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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 24, 2013 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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house has not given us direct instructions. >> i would like that information from you. it is a serious allegation for the chairman of an oversight committee to make such a callous accusation. based on the meeting with your company last week, they said evidence is mounting that political consideration is motivated this decision. do you have any evidence -- do you have any evidence that political considerations motivated this decision? >> i am not privy to anything of that sort. knowledge ine any any white house role in specific decisions related to the website? >> not to my knowledge. >> are you aware of any political intervention by this white house relating to your work on >> i am not. >> thank you. you have been very kind. mr. chairman we need to work together to make this program function efficiently and effectively and i urge my
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colleagues to work with us and work with these witnesses to get it right. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you for being here today. i have a series of quick questions i will like to get to. how many change orders have your received by estimate, either formally or informally leading up to the launch, and what function do they want you to perform? >> we have received approximately eight change orders. >> when was the most recent? >> i believe as recent as august of this year. >> ok. >> i don't know the answer to that, but i think was a low number. >> ok. are you both making changes now with code in order to fix any of the so-called glitches or nonperformance issues question mark >> that would be yes.
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>> how many organizational boundaries between the piece of information traveling from the united states government to the web portal, how many boundaries, how many organizational boundaries, including the states and their access to information does that piece of art man cross -- does that piece of information cross? >> i would have to get back to you on that. are you talking about like homeland security, irs question ? >> irs, other pieces of information. >> i would have to get back. >> please get that for the record. passes throught the data services hub comes from a trusted source, such as a government entity, passes through the hub to those who have requested the query. >> that concerns me a little bit that neither one of you know the answer to that.
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when you did a security verification of an independent contractor on august 30, ms. campbell, did you do the same? >> that is correct. that a system test that crossed every organizational boundary or was that by the segment of which you controlled in the process, your segment of the contract? >> i would have to go back and find exactly, but i believe it was wherever our system touched other parts of secure systems. >> so you don't know the answer to that. >> we had a complete test that was done to meet the standards. data,stems don't hold they just transport the data through it. aware of the various levels of cyber weakness, a boundary being the weakest point, so when you say you don't hold information, that is a very low standard to detect beormation, i don't have to
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where it is held to obtain it. >> that is correct. for security on advanced persistent threats, whose urine up in a contractor, did you read team any of this in the weeks before the launch of your system? >> i am not familiar, although i can check about whether there were any security concerns. none were brought to my attention or made available. i believe it was the corporation to provide the independent risk security assessment? >> who certifies on a daily basis that your system is secure from external cyber threat? >> let me get back to you. >> cms or a private contractor? somebody certifies that you're doing this. >> let me get back to you. >> are you aware there is an ongoing security check in to your system? >> i don't know. >> but you don't know? >> i will get back to you. >> >> ms. campbell.
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how about an ongoing basis. >> cms has it. >> so cms secures their own system is secure? >> with the support. >> so the information that goes through the system, a ghost array data hub, you have designed the system to transport ms.rmation, correct? campbell, your infrastructure is designed to take a piece of information from the hub and get it to the end user, which would be whatever navigator is in front of the screen, correct? you built the infrastructure for that to happen. >> that is correct, a portion of it.
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>> so in less than two weeks, you're constantly changing code, introducing new code. in any system i have ever seen, two months for security check is not appropriate, let alone a security check. i am more nervous today than when i got here. i am shocked, shocked that on august 30 you get an independent check that says the system is fine and you have introduced new code to that system probably daily, probably in terms of hundreds of thousands of lines, at least tens of thousands of lines of new code which creates new vulnerabilities in thecies tefment you don't even know the answer -- in the system, and you don't even know the answer. and number two you are not even sure if your piece is end-to-end ongoing security tested. i have to tell you, mr. chairman, this is a significant event. you don't have to like obamacare. you can hate it, love it, can't wait to get in it. you cannot expose this much information with this low
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threshold of security in a day when there is 1.5 million people ripped off every day in cybersecurity. where the folks who are systems administrators and people who sit in front of those portals, are they trained in spearfishing, one of the most basic levels of security level. do you know, ms. campbell? >> i have to push back a little in terms of -- to give the impression that c.g.i. is putting willy-nilly code on a daily basis -- >> ma'am, you know better than that. i am not suggesting that. >> we are -- we have -- >> reclaiming my time. makes me more nervous. you don't have to have willy-nilly code. you can have the best code in the world. every cybersecurity expert understands that when you introduce new code it has other implications on a broader system. even beyond your borders. that's what we are worried -- we are not worried you are putting
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bad code in. we are worried you may be accidentally, as we no with the functionality of your system doesn't work, it would be only logical to conclude if the functionality of the system doesn't work when it all came together, you cannot compose security. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> i need the answers to all those questions by 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. >> the gentlelady from illinois, miss sha could you skifment >> i -- schakowsky. >> i want to clarify one key point. the c.g.i. system crash in a test with only a few hundred people in the days before october 1? >> there was an end-to-end test that occurred, and the system did crash with about that number. i don't have the exact number. but it was part of the end-to-end test. >> thank you. i wanted to emphasize that the website has to be fixed. but it is not, as the republicans contend, a fatal flaw, a contention that ignores millions of people who have already benefited and the tens of millions of people that will
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benefit from the new coverage, and the first three weeks there have been over 19 million unique visits to and almost half a million applications have benefited nationwide. some people are getting through. susan, constituent of mine wrote, thank you. i was able to successfully access the website yesterday. i'm pleased that the cost of my coverage will be dropping approximately $5,000 a year when compared to my current individual coverage. ironically the same provider, blue cross blue shield. or david who said seven years ago i was diagnosed with melanoma. last year i spent $11,000 on health care. a.c.a. will save me $4,000 per year. i need this program. i know this because if i had no health insurance i would be dead.
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every day since the passage of obamacare, the republicans have undertaken obstructionist efforts, including shutting down the government, that amount to congressional malpractice. i want to flash back to when the bush administration was implementing medicare part d, a law which many democrats opposed because of the doughnut hole, which of course obamacare will close, secretary levitt said at the time -- first of all, on a launch, november 8, 2005, for enrollment, january 1 the program enrolled, began actually signing people up. february 22nd secretary levitt said, quote, we are now at the 53rd day since the implementation of medicare prescription drug coverage. after reviewing the numbers and experiences to date, i can report that we are seeing solid progress. we continue to work aggressively to solve the problems that inevitably occur in transitions this size. that was medicare part d.
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despite the glitches in medicare part d, democrats worked with republicans to ensure that the law was a success and that all medicare beneficiaries had the information necessary to take advantage of medicare part d. in fact, chairman -- in fact, i joined with chairman fred upton to request additional funding for community-based organizations to help seniors actually enroll in medicare part d. i have that letter right here. unfortunately the republicans have actually taken steps to ensure that consumers do not know all the benefits and protections provided by obamacare. in june, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, senate minority whip john cornyn sent letters to major sports leagues warning
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them not to help consumers be educated about the benefits of obamacare. after medicare part d, democrats like me hosted events in order to boost awareness and facilitate enrollment. this has not happened with obamacare. several republican members have even stated, they will not help constituents who call and ask for more information about the benefits of obamacare and how to enroll. those republican efforts will only harm american families and small businesses and cut short the relief americans need because insurance companies are no longer in control of their health care, and they are guaranteed access to affordable coverage that will be there for them when they need it. i agree that the website must be fixed, that the republicans should stop their obstructionism, commit to working with democrats as we did with you on medicare part d to fix any provision that is need to be fixed rather than continue your efforts to nix the law.
