White House Email Chain Reveals Concerns Before Healthcare.gov Launch

Posted: Nov 21, 2013 7:00 PM

According to emails released Wednesday by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Obama administration officials were concerned about the health care website. Top White House and health officials were worried that healthcare.gov would not only malfunction, but also that it would set off a whole new wave of bad publicity for the president.

The emails dated September 25th, focused on problems that could come up if there was high traffic to the health care website. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Deputy Chief said, “When Todd Park and Marilyn [Tavenner] was here yesterday one of the things Todd conveyed was this fear the WH was about hc.gov being unavailable.”

According to POLITICO:

Later on in the email chain, which was sent to a few dozen CMS staff and outside contractor personnel, Chao wrote to two colleagues: “… can you think about a better way to convey to the public when the site is not available? I am picturing in my mind all the major print and online publications taking screenshots of what is below and just ramping up the hyperbole about hc.gov not functional.” Attached is picture of an error message which says, “The System is down at the moment.”

With so much warning about the problems with the website, why was it launched? If a company released a product before it was ready, no one would buy it and the company would go out of business. But instead, we have to hear press conference after press conference explaining how this was an unexpected problem and that we need to stick with them while they figure things out. How about they just fix the problem already and apologize for the disaster that is the healthcare.gov rollout.

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