Lawmakers to hear from contractors that put together healthcare.gov website
POSTED: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 8:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Lawmakers hope to get some answers today in Washington about why healthcare.gov is not working for many people.
What we expect to learn and what lawmakers are likely to hear today is that a key decision late in the process may have created the problems the website is having.
Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hear from federal contractors who helped design the site.
CGI will testify it passed eight tests before launching. "There are going to be more tests done now that we know what we're dealing with in terms of volume," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
Another company, QSSI, will say the system was overwhelmed, and that a late decision to require registration before window-shopping for insurance contributed to the backlog. "I don't think they have understood how much trouble they are in, meaning this is just an incredible mess," said Robert Laszewski of Health Policy & Strategy Associates.
"I absolutely believe that somebody should be held accountable," said Rep. Xavier Becerra, (D) California.
Now the White House says it intends to extend the deadline to sign up for health insurance by six weeks.
Republicans want more. "We Republicans remain committed to delaying that mandate tax of "Obamacare," said Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA).
For people who can log on, some report sticker shock. "In Michigan for example, we're about 40% on average higher than the already low cost - the low cost plans than we had in the market already." Joan Budden, Priority Health Michigan.
These health exchanges offer insurance to people who don't have insurance - about one in six. The vast majority of Americans already covered through their employers.