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let's work together to fix it and not nix it. i thank you and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania, dr. murphy. >> thank you. ms. campbell when went live on october 1 it was not possible to browse the site in order to see the prices. you had to register. who made that decision? >> c.m.s. made that decision. >> who within c.m.s.? >> i don't have the exact name of the person. i would say henry chow from c.m.s. >> are you aware of any white house involvement in that decision process? >> i am not. >> ok. so what challenges arise when you switch a website where individuals can browse, just browse versus one where you first have to register? does this require substantial amount of work? >> it definitely puts a different -- additional burden on the system.
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>> do you have to write a new code to make that happen? >> for us to turn it up it was putting a flag in our system. >> how much more time does this take to test the system like that once you have made those decisions? >> it became part of the normal testing process. >> but you never tested the whole system, right? >> c.g.i. did not. >> mr. slavitt, when were you made aware of the decision that the website would not allow browsing and require registration first? >> we weren't made aware of this until the final days prior to the launch. >> final day being what date? >> i believe it was within 10 days. >> do you know who made that decision? >> i don't know. we don't know who made the decision. we don't know when the decision was made. we don't know why the decision was made. >> are you aware -- it was someone from c.m.s.? h.m.s., administration, white house? >> we don't know.
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>> ms. campbell, did you inform anyone at c.m.s. or h.h.s. of any concerns you had that this required more testing? more time was needed because the system wasn't going to be working? >> more testing because of the anonymous shopping or -- >> both. start with the shopping issue. the whole system. did you inform anybody at c.m.s. or h.h.s. you needed more time because the system wasn't working? >> once again the portion that c.g.i. was responsible for went through its unit -- >> you did through your -- you didn't look at the whole thing? >> we are not responsible for end-to-end testing. >> mr. slavitt tt, did you inform c.m.s., anyone there you needed more time. >> we informed c.m.s. that more testing was necessary. we informed c.m.s. of the pieces of the system that had -- we had tested that had issues.
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so, yes, we did. >> how many cases did you receive to fill out the process for people? >> as of today i would estimate about 9,000. >> how much of these successfully completed? >> about half of those were successfully. >> do you have to go on line or another process? >> work through the consumer portal. >> are you expecting more applications? >> we are, yes. the volumes are increasing. >> ms. campbell, you're saying you haven't gone through and tested the whole system. you did your part. mr. slavitt, you said the same thing? you both just tested your parts? you didn't check the whole system? >> c.m.s. has independent contractor q.s.s.i. that test our system. >> ok. >> and, mr. slavitt, did qssi test the whole system? >> we tested portions of the system for the code we received. >> who was the independent contractor who tested the system?
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>> qssi was one of the independent contractors, we tested code from c.g.i. >> did you find any problems? >> we found problems in the code. >> would it require more time to fix it? >> which in and of itself isn't necessarily a problem so long as they are fixed. >> did you inform anybody at c.m.s. or h.h.s. there was problems and you needed more time? >> we informed both c.m.s. and the other contractor. >> who did you tell? >> i don't know the names of anybody we told, but i can tell you we informed c.m.s. and informed the contractor responsible for the code. >> ms. campbell, how much money did c.g.i. get to do this whole process from the federal government, total? >> our total t.c.v. is about $290 million. >> mr. slavitt, how much did your company receive to do all this? >> the data services hub has been funded to just under $85 million. >> let me ask you. ms. campbell, have you tried to log on and test the system yourself?
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>> i have. but i have insurance. >> how long did it take you to do it? >> it took the normal time that it would take an individual -- >> you were able -- what state was that in? for what state? >> i'm a virginian. >> does virginia have its own website or government website? >> it's part of the government website. >> mr. slavitt, did you personally try to get on to thecies? >> yes. >> what state? >> i think i put in texas. >> is that where you're from? >> i'm not but i was testing the system. >> did it work? >> i logged on to create an account. was able to do so. i just never received a confirmation email. >> it didn't work? >> didn't work. >> thank you. yield back. >> the gentleman from kentucky, mr. yarmuth. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ms. campbell and mr. slavitt, would you say if far more states had decided to do
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their own exchanges, the national exchange would not have experienced as many problems? >> i can speculate. i would say probably. but i don't know for sure. >> i wanted to talk about the kentucky experience, and i want to thank your company for its involvement in our state because the experience in kentucky has been extraordinarily successful. even though there were problems for a few hours on the first day, again because of excessive demand, at least unprojected demand, those were quickly rectified. i have these statistics now for the first 21 days in kentucky. we had 640,000 kentuckyans estimated without insurance. so assuming that most of those were people who contacted the system were mostly from that population, we have had 280,000 unique visitors to connect, kynect. 247,000 have actually conducted
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prescreenings to determine qualifications for subsidies and so forth. 47,000 applications for health care coverage had been initiated. and 33,700 are completed. as of the 21st, 18,370 individuals are enrolled in the new affordable health care. and i think almost equally important, 378 businesses have started applications for health insurance for their employees. in terms of the numbers of people who were -- that could take advantage of the affordable care act in kentucky, a huge number have already done so. actually have enrolled in affordable insurance for the first time in many cases in their lives. mr. shimkus talked about one person he got a letter from said that not happen with what the prospects were. we heard a lot of these
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anecdotal stories, and in fact fox news brought some people on last week and one of the small businessperson said, he had to cut the hours of his employees and so forth. and a reporter followed up on that, found out this man had actually only four employees. he was not even covered by the affordable care act. we have to be careful about people who say they have done things or suffered because of the affordable care act when in fact they haven't. i have a couple case from my district that i think are very valid experiences and also testified to how important this law is and the benefit of it. jeff bower wrote, i'm 62 years old, and my wife will reach that age before the end of the year. in january i parted ways with my employer of 39 years. we were lucky to have never needed government assistance of any kind. we are pretty much a typical middle class family. we asked our doctors if they anticipated any problems with us
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acquiring health insurance, they told us our health was good and did not anticipate any problems. we were dismayed to find we were both turned down for coverage based on existing medical conditions. the conditions were not chronic or serious. our only alternative was to select cobra coverage for 18 months with monthly premiums over $1,000. when cobra expires, july, 2014, we would have to go the next 20 months with no health insurance. on kentucky's health exchange i was able to purchase our insurance for $800 less than our cobra coverage. previous medical conditions were not a factor. the exchange was user friendly. i was able to complete the application with no problems. like to thank lawmakers and the president for representing those of us who only have little voices and have the courage to make this coverage available through the affordable care act. another woman, 17 years ago, was diagnosed with late third stage breast cancer. she was able to get into a special trial at duke.
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and she overcame her disease, but left with a $200,000 bill. it was not paid by the insurance company. now because of the affordable care act, she cannot only change coverage, she has no lifetime limits. no annual limits. these are the things that will protect her and her family. so i just want to say that the experience is not all negative, and i'm confident that eventually the national exchange, i hope, very quickly becomes as effective as the kentucky exchange. thank you for your testimony. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: dr. burgess. >> thanks, mr. chairman. mr. slavitt, i will say my experience was similar to yours. i live in texas so i did try while we were sitting here spending time together this morning tried to sign up on the exchange for texas, and i ended up with a similar result as you did. i just have to say here we are
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three weeks into the open enrollment period and i can't think that anyone on this panel this morning would think that that is acceptable that the system would still work so poorly. regardless of the state involved. miss campbell, can you tell me at this point how many people have signed up through c.g.i.? >> i cannot. i need to clarify an answer i gave regarding 200 failures on the end-to-end test. it was an end-to-end test on the eidm were there were 200 failures. >> on that first morning, october 1, we were up late doing a vote, probably about 2:00 in the morning i attempted to sign in then. and met with the same response, the system asked my favorite kind of -- something along those lines, and froze up. and like mr. slavitt, i never got a confirmtory email on the many times i spent that
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information through. what happens to that information? ms. campbell? >> that's on the eid site. >> can i ever get it back? >> i can relate my own experience. of course what i found out that i didn't get an email back, i called the qssi team to see what happened. indeed, eidm had a record of my transaction, received the transaction, and we know that eidm received my submission. we also know they sent that transaction over to the marketplace. as i mentioned eidm is only a tool used in the registration process. not the registration process. beyond that i don't have any visibility. >> can i get that information back? >> i believe that information would still reside in the registration tool. >> there's only so many passwords that he the mental capacity to make up.
