tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 24, 2013 11:00pm-1:01am EDT
these many problems that we are talking about here today. it's not just a failure of a website. obviously a lot of focus on the failure of the website, but it's a focus on a failure of the law in general. the fact that there were so many the fact that there were so many broken promises made by the president about what this law would be. thousands and thousands of people are losing coverage they have. all across the country we hear that. cost are going to be lower. you are seeing so many states report that costs are dramatically higher n. chicago, in president obama's own backyard, 21 of the 22 plans on the exchange you go to have deductibles of $8,000 or more per family. people don't consider that a good cost when people are losing good private sector healthcare
they have. this was the president's quote, just visit healthcare.gov and there you can compare insurance plans side by side the same way you'd shop for a plane ticket or a t.v. while y'all were testifying i went on amazon and looked for a t.v. within one minute i had over 300,000 options of t.v.'s that i could purchase and they were low cost t.v.'s too. i tried to go on healthcare.gov to register earlier this week. i spent more than two hours. was kicked out four times. had to reenter data multiple times. was given blank screnals a number of times. ultimately never got to a place i could see healthcare plans where i could compare side by side like the president promised. it's not the experience you get when people go online and
purchase products. this is a product the federal government said you have to buy by law or you get find. and we're asking for at least a delay of the fine while people can't even go to the website that doesn't work. i used to program computers for a living. i understand how you design systems. i understand how you design test plans. i actually wrote test plans for systems. you would do all nighters until the system worked and wouldn't deploy it until it worked. clearly that didn't happen in this case. i want to ask first of all, you track air logs. if i can ask down the line how many air logs how many errors have you logged? >> i don't have that information. >> i don't have that with me. >> i'll have to get back to you. >> we really don't have access to that. >> we need to get those numbers. clearly there are many. >> you said in your testimony
that there was a late decision requiring consumers to register for an account before they could brows. early off it was promised that people would be able to go shop around, look for a site, if you like something you find you go buy it like anything else you buy online. you don't have to give hours and hours of personal data and social security numbers before you buy a product. you said there was a late decision made to change the system so you have to give the personal information before you can shop around. who made the decision? >> we don't know who made the decision or when? >> it was c.m.s. >> do you know who? >> we don't have full knowledge of the chain. >> how late in the game did they make the decision to change it? >> they asked us to turn that flag off two weeks before go live. >> two weeks before going live
so they made a dramatic change two weeks before going live. >> all of you were paid lots of money to do this. 's been reported over $500 million of taxpayer money. facebook gets 700 million users a day. and it works. the first five years they depnt spend $500 million. did you deliver the product that you were contracted to build? >> we have. > for -- >> did you deliver the product you were contracted for? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> there is a saying in computer programming garbage in, garbage out. if you are given a bad product to build, ultimately what you will build say bad product. there are some serious questions
that need to be answered. all the taxpayer money spent on a website people can't even go on. this will not mask the fact that the law fails in general. you wonder why we are calling for a delay of the implementation of this law, delay of the fines that people will have to pay if they can't even use the website. are 50% of you who went to the website had a failure. you built the website. >> the gentleman's time is expired. >> thank you mr. chairman, i thank the panel. this is an important hearing. there are two stories that have unfolded in the last two weefpblgts someone the problems with this seb site that need to be fixed and i'm going to ask some questions about this in a minute. but the other story is the incredible demand and interest that americans have in accessing this new opportunity for affordable healthcare.
we saw it in the demand that came in on the federal exchange which out stripped all the projections that people had for it. we've seen it in the state level exchanges, the state run exchanges where there has been a lot of success in terms of people coming there, browsing, applying for coverage, enrolling in coverage. and that story continues. that's reason we have to fix this. in other words, if there was no interest out there, if there was no demand, and you had a website that wasn't working very well, you could say maybe we don't need to fix this thing. but people really want this opportunity. that's the bigger story. the bigger story is that people want to access affordable healthcare coverage and they are coming to these sites so we have to fix it.
