White House Warned About Healthcare dot Gov Crisis in April



Cartoon wait screen on healthcare dot gov

During today’s hearings, Henry Chao, Healthcare.gov’s chief project manager at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), said that 60% to 70% of the foundation of healthcare.gov hasn’t been built yet. [Correction: 11/21: Mr. Chao later said he meant to say that 60% to 70% is complete. Later reports said 40% to 80% is incomplete.]

Hello? Why is it online?

World class private consultants McKinsey & Co were brought in by the administration to assess how healthcare.gov was progressing last March. A thorough report was prepared by McKinsey in March which outlined many of the problems we are seeing with Obamacare.

White House personnel, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CMS head Marilyn Tavenner, and White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, were briefed on April 8th.

McKinsey said at the time the call-in centers, which Mr. Obama said were an alternative to the failed website, would not work properly if the online site was malfunctioning. They also warned against trying to fix the problems after the launch.

The site developers didn’t have metrics to test the system’s performance until late October according to a NY Post report though the McKinsey report advised them 5 months earlier to set ‘shared metrics for success.’ McKinsey also advised them to create a version 1.0 that would be fully tested before the project was finished.

They advised the White House to assign a single leader to oversee its implementation. The fact that there was no overarching project leader was very problematic because the various entities were going in conflicting directions.

When the consultants attempted to implement the program, the following were a few of the problems that occurred:

  • Marketplaces were unavailable with system failure
  • Long manual processing time
  • Failed to resolve post-launch issues rapidly
  • Plans not approved and loaded in selected markets
  • Inaccurate or incomplete financial management systems
  • No call center enrollment channel or long waits
  • Budget uncertainty and timing prevents execution of plan

The White House has responded by saying they have dealt with many of these problems but obviously they haven’t.

Mr. Obama ordered the website opened and didn’t have any regard for the details. Mr. Obama and his Progressive partners in crime don’t manage, they mandate. They don’t organize, they community organize. Their attitude towards quality management is to disregard it.

We now get to see the results.