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i'm running through all of them, continuing to sign this up. if you could return some of them back to me i would greatly appreciate that. ms. campbell, you referenced a number of questions from dr. murphy about the amount of money c.g.i. had received for this contract. >> to clarify, that's the total contract value. so to clarify, that's the total contract value through the out years. that's not the dollars that we have received to date. the dollars that we have received to date is in the range of about $112 million. >> are all of these fix-its occurring now were those included in that $112 million bill? or are there ongoing invoices going to have to be reimbursed from c.g.i.? >> c.m.s. is has implemented a cost reimbursable-type contract.
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as we continue to do the normal contract says we are responsible for the development and then it moves into operations and maintenance, which is continued bug fixes and things of that sort. >> we are paying -- >> it's the normal course of a development and a production environment scenario. >> i'm not trying to be harsh here, you are continue to bill taxpayers for the fact that your code did not work or your product did not work as advertised regardless of whose fault it was, on october 1, i think we all agree it wasn't working. the taxpayer is being billed for those invoices to fix things. >> sir, on october 1 the taxpayer couldn't get to our system. >> let me add this as an observation. it seems like we've got several fingers but no palm here. was there anyone involved in sort of overseeing the entire -- entirety of this to make sure it worked from a to z? ms. campbell? >> that would be c.m.s., the system integrator.
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>> who at c.m.s.? mr. chow again? >> as one of the individuals, yes. >> who else at c.m.s.? was the administrator for c.m.s. involved? >> i can't say who was in that decisionmaking process. >> how about you, mr. slavitt, who was the unseen hand trying to put all this together? >> c.m.s. did play that role. i'm not aware of who within c.m.s. >> in other words, there was a comment on a blog post this morning on one of the local papers that said, when do i start to really freak out about this? the average american watching this hearing this morning, can we give them any comfort about that? when should the average american begin to really become upset about what they have seen here in the past 3 1/2 weeks? ms. campbell do you have an observation? >> i do not, sir. >> mr. slavitt?
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>> i can work intensely in those first few days. >> here's the problem. nobody believes this thing will get fixed when we keep getting answers like this. we are asking you for help, to be transparent, and we get nonanswers to our questions. i would submit that the average american looking in on this hearing this morning is going to feel like there is nobody in charge, maybe somebody at c.m.s., but who is going to take the responsibility for getting this thing fixed and making it right? because heaven knows they paid enough money to have it work, right? thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. welch. >> thank you very much. thank you for the hearing. we all have a real interest in trying to get this thing to work, that's for sure. i do want to say a couple things about what this hearing is not about, because it puts it in a bit of a context. it's not about whether we should take away the right of our kids up to age 26 to be on health care, our own health care polcy. that's working great.
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it's not about whether the preventive care that has been made available for free to seniors on medicare should be rolled back. that's working rhetty good. it's not whether the $4 billion in medicaid -- medicare fraud that's been found out and saved for the program was a bad idea. strong bipartisan support on that. it's not about whether the even if they have a pre-existing condition it should be ruled out. it's not about whether the doughnut --e in the should be rolled back. when we do in the law, as everyone knows, is provide coverage to people through the doughnut hole. that's pretty good. it's not about whether the medicaid expansion, that is part of the bill, should be rolled back.
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that is going to affect some of the hardest working people in this country, farmers who work not, make very little over eligible to get medicaid because they did not have young children. all of those things we are now having to question. we are talking about is a computer program that is messed up at the moment. we will have some historical experience with that. drug program was put , there were lots of pitches. the question that this committee had at that time, march 2006, was what to do about it. we had some really good advice from some really good matters.
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as i mentioned earlier commonly benefits and implementation are perfect. hope that we could work together as you go through the implementation and to find out what is going wrong with the program and if we can make some changes to fix it, let's do it. let's do it on a bipartisan basis. thatd i would say statesmen had it right. that state-run was joe barton from texas. -- that statesmen. the reality is that the prescription drug program, the benefit is 40 months late in the seniors who signed up for medicare when they were 65 years of age are now 106 years old waiting for that prescription drug benefit. i hope it does not take us not long to get it right and i don't believe it will. analogous congressman burgess
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who served with us on this committee now. and another quote i think was really terrific. anytime something is new, there's going to be some glitches. it is of no value. as a matter of fact, it is a negative value and questionable ethical value sometimes and people only spend their time criticizing the glitches that have been rated program as with any that occurs whether it was andic or private criticizing you for standing on the outside, frightening seniors into thinking that before there were questions and difficulties, therefore they should not sign up. now it is congressman tim murphy. you know what? that if i've got to gave them is pretty good advice for us to take now. i thought their comments as our path forward. i'll ask just each person on this panel, can the computer challenges that we are facing right now, none of us want, it's a real hassle for americans, it
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starts to undercut confidence in a program whether it's e-bay,, you name it, if their program not working there is flussstration for anybody on it. can this be fixed? >> we are working every day to get it fixed, yes. >> we believe we can. >> thank you. >> we hope so but we don't have visibility into that. >> we have no direct involvement with the system. >> thank you. i yield back. get it done. >> dr. gingrey. >> mr. chairman, thank you. the gentleman from connecticut said what this hearing was not about and he listed a litany of things that in his opinion are positive. let me tell you what this hearing is about. it is about whether young people over the age of 26 and not eligible for subsidies, who are forced come january 1 if they had no insurance, to sign up for
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the exchanges and pay at least double what they normally would pay. it is about that. here we are 24 days after the exchanges have come on line and yet we receive conflicting reports from the administration on the number of people who have successfully received coverage. when we met more than six weeks ago, with this panel, i warned that companies charged with developing and implementing the federal exchanges had not had the time to successfully produce and test such a complex system. during that hearing we heard that all of your systems were functioning properly and ready to go on october 1. after what has been an unsuccessful first three weeks plus of implementation, we now have to better piece together the timeline of problems and figure out who knew what and when did they know it?
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ms. campbell, in your testimony you say that your company was selected as the best value to create federally facilitated marketplaces, f.f.m.n. 2011. due to the fact that the requirements were not well established at the time of the award and that the requirements did evolve over the next two years. how was c.g.i., your company, made aware of these changing requirements by c.m.s.? >> we received change orders, and then we would respond back with a proposal, and that proposal would be accepted, and then we would continue moving forward. >> when was the last time that the federally facilitated marketplace requirements were changed by the administration? when did they prior to october 1? >> i believe our last modification occurred in august of this year. >> was there ever a point that c.g.i. expressed doubt as to whether the updated requirements would affect your ability for a
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successful launch? >> each time we received changes, we shared with c.m.s. the risk associated with any changes that we were asked to provide support. >> can you tell me today, this morning, who specifically you gave that information to, expressed that concern to? >> i'd have to go back to my team specifically. >> could you do that before 9:00 in the morning? >> if i'm allowed to provide that information based on our terms and conditions of our contract with c.m.s. >> this is a government that prides itself in transparency, i'm certainly sure you would be allowed. you also stated that c.g.i. delivered the functionality required by c.m.s. did you ever have concerns that c.m.s. was not requiring enough in terms of design and functionality? and were there ever internal concerns at c.g.i. that c.m.s.