that's why you keep hearing fix it, don't nix it. i assume that you have been involved all of you in big projects of this kind, this may be particularly complex, i get that. but i'm sure you've had the experience where you went to you pulled the switch on a go live situation and it didn't work out exactly as you expected. ms. campbell, when that happens, i imagine cgi doesn't bury it head in the sand and give up but you get about the business of fixing the thing so it can function properly? >> that's correct. that's a normal course of what happens when a system goes into production. >> absolutely. assume if you encounter difficulties when you go live with a product, you don't light your hair on fire and run around
in small circles, you get about the business of fixing it, right? >> yes, that's correct. >> and in fact, you did that in this instance from what i understand, right? >> yes, that's correct. >> and got some of the issue that is were presented fixed in order. short so you're professionals. you do this for a living and understand we have problems that need to be addressed and you're getting about the business of fixing them. and you're doing that because this is a platform that americans need in order to access healthcare coverage. let me ask you another question. do you have any tron think that the problems with the website that we've been talking about today in any way are affecting the quality of the underlying product that is being sold, in other words the plan option that is are out there and so forth? is there any reason for us to
conclude that because somebody is having problems accessing an enrollment or doing an application because of the website that that somehow is a commentary on the underlying flalkt ultimately they are trying to access? >> no. with 4400 plans for people within the 36 states that can apply, i would say that the plans are there for people to be able to shop. >> no, i wouldn't conclude that. >> no. >> no. >> and in fact the reports we're getting about the underlying product, the plan that people are going to have access to, the option that is are available to them, that they are good quality products and that they are going to be available at very reasonable premiums which is exactly what people are looking
for here. and certainly there is no suggestion that problems with the seb site are at some point going to mean that an enrolled beneficiary is going to have an issue accessing their doctor or accessing the hospital or anything like that. so the product is good, the website needs to be fixed to make sure that we can get that product to people. that's what you're engaged in now and that's why we have to fix it when it comes to this healthcare website. with that i yield back my time. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and thank you for our witnesses for being hear today. i greatly appreciate your testimony. last night i read through all of your statements beforehand and if i could because there has been a lot of questioning on the testing side. mrs. campbell, if i could turn to your testimony. on page two you said in recent
years we believed some of the most technical i. tifment including medicare.gov. we heard from you saying you only had about two weeks to make sure this thing was integrated. when you were working on medicare.gov, how much testing did you do on that? did you have a time frame on that? what can you tell me about the testing on that? >> i'm sorry i can't give you the exact time frames but said sufficient time to test the system before it went live. >> can you tell me what sufficient time is? >> so we had a number of months before the system went live. >> if you could by tomorrow morning at k9 i'd like to get that information from you to find out exactly how much time you did specifically have to theast system. what about on federal reporting.gov. how much time were you given to
test that system? >> i'd have to get back to you. that wasn't in my area of responsibility. >> we'd like to have that by 9:00 tomorrow morning. i think i heard this earlier is healthcare.gov the most complicated of the systems that you've created? >> it is by far for our country one of the most complicated large scale systems that is out there today. >> you've told me you've had months versus a couple of weeks to do that testing. >> let me ask you this: did ey -- when medicare.gov, are you able especially on the medicare side because you say which successfully helps citizens compare health and drug plans each year. is it set up the same way that you first have to register before you can brows or can you brows and get what you need? >> you can brows first. >> why would those two systems
be different? any reason that was given to you cms they wanted it reversed since the one system seemed to be working? >> i do not. speculation. number of priorities and maybe at wasn't one of the prirettiss. >> if i could ask a couple of questions in your testimony. i found all your testimony all very interesting. and it's been talked about a little bit before. in your testimony you stated on page four it appears one of the reasons for the high concurrent volume were the late decision requiring consumers to register for an account before they could brows for the insurance product. again, whose decision was that? >> we don't know. >> you don't know whose decision
that was? how did you get the information you were supposed to do that? >> can you repeat that? >> how did you get the information to switch things snarned >> one of the testers in our company that was responsible for testing the software code was notified that there was code they no longer needed to test. >> if we could by k9 tomorrow morning get the name of the individual that asked for that, we would appreciate that. >> following up a little bit on your testimony on page four, it goes back and says in our role as tester we were tasked in identifying errors in the code. we reported the results back to cms and the relevant contractor who was in turn responsible for fixing the coding errors or making any necessary changes. do you know who that was back at cms you were supposed to report back to? >> i don't. >> if we could get that by 9:00
tomorrow morning. >> do you know who that relevant contractor was? >> cgi. >> and when you submitted that information back to cgi, did you hear back from them or what happened with that information that you september them? >> i don't know what happened in every case. but what typically happens is we submit the results back and then the other contractors responsible for making those changes. >> thank you very much. i see my time has expired. i yield back. are you asking for a second round already? >> we sent around 40 letters to you requesting a hearing on climate change and we haven't gotten any response. we'd like to have a response by 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning is some kind of deadline. you can say it. it doesn't mean it happens.
