The Obama administration was issued "stark warnings" that Obamacare's glitch-ridden website, Healthcare.gov, was not ready to go live just one month before its launch, a scathing CNN report reveals.
In confidential report obtained by CNN, CGI Federal, the site's main contractor, warned of a number of "open risks and issues" facing the Obamacare website. Meanwhile, Medicaid Chief Marilyn Tavenner testified on Capitol Hill Monday that she was not made aware of the website's problems.
"No, we had tested the website and we were comfortable with its performance," she said, adding that "we knew all along there would be as with any new website, some individual glitches we would have to work out, but, the volume issue and the creation of account issues was not anticipated and obviously took us by surprise."
However, CNN reports that the confidential CGI document says the testing timeframes are "not adequate to complete full functional, system, and integration testing activities." The document also reportedly calls the potential effects of the issues "significant."
A woman looks at the HealthCare. gov insurance exchange internet site October 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it is commonly called, passed in March 2010, went into effect Tuesday at 8am EST. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Another element is listed as " not enough time in schedule to conduct adequate performance testing" and given the highest priority.
The report also gave "the highest priority" and warns "we dont have access to monitoring tools" and "hub services are intermittently unavailable" -- short for the "site's not working sometimes."
One concern, listed as "severe," warned, "CGI does not have access to necessary tools to manage envs in test, imp, and prod. Specifically (1) we don't have access to central log collection / view (2) we don't have access to monitoring tools. We have repeatedly asked CMS and URS but haven ot been granted this access."
The report, which documents issues from August 2013 and was sent to at least one employee at CMS by an executive at CGI on September 6, was submitted in response to a request by the House Oversight Committee, which is now investigating the rollout of the health law.
CGI spokesman Brian Cook told CNN that the report was not a "dire warning," but rather a "list of things to do."
"What's been done, what needs to be done, what needs to be resolved. It is misleading to cherry pick a few lines," he added.
It's important to note that CNN could not confirm that Obama administration officials were later assured that the issues were resolved. "But the warnings run counter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' stated optimism to CNN's Sanjay Gupta that when she woke up October 1, things would go smoothly," the report adds.
Cheryl Campbell, a senior vice president for CGI, did not tell Congress of any potential problems when she testified in September. However, she told lawmakers on Oct. 25 that "no one ever gets enough time for testing."
Read CNN's full report here.