The to-date cost of the glitchy Obamacare website has topped $1 billion, easily surpassing the $394 million originally estimated by the Government Accountability Office, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis.
Perhaps more shocking than the site’s likely price tag is the fact that roughly one-third of that amount was spent on contracts awarded during the six months leading up to the site’s disastrous Oct. 1 launch — when those at the top were reportedly aware of the site’s many problems.
It’s important to note that the Bloomberg analysis covers up until Sept. 30, just before the 16-day partial government shutdown. So the final amount awarded to contractors since the launch of healthcare.gov may be more than $1 billion.
“The torrent of late spending — almost $352 million of $1 billion in awards to the top 10 contractors — indicates the magnitude of the work still to be done as opening day approached,” Bloomberg’s Peter Gosselin reported, “and helps explain the information technology problems that have dogged the exchange system since its launch.”
The Bloomberg figure may come as a shock to many Americans. Indeed, despite the GAO stating earlier that its data was incomplete, the $394 million estimate has been widely reported as the final cost for the launch of the Affordable Care Act.
But based on Obamacare-related payments to at least 10 firms involved in building the federal online health insurance marketplace, the GAO’s figure may be way off, according to Bloomberg.
“In aggregate, the 10 firms won a third of their health law-related contract dollars in the six months ended Sept. 30,” Gosselin wrote.
“Besides showing the rush to issue contract awards in the months leading up to the opening of exchanges, the (Bloomberg Government) analysis also revealed that the implementation of the health law is costing substantially more than generally is portrayed,” he added.
As of this writing, the $1 billion-plus website was still not functioning as designed.
(H/T: Zero Hedge)
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