i'll withdraw. >> the chair recognize it is gentleman from california. >> i'd like to ask if i could postpone my questioning? >> sure. >> mr. lance. >> thank you very much. and to the panel the september 10 hearing in the subcommittee where you testified mrs. campbell and your company testified, if you had the opportunity now would you in any way amend the testimony you gave at that time? >> no, my testimony was fine. i would not change anything based on what i knew at that point in time. >> did you know at that time that there was no end to end testing? >> i knew that that was something that was forthcoming. >> so you knew at the that there was no end to end testing as of
that date? >> it was not our area of responsibility for end to end testing. >> do have you a responsibility to tell the subcommittee at the there was no end to end testing? >> i don't believe that question came up, sir. >> i suspect that's the case. the question did not come up. this is not a game of cat and mouse. this is the people of the united states, one of the most important proposals of the obama administration. i'm sure that question did not come up. in your other activities with other entities you have testified that there was always end to end testing. is that accurate, mrs. campbell? >> that end to end testing is a component before a system goes live. >> and you do not believe you had a responsibility to indicate that end to end testing had not yet occurred with 20 days to go? >> it was our client's responsibility for end to end
testing, sir. >> would you respond to me on that issue? >> we wouldn't amend our testimony. we testified accurately to the delivery of the data services hub. >> do you believe that you had a responsibility affirmatively to indicate that no end to end testing had yet to occur. >> on september 10 we were expecting to receive the code that would allow the end to end testing to occur. >> you are of the opinion there would be end to end testing between september 10 and september 30? >> that was our expectation. >> in your experience with other clients, does end to end testing occur before 20 days to go? >> each project is different and i can't comment congressman. >> another large project in which you were involved, is it usual that end to end testing occurs long before the last 2 1/2 weeks? >> we would like to have seen as
much time as possible for end to end testing. >> would you suggest that this be delayed for three months or six months given the experience so far regarding the individual mandate? >> no, i wouldn't have the information to make that determination. >> so you don't know? >> i don't know. >> do you have an opinion, mrs. campbell? >> i can tell you that i have a team of people working 24 hours a day to make these corrections needed to continue moving forward. >> i'm sure you do and i certainly respect that. on the risk involved in change orders, this impresses me as being serious. regarding that, did you perceive a significant chance that there would be a huge problem because
of the change orders with which you were involved? >> we didn't receive significant change orders on the data services hub that i'm aware of. >> regarding the change orders and risk associated with that, you received several change orders. i believe you testified six or eight of them. did you perceive a significant risk in that sflard >> we did not. >> you did not think there would be a significant risk? >> no. over time these change orders occurred over a two-year time period. >> some have commented that much of the problem exists because c.m.m. decided to do it's own in-house analysis equivalent to someone who had never hung a picture deciding that he would become his own general contractor and instead of subcontracting the responsibility for integrating the software of the multiple contractors.