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did not have the technical expertise to handle such an ambitious project? >> in terms of -- c.m.s. has a number of technical resources, and it was their responsibility to be the system's integrator here. we provided support and guidance as we could. >> ms. campbell, over the last several weeks when the republican majority in the house of representatives was trying desperately to keep the federal government opened and submitted several bills to the democratic majority senate, mr. harry reid, one of those requests after the initial request was rejected was to simply say, look, we will fund the entirety of the federal government at sequester levels. but we think it's a good idea to delay the rollout of obamacare for a year. now, that was summarily rejected
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again by mr. reid. we then came back and said, would you just meet with us? would you just allow us to meet with a bipartisan, bicamera l committee and talk about this? it's very possible if he had agreed to do that that this delay of a year could have been negotiated down to a delay of six months. let me in my few seconds left ask -- do you think that would've given you sufficient time to avoid all of this endorsement in the and expense? >> i don't think i can answer that. >> is there any scenario under which a kid answer that?
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on any entry point at which there'd be the ability for a person to on role -- enroll. i don't know what flexibility there was a bit time but certainly more testing always helps project like this succeed. kathleen sebelius was being interviewed by dr. sanjay goop to who said she needed five more years -- sanjay gupta. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you, witnesses. concernsed to hear some regarding access problems that some are having in interacting .gov websitelthcare and i look forward to working with them in a bipartisan way to make that happen. i sensed two great demands out there.
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one, a great demand for the affordable care act, second, a great demand placed in our laps to get this business of connecting access to the system done in a bipartisan, professional way. my colleagues are distinguishing rollout of the website and the promise of the law themselves. many of the benefits of that package are now well-known known and very much appreciated. students stay on their parents' plan until the age of 26. seniors, not having to pay as much money out of pocket for prescription drugs and eventually closing that doughnut hole.
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and the list goes on and on. while there might be problems with the website, we have heard it here this morning and it's worth repeating, we have to fix it, not nix it. we have to fix it, not nix it. it's an important mantra to guide us forward. mr. chair, when people are able to overcome these initial bumps in the road, they are discovering a quality product that will save families hundreds of dollars a month on health care costs. you don't have to take my word for it. fox news contributor sali kahn, upon discovering her family will save $408 per month in my home state of new york. ideal ogs may not like obamacare, but my wallet and family's health sure do. while we are here to address problems of an underperforming website, we can't ignore the larger story that affordable health care a has finally become a reality for millions of americans and something we should not delay. ms. campbell, that being said, most of the bugs in the system we have heard about here today have been with the federally run website, that correct? >> that's correct.
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>> how many states are currently participating in the federally facilitated marketplace through the website? >> 36. >> it was my understanding that the affordable care act envisioned that the states would be taking the lead on designing and running these exchanges. do you have a sense of why 36 states chose to let the federal government take the lead instead? >> i have no further information to support that. >> i think it's clear to state that this was how it was envisioned to work and would have been beneficial. from what i can tell many states that refuse to create state- based exchange, largely for ideological reasons. did c.g.i. participate in building the exchange websites. >> yes, we have. >> my sense is that the states that have taken ownership of the affordable care act and designed and run their own exchanges are outperforming the federal exchange. would you agree with this assessment? that is correct. >> thank you, ms. campbell. i do agree the picture we have seen in the state-based exchanges is vastly improved over what we are seeing through my home state of new york, which
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also experienced website problems at the outset, has now signed up nearly 174,000 new yorkers for quality, low cost health insurance. that means that more new yorkers have completed an application to receive an eligibility determination than any other state in our nation. this is clear-cut evidence that the temporary setbacks can be overcome. and success can be achieved when the law is implemented the way it was intended. without malice and obstruction. in closing, i would implore my republican colleagues to reject the politics of division and join with us in finding constructive solutions to these technical problems so that the many billions of americans demanding and deserving access to the private sector driven health care options they now have before them is a reality. with that, mr. chair, i yield back.
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>> four government contractors involved with the website and the launch of the website on october 1, just a reminder in about a two minutes, we will show you the entire hearing beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern and another quick reminder on programming, sunday, the chairman of that committee, fred upton of michigan, will be our guest. we're15 minutes or so, going to open up our phone lines once again to hear from you about your experience so far .gov or with healthcare your state healthcare exchange. here is how the phones are broken up. #cspanchat.
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a couple of few of its on the law. health watch update on the three-and-a-half years not enough to make it work. they said it was not enough time to assemble in fully tasked the online enrollment portal. also reporting, kaiser health news. administration says 700,000 have applied for obama care coverage in the administration saying today that 700,000 people have in theed applications new marketplace, a key step before people begin shopping for insurance plans but a spokesperson refused to bake -- breakout how many of them came through the 14 state run
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insurance marketplaces which are functioning versus the beleaguered run on behalf of 36 states. first up, brad in tampa florida. you have not used the website yet. why is that? caller: i will not comply with an illegal law that was passed illegally. the constitution said that all has to be levied in the house. house not voted on in the as a tax. it was legislated from the bench and it's illegal. you? how old are do you currently have health insurance? caller: i don't. hear from cary in new providence, pennsylvania. you had a bad experience with the website. are you talking to me? host: are you carry from
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pennsylvania? you are on the air. we eveni'm not sure have to sign up. we are 70 and 65. do we have to sign up? host: i wish i could answer that for you. just to try or whatever, we try to get on the federal exchange. we had the same experience to where he got to where the put anna, address, etc., and that's as far as it goes. fisher, a good experience using the website. what state are you any? caller: florida. did away with any
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implementation of medical marijuana. anyone who uses it is using it as a tool of destruction and we must move forward because this is the right way. you actually work through the administration federal website? caller: correct. carthage, tennessee, is next. helen. you have not gotten on the website yet. what are you hoping for/ i will not be affected by it period. i've got grandchildren that would have to pay for everybody .lse
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i think it's a big mess. host: have you heard from your grandkids and their experience? have they tried to go on? caller: they have not. well, one did. it brought him back to the beginning. he's tried early morning, late and last midday sunday, he tried about 10:00. helen fromof tennessee's grandkids experiences. on twitter, #cspanchat. the politico, reporting on virginia governors debate. by the way, we will show you that on c-span 2 at 9:20 p.m.
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eastern. ken cuccinelli open, send washington a message and say no to terry mcauliffe's expanded obamacare by voting for me on november 5. span will be tonight on c- 2. oxnard, california, frank who has had a good experience in the marketplace. hello there. >> i registered through cover california and a did not have any problems. i used to the chat feature twice and it was good. i called the exchange and it was good. the service was excellent. there were some timeout issues they said that they had a lot of traffic to try back and it was
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fine. ways too have other register the website and that's not the only way. there is also a way to call in. that's been my experience. host: we will be reairing the hearing at 8:00 eastern. the first of several hearings looking up the implementation of the health care law. house ways and means will have a meeting on tuesday and we will hear from the head of medicaid and medicare services and on wednesday the 30th, here from the energy and commerce committee, hhs secretary kathleen sebelius. , not suche, louisiana a good experience with the website. tell us about it. sign upi was able to for the website. i got my confirmation e-mail but
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when i tried to give them information on my family and household, i continued to be caught on the same page which is to try to verify my immigration status. this has been going on for five days. is this a state exchange website or the >> it redirects from to louisiana. of health care law and the particular the hearing today came up at the white house with jay carney saying, this is a live look at the white house which is lit up pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month. jay carney earlier today saying that many republicans don't want health care a lot to work. here's what he had to say.
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>> some critics of the affordable care act to have worked insidiously for years to try to do away with the deal, defund,, sabotage -- they are now showing outrage that it is not working properly and it should be taken with a grain of salt. washington,in especially republicans, of course, or entirely republicans, have been focused on preventing that from happening. all of that briefing in on c-span video library checking twitter, the hashtag is #cspanchat.
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in darien, georgia, and he has not yet used the website. caller: i figure the penalty if you don't have health care, it's $95. i figure i will give it a little while. it seems like the state websites seem to be working a lot better than the federal websites. i think it's just all the traffic.
