WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be pointing the finger at contractors for the problems the HealthCare.gov website has gone through since its Oct. 1 launch.
In prepared testimony obtained by CBS News ahead of Wednesday’s hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Sebelius laid blame at the private contractors in charge of developing the Obamacare website.
“To build the Marketplace, CMS used private sector contractors, just as it does to administer aspects of Medicare. CMS has a track record of successfully overseeing the many contractors our programs depend on to function,” Sebelius wrote in her prepared testimony. “Unfortunately, a subset of those contracts for HealthCare.gov have not met expectations.”
The website has faced a myriad of problems since launching at the beginning of this month, from sessions being timed out, consumers not being able to load information to the entire website just crashing.
Sebelius also blamed the number of people logging onto the website at once for the persistent problems.
“Among other issues, the initial wave of interest stressed the account service, resulting in many consumers experiencing difficulty signing up, while those who were able to sign up sometimes had problems logging in,” Sebelius wrote.
In her testimony, Sebelius will reveal that 700,000 Americans have submitted applications for health insurance. CBS News reports that more than 2 million Americans will not be allowed to continue with their current health insurance plan because it does not meet the minimum standards set by the Affordable Care Act.
Sebelius went into some detail about dealing with the technical glitches of the website.
“To ensure that we make swift progress, and that the consumer experience continues to improve, our team has called in additional help to solve some of the more complex technical issues we are encountering. We are bringing in people from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve HealthCare.gov,” Sebelius wrote.
On Tuesday, Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner apologized for the Obamacare website problems that have persisted during a House Ways and Means Committee Hearing.
President Barack Obama will be promoting his signature health care law in Boston Wednesday while Sebelius testifies.