do you agree that c.m.s. should have hired a contractor in that regard, mrs. campbell? >> i've seen it both ways where the government has taken that job and quite often they would bring in a separate contractor to do that job. >> a separate contractor would be brought in? >> you don't know. >> i don't know. >> in my opinion, i think in the history of working with complicated i.t. systems, it's difficult to see there was a more incompetent systems integrate or the do you have an opinion? >> i have no opinion. >> i don't. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> i'm not ready yet. >> okay. mr.th guththri. >> thank you for testifying today. a lot of people don't realize because it didn't get out in public before the government shutdown almost every republican voted to fund the government, to
fund hemmingt care bill and only asked to get rid of the individual mandate, delay it for a year. because as businesses and other people have been treated with special delays we thought the taxpayers deserved because we didn't think a product was ready for them to purchase. we wouldn't have had the shutdown if they gave taxpayers the same they gave businesses. having said that there are other alternatives. so we have good people in kentucky who will take paper applications so there is argument they can buy if they do paper applications. you said you take the applications and enter the data. where do you enter the data? >> into the portle. >> the same portal that is having trouble being accessed online. >> that's correct. >> i watched my good friend try
to get on today. you're going to take that information and enter the same data. do you have a special portal to get in or do you deal with the same problems? >> the difference for us is we don't have to establish an account. so our landing spage behind that. >> have you to have an account for the people you are entering, right? >> in the initial days you had to sign up, that's what we were talking about before, establish an account before you could do an application. for us we just bypass the account establishment and begin keying in the data for the application. >> so when the president advised americans to submit paper applications if they are having problems with the web silent they have to go to the same portal. we talked about entrance. but also mrs. campbell i know to quote the washington post, about a month before the exchange
opened a testing group urged officials not to launch. so when you had according to the washington post. soud a test about a month before the exchange opened, were you involve with the testing with insurers? >> was cgi involved with the testing? >> we do test with a set of insurers to make sure obviously before we go live that our system is working appropriately. >> did they recommend you weren't ready to go live? >> they did not to my knowledge. to my knowledge the insurers did not recommend that directly to cgi. >> do you know if they recommended it to h.h.s.? >> i don't know. >> did they share that information with you? >> not that i'm aware of. >> c.g.i. is not aware this test
took place? >> i said to my knowledge i'm provided the insurers feedback. >> did y'all discover errors or problems with the system? >> purpose of tests, the 2345eu67 of test is it's there to find the issue that is you have so you can have an opportunity to correct those issues. >> because there are still reports in the week before the start, there are still reports in news that insurers are saying there is missing data, incorrect data in applications and missing data still taking place s. that still taking place? >> when we receive what we call they call it a trouble ticket or a defect ticket or issue ticket then we are in the process of making corrections and then when we do the next build we make corrections to the system. so there could have been anoint
me where there were done pli cative insurance forms and things of that sort or dupe pli cat information and we would have made corrections. where we are in the process at the moment i don't have the answer. >> we wouldn't have had the government shutdown believe it or not if we swrowled done individual mandate delay. we didn't say not go live, just not mandate people buy a product they can't buy. there are other issues. it's not just not being able to get on the website. it's making the exchanges work. and it's hard to believe that if that report is true, h.h.s. didn't tell you they were having trouble or a delay. it's concerning that those test are taking place and it's being reported in the media but didn't get to c.g.i. from h.h.s. so my
time is expired. >> we've been at this for three and a half hours. would any of you like a five-minute break. why don't we take a five minute --.k and when we resume >> okay, you are recognized for five minutes. i thank the witnesses for a long and grueling hearing this morning. i don't blame my republican
colleagues from trying to change the subject from the costly shutdown and the irresponsible threat to default on the tion's credit on a temporary failing of the health care website. my first question is software development. i was a software development before coming to congress. and healthcare.gov is a big project and has a lot of moving parts to it. any large product including software needs an ordinary care strait or the to make sure things are fitting together well. who that was or what organization that was ordinary care strait or the for this project? >> that would be c.m.s. >> and there was a specific person at c.m.s. or a team in >> it was a team of individuals. > well did the ordinary care
straiter create adequate specific indications for the soft wear? >> you want to input and out put specifications and what the individual parts are supposed to do, were there sufficient specifications for your team to do the job in the time that was allowed? >> we were receiving requirements through the april may time frame and then some -- >> were they formal specifications that could be used? >> they were use cases and things of that sort. >> would you like to answer that? >> we believe rereceived appropriate specifications. >> we received sufficient specifications to integrate our part of the solution.