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i think it's a good thing. it will be good for a lot of people to have health care care who don't have it, like me. i haven't needed to go to the doctor right now. between now and then, i guess i will be ok. host: how old are you? you said you don't have coverage right now. caller: i'm 30. i haven't meant the doctor in a couple of years. i have not had any real bad.... the man looked at it -- i have not had any real bad illnesses. worked out,t it all i will go on there and get some affordable healthcare, then i will. glendale, arizona, and robin had a good experience using the website, good evening. gone on yetve not but i will be having to go on
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and i'm concerned and i will give it some time. the reason i have to is because my husband got his letter saying he is no longer going to have the insurance he's had and he's been with the same company for 23 years and i went to help my 21-year-old daughter because she works at home depot part-time and has insurance coverage with two jobs. she got that job to keep her insurance and she was notified that her insurance is no longer available. what is your husband insurance that he has been notified. are there any subsidies that his employer may provide? caller: we don't know yet. we just know the plan that he has will not be available and that's the extent of it. the prices will probably go up significantly. it's a smaller company but the enough. if you sign-up, is your
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daughter young enough to be covered under your policy? herer: i'm not able to put on my policy. it would be too expensive. a prescient your call. let's get a few more calls in. springfield, west virginia and you had a bad experience. i lost my jober: because of the health care. there is a wage limit. weekse has tried for two to get on there and then when i with all of the information going in, i got concerned and told her to stop trying because of the wrong information gets to the irs or would be worried that charges could filed against man that have to get a lawyer to prove that the website
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malfunctioned. i could cost me a fortune. host: in north carolina, they have not tried the website yet. how are you? caller: this is the first time i've ever called c- span or any national channel, but i just felt compelled to. forve not tried the website a couple of reasons. the first is fear. the second is that it's brand- new. the first new car that comes off the assembly line . i want someone to work out the bugs so i will hold out. you give long will them to work it out? how long do you think it will take you? used cars because someone has already paid to have the bugs worked out. the irs. i fear someone i don't know
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having access to my very personal information. there is a situation in south carolina where hackers got into the department of revenue files and i fear that sort of thing happening. i was watching the hearing before your program and i hear the republicans concerns about the security of the system and i heard democrats talking and talking about people who now have health care. they are talking apples and oranges. i don't want to go on the website until i know i'm not going to be tracked anonymously. myon't want someone in business who does not belong in my business. host: we appreciate your call. we were glad you're able to get through to c-span for your first time. thank you for all of your calls. more tomorrow morning on at 7:00ton journal"
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a.m. eastern. they will your from the executive director of families usa and they will talk about the health care law part of tomorrow morning's program. up next on c-span, today's hearing from the house energy and commerce committee. >> good morning. first, i would like to note to our florida colleagues who are unable to be with us, they are attending the funeral of our late colleague bill young. a friend to all here and a mentor to so many on both sides of the aisle. he is going to be deeply missed, particularly in his legacy of the establishment of the bone
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marrow registry. something that will save tens of thousands of lives. we appreciate that work. the energy and commerce committee continues our oversight of the health care law as we examine the many problems, crashes, glitches, system failures that have defined open enrollment. over the past several months leading up to the launch, top administration officials and lead contractors appeared before this committee, looked us in the eye, and assured us that everything was on track. it was not. why did they assure us that the website would work? did they not know or did they not disclose? that is what we are looking to find out with the contractors today and secretary sebelius
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next week. the companies here all testified before the subcommittee about their work building in that hearing, these companies represented that the exchanges would be ready for open enrollment on october 1. they explained that their testing of the system had not identified any significant problems. this is not about blame, this is about accountability, transparency, and fairness for the american public. the broken promises are many. the president promised americans that they could keep their health plans no matter what. 4 days into open enrollment, more people are receiving a cancellation notices in just 2 states than the 476,000 that have been enrolling. the administration is appearing allergic to transparency,
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withholding enrollment figures. this is more than a website problem. the website should have been the easy part. i am concerned about what happens next. will enrollment glitches become provider payment glitches? will patients show up and be told that they are not covered or even in the system? in a few months, families across the country will face penalties under the individual mandate. how can the administration punish innocent americans by forcing them to buy from a system that does not work and whose rollout has been a disaster? the american public deserves answers. we will get that from the lead contractors today, next week will be secretary sebelius' turn. >> we are looking forward to getting your perspective of what went wrong and how itwent wrong with the rollout. we were repeatedly told by members of the administration
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that everything would be working properly and it would be done on time. these false assurances seem to sway some people on the other side of the aisle. they believed things would be done on time. yesterday, mr. waxman and i were agreeing on some things in a hearing. last month, we were disagreeing. he had said that nothing could be found from our committee's investigation of exchange implementation and readiness. we were quite concerned. the definition of nothing has turned out to be design choices that hide unaffordable premiums, glitches, dead ends, error messages, system breakdowns, and americans spending time on a system not ready for prime time.
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we are going to join together for proper oversight of the health care law. this is taxpayer money on the line. we need to be judicious. the past three weeks of exchange messiness have demonstrated that nobody can be a blind cheerleader for the affordable care act when they see problems before their eyes. i yield back to the chairman. >> the chair would recognize for an opening statement, the ranking member mr. waxman. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. the affordable care act is an enormous success, with one obvious exception. it has a poorly designed website. the law has already accomplished a lot.
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millions of americans, especially seniors, have saved hundreds of dollars on prescription drugs. young people have gotten health insurance coverage. families have received rebates from their insurance companies that use more than 20% for their overhead costs. preventative care is now a free benefit in medicare and private insurance. every day, we hear more stories of people saving thousands of dollars and finally getting the security of quality health insurance. what has not happened and what has not been successful is the early performance of the website. that has caused understandable frustration and anxiety as americans have tried to sign up for the coverage. the heart of the hittingetting insurance coverage, private insurance coverage that others have who work for large employers like the federal government.
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democrats want to work. we want to know what is wrong with the website and how we can help fix it. we want to learn what the contractors can tell us about the problems and how they can be addressed. that is what all my colleagues should want, including my republican colleagues. that has not been their agenda so far. we have already documented a record of republicans attempting to sabotage the affordable care act, which they know will result in denying coverage to millions of uninsured americans who cannot find insurance under the market system that excludes them if they have pre-existing medical conditions or if they cannot afford coverage. from voting more than 40 times to repeal the law, from intimidating organizations that have tried to help the law succeed, republicans have tried to obstruct implementation, encouraging governors to deny medicaid coverage, even though it is being paid for by the
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federal government. even by shutting down the government in order to try to repeal this law. republicans have not shown us that they are trying to make this law work so far. we all want answers. we want families to have affordable health insurance. we have already seen extraordinary demands for this coverage being offered through the exchanges. one of the reasons that we were given that the website did not work is that it crashed with so many people trying to access it. we know that people want to shop. and have a choice between different health insurance plans
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that are being offered to them and have already been lined up to offer them private health insurance. we are encouraging our constituents to use other means of signing up like call centers and written applications while the website problems are being fixed. we are pressing the administration to redouble their efforts to fix the website. we welcome yesterday's announcement giving americans more time to sign up for the insurance. everyone has a responsibility to get health insurance. we expect people to observe that responsibility. i cannot see that anyone is
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going to be penalized under the law if they have not been able to buy health insurance during this time where they have not had access to the exchanges. we need to start listening to our people who sent us to congress. they do not want the government shut down. they do not want congress to drive the country to the brink of default. they want this law to work, but they do want us to make sure that we hold everybody accountable and insist that the law and the promise of affordable health care become a reality for all americans. that means we have got to get this website fixed. that is why i am pleased we are going to hear from the four contractors today and next week from the secretary. if we want this law to work, we have got to make it right, we have got to fix it. >> the chair would recognize the chairman of the oversight subcommittee, dr. murphy. >> thank you. as chairman of the oversight
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investigations committee, i have heard promises from the administration officials that all was well with the health care law. not true. either these officials were shockingly unaware of what was happening inside their own agencies or deliberately misleading our committee and the public, hoping this would turn around. 2 weeks before enrollment began, hhs told us that consumers could go online on october 1. not true. we were promised websites where people could easily compare
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plans and cost. $500 million later, the american public has been dumped with the ultimate cash for clunkers. they had to pay the cash and still got the clunker. secretary sebelius has admitted hhs did not do enough testing. were the contractors able to work with each other and complete testing? who made this decision? were they trying to hide the true cost from the public? the president is committing untold amounts of money for a non-disclosed plan, headed by an individual without technology experience to fix this. if contractors could not build tests and run a website, how could anyone else do this? congress should press pause on the tech surge and figure out what went wrong before forcing the public to use a broken site. we want an explanation on how the system will be fixed, what it will cost, and how long it will take. after footing the bill, the
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american people deserve something that works or start over. take responsibility and tell us what is wrong and fix it, or try something else. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. hhs officials repeatedly assured this committee that the administration would be ready for october 1, 2013. this past july, the secretary stated that hhs would "flip on the switch on october 1 and tell people, come on and sign up." on august 1, administrator tavenner told us that cms would finish end to end testing by the end of august. on september 10, the subcommittee held a hearing in which representatives assured us that their components would be ready on time.
