Speed Reads

healthcare.fail

GAO: Healthcare.gov makers knew site was bad, tried to hide it

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveals that the architects of the notoriously buggy and insecure Healthcare.gov knew the site had problems before it went live and attempted to conceal the issues by suppressing the results of independent review by MITRE. One employee suggested "hit[ting] the pause button" so the report could be looked at "from the government perspective."

Meanwhile, another new report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform presents email records and other evidence that "officials at CMS and HHS refused to admit to the public that the website was not on track to launch without significant functionality problems and substantial security risks. There is also evidence that the administration, to this day, is continuing its efforts to shield ongoing problems with the website from public view."

The development and failures of the Healthcare.gov websites have long been shrouded in secrecy and hints of corruption: The site was built by longtime federal favorites, contractors who spent more than $128 million lobbying from 2011 to 2012 — among them a company which went $600 million over budget on a past project for the City of New York. The code for the site was removed from open-source programming site GitHub after users there identified numerous flaws in advance of launch. And last month, a FOIA request about the site's security from the Associated Press was rejected.