>> we had no role in the system development. >> so i hear unanimously is that there were adequate specifications and yet the software wasn't finished in time. did the specifications include testing requirements that you received? >> so we did testing on our code but there was also independent testing that was done as well. >> were they specified, were the test specified prior to the development of the software? >> not prior to developing the software. but there were test scripts that were developed during the process. >> well, then maybe there wasn't sufficient time. from my point of view as a distant observer, either the specifications weren't adequate, they weren't delivered in time or the software wasn't developed
according to the specifications. which of the three is the problem? >> i would say with a system this complicated and level of moving parts it's probably aspects of all three. there are things in our code that obviously we would like to improve on for sure. there are specifications that would have been better served if they had been more detailed and if given more time, i think we would have been able to across the board, once again, end to end testing on the part of c.m.s., integration on the part of c.m.s. given the luxury of time. and we all recognize that no matter how great the system is, no one gets enough time for testing. >> it's particularly difficult to estimate the time needed. when i was in developing software if you told your
manager you would take two weeks he would double that and go to the next bigger time frame, two months. so he would have estimated a four-month time frame if you gave him two weeks. time is of the essence in software since it's so error prone. i guess there were political hindrances regarding the amount of time that was allowed. and there were structural issues . and i do believe that this is going to be fixed but it's been painful and we need to make sure that the american people have access to a decent health care website before december 15. and if that doesn't happen, it's going to be more difficult hearings like this. thank you. >> thank you, sir. >> i thank the chair and i want to welcome and thank the
witnesses. and the others for appearing before this committee this morning and now this afternoon. my guess you is might be a little nervous and somewhat tired because this has gone on for four hours and probably a little angry because the commander in chief, the skipper of obama care, our president does not understand that the skipper is responsible for everything that happens on his ship, the good and the bad. as we've seen here this morning there is a major league blame game going on within the administration and y'all unfortunately are the targets of some of that blame. and i'm damn angry that i and 700,000 texas answer i represent have been misled, misled and
misled. in this room, one month ago the health and human services deputy administrator for consumer information opened up his testimony by saying and a quote c.m.s. has worked hard to build, refine and test the infrastructure that will allow americans to enroll in coverage, sump pli and securely end quote. we now know that that was one big fat lie. and i proved it this morning when chairman upton gathered this hearing about 9:00, i logged on to healthcare.com to try to enroll my family in a healthcare plan. i tried to get on texas' plan. i got my e-mail back, my
confirmation. i got this after 41 minutes. please log in again. you're logged out now. trourn your marketplace account here. that's happening all over the country. nd this lie is way beyond an awful computer program. this lie affects the health and ell being of every american. and my quest would be about the testing that was done to get to this point and i want to follow up on some questions from my colleagues. being a computer seasons major and a formal naval aviator who could not toofered have my computer drop offline as i'm rollings my plane to drop a torpedo, i know that that system
is pushed and pushed and pushed nd tested to fail. goal is, did c.g.i. and q.s.i. take these steps and push your part to failure? >> first of all, sir, you must be in my household. my husband is a naval aviator. we worked tire leslie around the clock to make sure we were doing everything we could to make sure the product we delivered on october 1. we're not excited nor pleased with what we delivered on october 1, but in principle it worked. it's not working great and we're working to improve it. but it did enroll it is enrolling people. >> push, push, push, make sure all the variables. >> we believer the data services
hub received adequate testing. >> any idea what happened? >> your part was working somehow the product that came out fell apart, any idea what happened there? ? you'd have to ask c.m.s. >> i plan on doing that. >> any idea? >> the system didn't receive adequate end to end testing and those results were made available and made available to c.m.s. you pushed the envelope and they just pushed the on button and said it works. i want to close by asking a rhetorical question of all four of you. if you were the president of the united states and woke up september 3 of this past year knowing what you know, would you have rolled out the exchange on october 1? ? i can't begin to answer that question? >> no. i don't know what flexibility