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when the exchanges opened on october 1, it was a disaster. we are hearing reports that the administration was warned that the site was not ready for an october 1 launch. "the washington post" reported that as late as september 26, there had been no test to determine whether a consumer could complete the process from beginning to end. secretary sebelius said just this week that almost no testing occurred. these past few weeks of exchange dysfunction, along with stories of hundreds of thousands of americans losing their existing health plans, help underscore why washington should not be running out for private health insurance system. the botched rollout is all the
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more reason that the individual mandate penalty should be delayed. average americans deserve a waiver from obamacare, too. it is only fair when the exchanges are such a mess. the companies represented today were in charge of building the exchange. but cms was responsible for ensuring everything works together properly. in light of all of the administration's assurances, are they simply incompetent or were they just lying to the american people? >> i have something i would like to put up. like all of obamacare, what it appears on the surface is not what it is. this is the terms and conditions that you accept at some point in
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the process. that looks pretty plain jane. slide 2, what you do not see is this slide. it says you have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data stored on this information system. at any time or for any government purpose, the government may monitor, search, and sees communication or data transiting or stored on this system. any communication may be disclosed or used for lawful government purposes. that is obamacare in a nutshell. it says one thing on the surface, does something totally different behind the scenes. my questions for the contractors about this lack of privacy and what they knew about it. >> the chair would recognize the ranking member from new jersey. >> thank you.
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i just heard the chairman of the health subcommittee safety wants to delay the affordable care act. i have great respect for the gentleman from pennsylvania. but here we go again, another cynical effort by the republicans to delay, defund, or repeal the affordable care act. i would like to think that somehow this hearing is above board and legitimate, but it is not. the republicans do not have clean hands coming here. their effort is not to make this better, but to use the website and the glitches as an excuse to defund or repeal obamacare. i think it is very unfortunate. there are millions of people out there who are trying to go on this website, like 20 million. they deserve an opportunity once this is fixed, the administration is trying very
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hard. they deserve an opportunity to have health care and not be among those 30 million or 40 million who are uninsured or do not have a good benefit package. let the goal be to fix it, not nix it. if that were your goal, i would feel good about this hearing. i do not see that happening. one of the things i wanted to bring is how democrats take a different approach to things. when medicare part d started up, there were all kinds of problems with the website. it went on for months, these are some of the headlines from the newspapers about the problems. do the democrats get up and say medicare part d is terrible, let's defund it? no, work hard, make it better. the program became a good
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program. that is what i will like to see my republican colleagues do today. it is not the case. time and time again, the gop has tried to slow the progress of the aca. they were willing to shut the government down for three weeks, did we forget? they shut down the government because they wanted us to defund or make changes or delay the affordable care act. i hear my republican colleagues talking about that they care
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about money, federal or individual dollars. the information that has come out -- the gross national product cost $2.4 billion during the shutdown. 10% of the gross national product of the last quarter. you do not care. what about all the money you lost in the three weeks? you wanted to delay the affordable care act so it did not matter? no clean hands here. do you really care? i do not think so. i just wish that you would stop the distraction, work with us on trying to make this a better system. as my colleague mr. waxman said, this can be fixed if you will work with us. >> we are here to find out what the problem is with the website and how we can fix these technical problems. they told us that the website would work. we asked them point blank -- they told us that hhs was doing an excellent job of testing the
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product. they expressed nothing but optimism. three weeks later, here we are. we are still hearing reports of problems. i appreciate the contractors coming today. i give them the benefit of the doubt when they say things are improving. for the affordable care act to work, these problems need to be fixed fast. we need to hear exactly what they are doing to fix these issues and see clear examples of improvement and be provided with a timeline for how it will be fully optional. this is not our first experience with introductions of new health care programs. i was on this committee in 2006 when medicare part d was implemented during the bush administration. let's not forget what a mess it was and the significant problems seniors have with registering for benefits.
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i want to remind my colleagues on both sides at the difficulties past and were soon forgotten amidst the success of part d. i take the gestures on the other side of the aisle seriously. i hope we can work together to ensure the success of there is something else i remember from the introduction of the part d benefit. every single one of us, whether or not we voted for the law, work together for our success. the newsletter that i sent out to my constituents after medicare part d -- i said, i oppose the law that created this program but people need to be armed with the information requested. i urge everybody to do that. my hope is that today marks the beginning of an effort on the majority's part to make sure
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that the health care law works and is successful. and americans can enjoy the benefits. i think it is important to make that happen. i am so happy and touched to hear the majority express concern about making the aca work better. i hope that they are legitimate. this is what is going to give insurance to millions of americans who have gone without health care for many years because they cannot afford the program. with that, i yield to the chairman emeritus of the full committee. >> thank you. this is a wonderful opportunity for us to make the affordable care act work. i remind my colleagues the last
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perfect law came off of the top of mount sinai with moses, written on a stone tablet. nothing so good has happened since. i urge us to use our best efforts to see that this law goes into effect and works and that we carry out our responsibility to the american people. to see to it that we do everything we can to defend the laws of the u.s. i have heard some unfortunate things on the other side. they said we have to do everything in our power to prevent obamacare. obamacare, get rid of it. our friends on the other side have forgotten that. i hope they will continue to forget it. this is unacceptable and needs to be fixed. if we are willing to work together, we can do something to see to it that it is fixed and
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that it helps all of the american people. slow websites are better than the alternative. health care is a privilege only for the few, it does not seem to matter. if it is for everybody, we have to address that question and see that we take care of all of our people. i look forward to exploring how the website can be fixed. i look forward to working with my republican and democratic colleagues to see that we do a constructive job of making this work. i remind all that when we were dealing with medicare part d, not something that originated on the side of the aisle, we work together to see to it that it worked. now is an accepted conclusion to a significant problem. that is improved by the affordable care act. i thank you for your courtesy. i hope we can work
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constructively on this matter. >> the gentleman from michigan's time has expired. >> i would like to introduce the witnesses for today's hearing. our first witness is cheryl campbell, senior vp for cgi federal health in compliance program. she was appointed to this position in 2009. she is the driver of strategy and execution for the practice to serve the needs of providers, government, and public. andrew slavitt, the group executive vp for optum/qssi. he is responsible for business strategy, public policy, corporate investment, research and development, acquisition, and corporate governance. he has served in other roles at unitedhealth group and was founder and ceo of health health allies.
