ObamaCare Contractor Won't Guess When Site Will Work

Capitol Hill testimony results in lots of finger-pointing
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2013 4:10 PM CDT
ObamaCare Contractor Won't Guess When Site Will Work
From left, Cheryl Campbell of CGI, Andrew Slavitt of Optum/QSSI, Lynn Spellecy of Equifax Workforce Solutions, and John Lau of Serco on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

It doesn't exactly inspire hope that the ObamaCare website will be zipping along anytime soon: Asked today during testimony on Capitol Hill when the problems will be fixed, a VP for main contractor CGI responded, "I cannot give you an exact date," reports the Guardian. "I would prefer not doing that. I don't like to raise expectations." That was the tone of the day, as CGI and the other three contractors—Optum/QSSI, Serco, and Equifax Workforce Solutions—took turns blaming each other and the federal government for the mess before the House Energy and Commerce panel. Or as David Nather at Politico puts it, "the witnesses proved that government contracting means never having to say you’re sorry."

Their main point of contention was that they didn't get enough time to test the system before the rollout, which prompted exasperated lawmakers to wonder why everything sounded so tip-top when the same contractors appeared in September, reports the Washington Post. “Did you ever tell this committee more testing was needed in order to make this work?” Democrat Diana DeGette asked the CGI exec. "I don't think I was ever asked that question," answered Cheryl Campbell. One of the day's more buzz-worthy moments came courtesy of Democrat Frank Pallone, who referred to the hearing as a "monkey court" and accused Republicans of trying to "scare people" away from ObamaCare. Today's hearing sets the stage for testimony by health chief Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday. (More ObamaCare stories.)

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