existed to change the dates? >> not the days but the program. you guys know the program, would have you stopped it? >> i don't know. >> i can't answer that. >> it's just rhetorical guys. >> i'm not in a position to answer that. > yield back the balance of my time. thank you. >> mr. garner. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you the president witnesses for joining us today and talking about this very important issue. i take this personally. this is a very issue for me. thousands of my constituents and millions of americans. the president made a promise to all of our country. he said if you like your healthcare plan you get to keep your healthcare plan period and this will lower the cost of health care. in august my wife and i got a letter that said our health insurance plan had been cancelled. we decided not to join the
federal benefits plan. we got a private plan because i wanted to be in the same boat as my constituents in colorado. despite the promise the president made those insurance plans are being cancelled and are being told they have to buy unassurance through a website that doesn't work. this is incredible. it's like trying to watch the three stooges in h.d. and expecting it to work. that's what we are seeing here. to follow up on a couple of the questions. we've seen the president on t.v. trying to apologize to the american people for this disaster. he said the administration announced the best and brightest are coming in to fix it but won't say who they are. who are the best and brightest coming in to fix this website? >> so first of all c.g.i. has some of the best and brightest so i just want to make sure that
is on the record. we make sure we hire -- >> who are the best and brightest that have been invited by the white house to fix this sflob >> i don't have individual by name. >> what companies. who built the website. you built the website. >> we built the application. >> who is coming in to fix the website. >> advisors. >> who are they? >> i don't have names. >> who do they work for? >> they have small businesses on their own. >> so this decision was announced early in the week and you don't know who the best and brightest are that are coming to fix this mess? >> i don't have them by name. >> who are they by company? >> i will get back to you. >> can you get back to me by tomorrow. >> i will do my best. >> the president said these are the best and brightest and you don't know what organization. are they being paid? >> give me an opportunity to get
back to you. >> you don't know if they are being paid. >> if they are there as a support person. >> i would assume you know who they are if they are there for support. >> i don't have them by name. >> do you know who the best and brightest are coming in to fix this mess? >> no. >> are you still consulting with c.m.s. on this? >> i'm not familiar with this situation. >> with the president you are still in charge, are you the systems integrate or the or is c.m.s. we have never been and are not the systems integrate or the. >> who is? >> c.m.s. is responsible for end to end. >> that brings me to another question. you had said that c.m.s. asked you to turn off browsing two weeks before october 1. does that mean you built a browsable website? >> that is correct. >> why can't you just turn that
on? >> one we've not been asked to urn it on. we can turn it ofpblet it would have to be tested and make sure no, it's in a live environment. >> tested just like the other website wasn't tested. >> i wouldn't say that it wasn't tested, sir. >> no end to end testing. >> i didn't say there was no end to end testing. i said c.g.i. didn't do end to end testing. >> taxpayers paid for a browsable website correct? >> yes. >> why can't that be turned on? >> if fwiven the instructions we would be more than happy to turn it on. >>down what the cost of that was? >> i can't tell you the exact cost of that particular. >> can you get back to me the cost f that? >> we were under contract to provide an application that
happened to be one of the features of that application. we did not price it out as a particular component by itself. >> it's clear to me two weeks before october 1 this browsable website was turned off to hide the true cost that the american people were saying. if it was a browsable website, those true cost, the up front cost would be visible to the american people. c.m.s. made a determination, a decision that they would turn off two weeks before october 1 the browsable website to hide the real cost of obama care from the american people. i yield back my time. >> thank you mr. chairman and again thank you all for being here. it's a long day i know but we appreciate you being present. i want to narrow in on another issue that hasn't been too much discussed and that's the website
that send insurers bad information, multiple enrollments and cancellations and forms showing up. this could be a problem even if other areas of the web sites improves. it could become a larger problem because so few applicants are getting there they are being able to be reviewed individually. i'll ask you mrs. campbell, most news reporting is focused on front end problems with the federal exchange. i'd like to ask about troubling reports i'm hearing. we hear there could be bigger issues at the end of the system. insurers are receiving error ridden 834's and that is an electronic transition form that let's insurers know who signed up for their product. reports indicate that one
insurer got an 834 with three spouses listed on it. have you identified the speffing problem and what is causing it? >> thank you for that question. we have uncord a number of those scenarios, not significant but a number of them and we are in the process of making corrections. most of them are isolated they are not across the board. we are working in solving those as they come to our attention. >> you are saying they are not very widespread, it's an occasional thing. >> it is more isolated and that widespread. >> what steps are you taking to address that? >> it's part of our normal defblingt build process. so when that issue comes into what they call the contact center, we get a trouble ticket.