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our third witness is lynn spellecy. she serves as the corporate counsel for equifax workforce solutions. she advises the business on matters related to contracts, products, and client relationships. she works with sales an internal contract staff and the broader legal department to manage workforce solutions and issues related to litigation. our last witnesses john lau, program director at serco, responsible for overseeing eligibility and enrollment support services. he specializes in implementation and management of large scale health and human services in the u.s., including chip and tanf. his experience is in design and management of multimillion
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dollar health care systems, including california's and texas' systems. i will now swear in the witnesses. the committee is taking testimonies under oath. the you have an objection to testifying under oath? the chair advises you that under the rules of the house and the rules of the committee, you are entitled to be advised by counsel. do you desire to be advised by counsel during your testimony today? seeing none, please rise and raise your right hand. i will swear you in.
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you swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? thank you. you are now under oath. subject to the penalties set forth under u.s. code. you are now able to give a five minute summary of your written statement. ms. campbell? >> chairman upton, ranking member waxman, members of the committee, thank you very much for the opportunity to appear before you today. my name is cheryl campbell, and i am a senior vice president at cgi federal inc. i have responsibility for all of cgi federal's projects at the department of health and human services and several other federal agencies. i am here to reinforce cgi federal's ongoing commitment to the success of cgi federal is fully committed to its partnership with the with cms.
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our priority is for american to have a positive experience. we dedicate the best experts to optimize our portion of the federal exchange. let me describe our role in the federal exchange. the exchange is comprised of six systems and involves 55 contractors, including cgi federal. 5 government agencies, 36 states, and more than 300 insurers, all coming together in cms awarded cgi federal its portion of the federal exchange, an application called the federally facilitated marketplace. specifically, the ffm provides functionality for eligibility and enrollment, plan management, and financial management. cms serves as the systems integrator, having ultimate
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responsibility for performance of the exchange. it is important to understand the complexity of cgi federal's work on the exchange. the ffm is a software application that combines a web portal, a transaction processor, and business analytics to help americans determine the eligibility for insurance, apply for subsidies, shop for health plans, and enroll in plans. the technology works in real- time with analytic systems developed by other contractors. large scale data repositories, and health plans for more than 300 insurers. the federal exchange, including the ffm, is not a standard consumer website. rather, it is a sophisticated technology platform that for the
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first time in history combines the processes of selecting and enrolling in insurance and determining eligibility for government subsidies all in one place and in real-time. since september 30, 2011, cgi federal has worked diligently to develop the ffm by following a rigorous process. it passed eight reviews before going live on october 1. some consumers were able to enroll on october 1, we acknowledge that issues arising in the federal exchange made the enrollment process difficult for too many americans. consequently, cgi federal's focus shifted to solving consumer access and navigation problems on the exchange. the first set of issues on the exchange concerned another contractor's eidm function.
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this allows consumers to create secure accounts. consumers must pass through the front door to enter the ffm application. the eidm created a bottleneck, preventing the majority of consumers from accessing the ffm. we have worked together to troubleshoot and solve this front door problem. as more consumers are gaining access and enrolling in qualified plans, the number of transactions caused performance problems such as slow response time and data issues. cgi will address these problems through fine tuning, optimization, and application improvements. over the past two weeks, the federal exchange has steadily improved. we continue to dedicate the resources necessary to shorten wait and transaction times, and
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improve data quality. we are confident in our ability to deliver successfully. the company i represent has successfully delivered some of the most complex i.t. implementations for the u.s. government including we have partnered with cms on programs like, which has enabled more than 50 million beneficiaries to compare plans. we are recognized for our expertise and have cmmi level 5 credentials. as part as the fifth largest independent i.t. and business process company in the world, we leverage the expertise of a global workforce. i will end this testimony where i began, by reinforcing cgi federal's unwavering commitment to working collaboratively with cms to improve the consumer
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experience. >> thank you. mr. slavitt? >> chairman upton, ranking member waxman, and members of the committee, good morning. my name is andy slavitt, and i am group executive vice president of optum, a business unit of unitedhealth group. optum owns qssi, one of the contractors working on the online healthcare marketplaces. i am here today to discuss our work on the data services hub, -- i will start by discussing our work on the data services hub. a large and complex project that was the subject of much interest prior to the launch. the data services hub is a pipeline that transfers data, routing queries and responses
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between a given marketplace and various trusted data sources. specifically, a consumer interested in purchasing health insurance goes to the web portal to fill out forms and select a plan. the consumer provides the marketplace with information such as citizenship, which must be verified. the data service hub directs queries to various sources, such as databases, that can verify that information and send it back to the marketplace. as a technology pipeline, the data services hub does not determine the accuracy of the information it transports, nor does it store data. the data services hub has performed well since the marketplace has launched. on october 1, the data services hub processed more than 178,000 transactions and has processed millions more since.
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when bugs were identified, they were promptly corrected. qssi also developed the eidm, a registration and access management will as part of the registration system. this tool helps the marketplace create user accounts and is being used successfully currently in at least two other cms applications. while the eidm is important, it is only one piece of the registration system. components about by other vendors handle other critical functions such as user interface, they spark confirmation e-mails, the links users click on, and the webpage users land on. all of these tools must work together seamlessly.
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after the launch, was inundated by many more consumers than expected. many critical components developed by multiple vendors were overwhelmed, including the virtual data center environment, software, database system and eidm tool.d the one of the reasons for the high- volume in the registration system was the late decision requiring consumers to register for an account before they can browse for products. this may have driven higher simultaneous usage of the registration system. it would not have otherwise occurred if consumers could window shop anonymously. in the days after the launch, we worked around the clock to meet this unexpected demand. as i understand it, this has largely succeeded. by october 8, the eidm was
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processing those volumes at error rates close to zero. it continues to keep place with demand. we are working with other vendors to plan for higher levels of activity. finally, qssi was one of several testers he used to test the functionality of the marketplace. in our testing role, we identified errors in code. we reported back the results to cms and the relevant contractor, who was responsible for making changes. the data services hub has performed well. after initial challenges, the eidm is keeping up with demand. we are committed to helping resolve any new challenges that may arise in any way we can. thank you for the opportunity to
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discuss qssi's work. i am happy to answer questions. >> ms. spellecy? >> good morning. my name is lynn spellecy and i serve as senior director and corporate counsel for equifax workforce solutions. i am the primary attorney responsible for day to day legal operations and i provide guidance. i appreciate the opportunity to provide an update related to the income verification services that equifax is providing cms to assist in benefit eligibility. the income verification tool is working as designed. since the exchanges went live on
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october 1, 2013, we have not experienced any problems or interruptions in the processing of data to cms. we have received and responded to verification requests involving individual applicants, as well as from state-based agencies. equifax workforce solutions tested our verification solutions before the start date to ensure that we could transmit data between our servers and federal hubs. we performed end to end and internal testing to guarantee we would be prepared for applicant volumes. now that the federal marketplace is open, we are monitoring the volumes from the hub to our services. equifax's role is limited. they receive a verification request only after an applicant
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gains access to the website, creates a username and a profile and enters an application. workforce solutions does not play a role in identity authentication. we are not involved in the -- nor do we have visibility into the decision process or the downstream display and processing of benefit selections. the majority of the verification requests have come through the federally facilitated marketplace, we are also verifying income for several state based market places and state medicaid agencies. the continuing appropriations act for 2014 included new requirements for hhs to ensure that the federal and state marketplaces verify the
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individuals applying for coverage and seeking premium tax credits are eligible for subsidies. equifax workforce solutions looks forward to sharing our expertise with cms and hhs as they develop guidance regarding verification for the federal and state exchanges. since the october 1, 2013 date, equifax workforce solutions have exceeded their contract with cms to provide verification services for those seeking coverage under the affordable care act. the services we provide to state and federal agencies have prepared workforce solutions to serve cms in this new capacity. we will continue to monitor our
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interface with cms data hubs and state agencies to ensure efficacy. thank you for the opportunity to testify. >> good morning, mr. chairman, congressman waxman. >> make sure your mic is set. >> good morning. my name is john lau. i represent serco. i am the program director for our cms contract in connection with the aca. thank you for the opportunity to appear and discuss serco's status and performance in this program. for the next several minutes, i would like to provide a review of serco's role in the program and the current status of our work. serco's contract is to provide eligibility support services in
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support of the paper application processing as well as error and issue resolution on applications, regardless of the mode in which the consumer submitted them. it is important to clarify that we have no role in the development of the website, no role in the determination of eligibility, no role in health plan selection. i think there has been some confusion, i want to make sure that is clear. our primary role in the early days of the implementation is to enter paper applications into the eligibility system. as time goes on, our work will entail inconsistency resolution to clear previously submitted applications.
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inconsistency resolution entails data verification and validation of the self-tested data from applicants. these are problems identified through the use of a data hub and then communicated to us. serco has successfully opened 2 of 4 processing centers in kentucky and arkansas. a third will be opened in missouri, and in four or five weeks in oklahoma. we have had no trouble recruiting competent staff and have received compliments from officials and community groups about the professionalism of our recruiting efforts and outstanding ways we have trained our people. we have instilled a sense of pride in what they are doing, our staff is highly motivated and represent an eager workforce. since the launch of the program
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on october 1, we have built upon are starting capacity with both staff numbers and processing efficiency. the volume of paper documents received has been increasing and is trending upward in a short period. this has given us the opportunity to make adjustments and improve our processes. to date, we have received about 18,000 documents, about half of those are consumer applications. we have succeeded in key entering about half of those. the remaining half were missing important data and cannot be entered directly until his problems are resolved. we expect to complete processing and entering those applications in the near future. our challenges have included coping with the performance of the portal, that is our means of entering data, just as it is for the consumer. with the relatively low volumes
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of application, it has not presented a challenge. as i testified september 10, serco was ready to process on 10/1, and we are processing today. thank you. >> thank each and everyone of you. we will move to questions, alternating between republicans and democrats. i want to say -- as we have seen the taxpayers spent about $.5 billion, constituents across the country expected a user-friendly system. whether it is like ordering a pizza, a rental car, is a standard that many were expecting to see. i think most at this point would say it is not ready for prime time. listening to your testimony, i
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have heard words like performing, you want a positive experience, that is not what we have heard from folks at home. my first question is -- was it ever an option to delay going live on october 1? did any of you come forth to the administration and say this may not be ready on october 1, we might want a delay until we can get right? any hands up? no. prior to october 1, did you know that was going to have crippling problems or did you not know about these problems and chose not to disclose them to the administration when you figured out that it was not working they way that it was designed to work? maybe i will get comments from each of you as it relates to
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those questions. starting with ms. campbell. you all testified in september. either you did not know about these problems or you knew about them and chose not to disclose them, which one is it? >> from a cgi perspective, our portion of the application worked as designed. people have been able to enroll, not at the pace or the experience we would have liked. but the end to end testing with the responsibility of cms. our portion of the system is what we testified in terms of what was ready to go live. it was not our decision to go live. >> it was not your decision? >> it with cms' decision. >> did you ever recommend to cms that it was not ready?
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>> it was not our position to do so. let me clarify -- cms had the ultimate decision for live or no go, not cgi. we were not in a position. we were there to support our client. it is not a position to tell our client to go live or not not go live. >> who at cms were you sharing those decisions with? >> i did not have a position to make that decision. >> who at cms made the decision to go live? >> it is a body of individuals. >> mr. slavitt? >> we had a limited view of the entirety of the project, we were
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confident in the ability of the data services hub, where we spent the bulk of our efforts. we were confident it would work on october 1, and it has. other than that, all of the concerns that we had, mostly related to testing and the inability to get as much testing as we would have liked, we expressed those concerns to cms throughout a project. >> so you shared that there were real difficulties? >> all the risks we saw and concerns we had regarding testing were shared. >> what was the response to when you shared the pitfalls in terms of what was going on? >> my understanding is they understood those, and we are working on them. i don't know further. >> did they ever come back to
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you in terms of the shortcomings and what needed to be done? any concerns that were raised by them? >> i never got a depiction from them, but we did fully talk about the risks we saw and we pass those along. our solution was ready to go october 1, 2013. we successfully completed and stand testing between equifax solutions and the cms data hub. prior to that date we did not anticipate any sort of problem with our connection, and have not experienced any. >> we were ready to process. intensive internal processing. our first awareness of difficulties was 10/1.
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10/1, when we attempted to do key entry. toyou did not test it prior october 1? >> no, sir. >> mr. waxman. >> thank you. as we evaluate the problems with this website, i think it is important that we focus on the facts. my republican colleagues have been predicting health care reform would be a disaster. every time they have been wrong. they said insurance rates would skyrocket. they are lower than predicted. they said health care costs would soar. in fact, they have grown at a record low rate. they said medicare would be undermined. it is stronger than ever. seniors are saving billions of dollars on prescription drugs. what we need to do is separate the facts for us to reach a determination here. some have said fixing the
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website would take six months to a year. others have said there are 5 million lines of code to rewrite. some have urged health and human services to pull out the entire system and start from scratch. i hope you can put these dire predictions in perspective. does cgi expect it would take six months to a year to get the application and enrollment process moving smoothly? >> we do not. we anticipate the system as we have seen is improving day over day, and we anticipate that people will be able to enroll in the timeframe allotted that is necessary for them to have insurance for the january 1 timeframe frame. >> what date? they have to have the application in by december 15? >> that is correct. >> you anticipate by that date the system will be working?
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>> the system will continue to improve. as painful as it sounds, i know the experience has been a difficult experience. the system is working. people are enrolling. the experience will be improved as they go forward. byple will be able to enroll december 15. >> very good. need to rewrite 5 million lines of code? >> the 300-plus employees i have in the office, i think they would all walk out i told them they had to write that many lines of code. >> do you believe it will be necessary to scrap the entire system and start from scratch? >> i do not. >> you think the website will be fixed in time to ensure americans who want to get coverage for next year that it will be available to them? >> i do. >> why are you so confident?
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can you explain that, that these problems are going to be fixed in time? >> we are seeing improvements day over day. continuing to run queries against our database. logs forviewing system fine-tuning our servers. we are analyzing the code for anomalies. every day we are seeing where we are finding challenges in the system and making those corrections. as you would with any system that will go live. when a system goes into production, these are the things you would typically find after production. maybe not to the level of detail that has happened in this experience, but when a system goes live these are the things you typically do. you continue to provide system performanceut tuning to the application to make sure it continues to improve time over time. >> thank you. your company has been deeply involved with troubleshooting
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and fixing the problems on do you have any believe -- reason to believe problems being. status launch will prevent americans from getting insurance in the coming year9 convert -- year? eidmam confident the registration tool, they will continue to work well. >> you have problems early on, but fixed it. >> for the first seven days. correct. >> problems can be fixed. >> we doubled the capacity of the registration full in seven days. pass. campbell, did cgi its tests before the systems went live? >> yes, it did. >> my understanding is he felt the system was ready to go on october 1. >> that is correct. >> neither you nor anyone else or made ale thought
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recommendation not to go forward on october 1 because you did not think the system was ready. is that correct? >> that is a correct apron. >> mr. slavitt. >> i'd refer back to my earlier answer. we did not make recommendations. >> we did not make recommendations. >> we did not either. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chair. >> i recognize the vice chair of the full committee, mrs. blackburn from tennessee. >> thank you for your testimony. i'd like each of you to submit in writing for me how much you have been paid to date and then how much you're being paid on retainer or either to clear up and so if you'll submit that to us for the record, that would be wonderful. hipaa compliance, were you all trained in hipaa compliance prior to beginning your contract? i'll just go right down the line, ms. campbell. >> yes. >> mr. slavitt. >> yes.