct. 7, found 28 percent of Americans support the overall framework of the Affordable Care Act, 38 percent are opposed and 32 percent don’t have an opinion either way. Asked specifically whether the government should be able to require all Americans to buy insurance or face a fine, only about three in 10 Americans agreed, with 68 percent opposed.
Others blasted the federal site’s design, which requires people to sign up with an account before they go “window shopping” for healthcare options, as opposed to anonymous shopping.
“I’m reluctant to give information so it can be tracked when I’m simply looking for information,” Maureen Bardusk of Galena, Ill., said, according to the Associated Press.
“I don’t want to be part of a marketing scheme,” she added. “I assume they set it up that way so they could see who’s coming in, how many times they come in and what they buy after they get there…but that isn’t really customer-oriented.”
Neither the White House nor the Office of Budget and Management immediately returned requests for comment from TheBlaze about the cost of the website and fixing the system’s glitches.