WASHINGTON DC (KDKA) — It was the first Congressional hearing on why Healthcare.gov, the government’s website to sign up for affordable health insurance under Obamacare, has been plagued with start-up problems.
“There’s a saying in computer programming — garbage in, garbage out. If you’re given a bad product to build, then ultimately you’ll deliver a bad product,” said U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana.
Republicans used the hearing to attack the overall health insurance program while Democrats touted its benefits.
“A constituent of mine, wrote, ‘Thank you, I was able to successfully access the website yesterday. I’m very pleased the cost of my coverage will be dropping,’” said U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from Illinois.
The principal website designer, CGI, said the system is getting better daily.
“We anticipate that the system, as we have seen, is improving day over day, and that we anticipate that people will be able to enroll in the time frame allotted that is necessary for them to have insurance for the Jan. 1 time frame,” said Cheryl Campbell, the senior vice president of CGI.
While senior executives claimed their work was tested just fine, they blamed the government agency, CMS, for the not doing overall system checks.
Republican Congressman Tim Murphy said more delay was caused with a last-minute change.
Murphy: “When Healthcare.gov went live on Oct. 1, it was not possible to browse the site in order to see the prices. You had to register. Who made that decision?”
Campbell: “CMS made that decision.”
Murphy: “Are you aware of any White House involvement in that decision process?”
Campbell: “No, I am not.”
But Democrats said Republicans were just playing politics.
“They’re using this as another vehicle to do what they couldn’t do by shutting the government down and buy 42 votes to repeal it,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle.