A large portion of the error-riddled, multimillion dollar federal health insurance exchange system has not even been built yet, according to a senior official involved in the construction of the website.
The revelation came Tuesday during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the possible security risks surrounding healthcare.gov.
“The committee’s been reviewing materials that indicate that some parts of healthcare.gov were not completed before the launch, as we’ve discussed here,” Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said. “What portion of the website remained to be created when you launched on October 1st?”
“I don’t have an exact percentage,” said Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “I look at it in terms of overall marketplace systems.”
“I think it was a set of priority functions that needed to be in place,” Chao added.
“Well, how much do we have to build today?” Gardner pressed.
“Just an approximation, we’re probably sitting somewhere between 60 and 70 percent,” Chao said.
“Sixty to 70 percent that needs to be built still?” Gardner said.
“We still have to build the payment systems to make payments to issuers in January,” the Obamacare official said before adding, “the online application, verification, determination, plan compare, getting enrolled, generating enrollment transaction – that’s 100 percent there.”
“But the entire system is 60 to 70 percent away from being complete,” Gardner said.
“There’s the back office systems, the accounting systems, the payment systems … they still need to be done,” Chao said.
Chao, not disputing the figure, said the 60 to 70 percent that has yet to be built would be tested “in the exact same manner we tested everything else.”
But here’s something: Later in the hearing, Chao referred to the remaining 30 to 40 percent of the system that has yet to be built.
Perhaps he flipped the percentages in his head? This would seem strange considering Gardner repeatedly pressed him on the 70 percent figure.
“(R)egardless of the exact number, Chao’s response is utterly devastating,” Townhall’s Guy Benson wrote. “Somewhere between 30 and 70 percent of Obamacare’s online system has not yet been constructed or tested. They’ve had over three years.”
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