GAO: Poor Planning Led to ObamaCare Website Cost Overruns

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Why should the website have been any different than the rest of ObamaCare? It’s poor planning all the way down.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded after a months-long investigation into the rocky rollout of Healthcare.gov that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ failure to establish “effective planning or oversight practices” was to blame for website’s myriad problems after it was launched.

Among the issues, investigators found that the administration kept changing the contractors’ marching orders for the HealthCare.gov website, creating widespread confusion and adding tens of millions of dollars in costs. Changes were ordered seemingly willy-nilly, including 40 times when government officials did not have the initial authority to incur additional costs.

We’re in the Obama Age now. Authority is invented.

As a result, the government has spent $840 million on Healthcare.gov and its supporting systems, according to the report.

A billion here. A billion there. Eventually it adds up to more fake printed money.

The “cost increases” include those for the glitchy computerized sign-up system for consumers, which ballooned from $56 million to more than $209 million from Sept. 2011 to Feb. 2014. The cost of the electronic backroom for verifying applicants’ information jumped from $30 million to almost $85 million. A contract for fixes to the website, also grew from $91 million in January to $175 million as of last month.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, one of the lawmakers who requested the investigation, said in a statement Wednesday that the report “confirms our worst fears.”

“Millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted to build a website that didn’t work, all because of bureaucratic incompetence,” he said.

That’s nothing. Just wait till millions of Americans are dying because of bureaucratic incompetence.

 

  • glpage

    Big government translates to stupidity in action. And other things that aren’t so nice…

  • dgala

    Implementation is what caused all this waste of taxpayer dollars. Just take a look at our VA system. It should give everyone an idea of what to expect. FOOLS are the ones who thought they were going to get something for free.

  • seewithyourowneyes

    While I’m sure poor oversight was partly to blame, let’s not avoid the issues of crony socialism and affirmative action.
    It’s hard to find the names of all the Obamacare website contractors, but I’ve read that CGI Federal was the biggest. CGI is a Canadian company. Why hire a foreign company when we have excellent IT firms right here? CGI has a bad record, having wasted tens of millions on a Canadian government healthcare site which had to be entirely scrapped. Why hire proven failure? CGI Federal, the American-based subsidiary which was directly responsible, does nothing but government contracts. Think about that. There may be a lot of waste at Boeing and Lockheed, but at least some of their business has to be won in the competitive, reality-based private sector. Companies such as CGI Federal, which exist solely to serve the bureaucracy, have no such tether. Further, the contract was not granted to CGI on the basis of competitive bidding.
    Other conservative sites, and perhaps this one as well, have pointed out that the CGI Federal vice president who was directly in charge of the Obamacare website work was a classmate of Michelle Obama’s at Princeton, belonged to the same black activist student groups as Michelle, and was, with her husband, a big Obama campaign bundler. Her Princeton degree is in government, not in computer science. See also her boss, the senior vice president of CGI Federal. The CGI Federal webpage says she has a masters degree in education and a “certificate” in IT. Gee, my son’s fourth grade teacher had those exact same qualifications, but she taught kids instead of running hundreds of millions of dollars worth of government contracts. And yet another of the vice presidents of CGI Federal, the black woman who spoke so often during the Congressional hearings, has a resume that lists lots of honors and committees, mostly dealing with the role of women in technology, but makes no mention whatever of her educational qualifications!
    Not that state-run websites are much better. Oregon had to scrap its $100,000,000 website before it had signed up a single customer! Who was the government official directly in charge of IT? A woman, paid a six figure salary, whose resume makes no mention of any undergraduate degree, but states that she “pursued” for two years a tech degree at Harvard Extension. Pursued, not attained! And at open-enrollment Harvard Extension, not at highly selective Harvard! Although sketchy about her education, the woman’s resume is generous with personal quotes. “Lead through laughter,” for instance. And “Whatever you do, don’t hurt the humans.” Such are the gems offered in the resume of this self-described “thought leader” and “IT professional.”
    PS – My own brilliant and well-qualified daughter works in private sector IT. I’m all for women in IT. I’m against politicians in IT.