One-third of Healthcare.gov not complete, tech lead says
(WJLA) - One of the top technical administrators of healthcare.gov, the troubled web portal for President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, says that a full one-third of the website is not even complete.
During testimony on Capitol Hill, Henry Chao, the deputy CIO of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said that 30 to 40 percent of the systems need to make the site fully work still need to be built.
Chao was peppered with questions about not seeing internal reports last spring that indicated major problems with the rollout, which showed that the administration was relying too heavily on outside contractors and failed to hand authority over to one decision maker.
However, Chao said that it didn't trouble him too much to be the point man on the project and not know of these things.
"I'm actually not terribly hurt by it or surprised by it," Chao said.
President Obama continues to defend the program despite the bungled rollout, days after walking back a major portion of the bill to allow insurance carriers to offer plans that they've otherwise had to cancel.
"I think we underestimated the complexities of building out a website to work the way that it should have," Obama said. "But the website is getting better every week.
"By the end of the month, it'll be functioning for a majority of the people using it."
To the administration's credit, enrollment is way up in some states and growing in others, but politically, it may be too late to salvage the image of the landmark legislation.
"What we're seeing here is a pattern of broken promises," House Speaker John Boehner said.
It's hurting Obama in the polls too. The president's job approval has dropped six points in the past month, landing him a record low of 42 percent.