we look and determine the priorityization of that trouble ticket and work based on those priorities with c.m.s. and implement our code changes and update the system through testing sooned forth. >> are you taking steps to guarantee, here is a concern somebody enrolls in december, maybe the trouble ticket happened or the 834 got messed up and on january 1 they wake up and find out they did not enroll when they thought they did. is that a concern you've addressed in trying to rectify this problem. >> we are tracking when someone enrolls that they actually enroll there is a direct correlation to making sure there is an 834 attached to that particular transaction to mitigate those things from happening. >> some industry analysts are saying the other problems have disguised the issue. if applicants were being able to sign up easily but the 834 forms
were coming in with this many errors the results could be disasterous. dependant are being incorrectly coded as spouse, have you identified that problem as part of the overall issue? >> that one i've not heard. it doesn't mean it's not in our queue but i'm not aware of it directly. >> i know you have a lot on your plate. i'd ask you provide by 9:00 a.m. tomorrow the category of the problems with 834's. >> if i'm able to provide that information i will do so. >> you wouldn't be able to? >> if i'm able. >> i promise the hearing will be over by then. >> thank you. >> with that i thank you. i'm going to yield to the gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson. >> i thank gentleman inner yielding and this will give me a chance to set the stage a little bit. i hold a bachelors and master's
degree in computer science and have worked for 30 years in the i.t. industry and have implemented large scale systems like this in the military. some of them affected narbling security, some of them held the success and failure of multibillion companies in the balance. so i speak your language and i've been where you are, sitting, trying to figure out what went terribly wrong in an implementation that has cost the earn taxpayers over $400 million and the costs are continuing to rise. these are more than glitches and can't be fixed. i'm going to explain why i think they can't be fixed when i get back. it can be replaced at another large cost to the american taxpayer but can't be fixed. i'll explain that when i get back. >> thank you so much. mrs. campbell, can you tell me
who made the decision that everybody from 27-49 when they go into the website would receive a price based on the 27 price? >> i don't have that information. >> and the same is true for the person 50 and up would receive the 50-year-old price. >> i do not. >> that was somebody at c.m.s.? >> i would have to believe so. and can you also tell me in regard to the changes that were required not to have the browsers so that people could brows and find out what was coim on, that change that in two weeks before, that appears to me to have been a political change. i know you can't make that statement. when that request came in, did you tell them that was going to cause difficulties with getting this website launched by october
1? >> for us it's really a flag in our system so we just turned the flag off for that particular component. >> so you didn't think that was going to cause any problems with the system? >> that's correct. >> if i read your testimony, you didding and reported back to c.m.s. and the relevant contractor who was responsible for fixing the problems you found. when did you finish the testing? >> we would do the testing whenever the code was available to us. >> what was the last time you did testing and notified them there were necessary change that is needed to be made? >> that was all the way up to the very end. >> do you know who you were working with on that? >> i don't. >> can you find out for us? >> we'll get that to you. >> i'd appreciate it. did awe alert folks if these weren't fixed there would be problems. did you alert c.m.s. there would
be problems if they didn't get it fixed? >> we resulted them of the results of the test. >> do you know who told you to turn off the browsing option? >> i believe it was henry chow and members of his team. >> did they give you reasons for not making that option live or am i fair to assume it was a political decision? >> i can't answer whether it was political or otherwise. >> you weren't given any reason other than that? >> i was not given a reason. >> i appreciate that very much. thank you very much. i'm going to yield the reminder of my time to my colleague from ohio mr. johnson. >> let me continue. here is why i believe this can't be fixed and has to be replaced. this from what i have seen based on my experience, this is indicative of failure somewhere along the line to employee the
disciplined processes, method dolings, standards to deliver a system of this complexity. in layman's terms so the american people can understand how complicated this is, this might help a little bit. you can't recook eggs. you go into a restaurant and order two eggs over medium and the server brings you out two eggs scrambled. ou either eat the eggs you means you don't get what you order or you send them back and the restaurant owner eats the cost of replacing those eggs. somebody loses. in this case it's the american people that are losing because what we have here is either the development team of which you folks are a part did not follow a discipline method doling and thruffer didn't see the red flags that were coming up which
calls into question your capabilities and qualifications or you didn't notify anybody in c.m.s. as ms. campbell stated when you saw the red flags coming up which calls into question your judgment. the only other possibility is that c.m.s. ignored your recommendations and moved forward with implementing a flawed system. folks the eyes of the nation are watching and listening to what is being said here today. ome of you are publicly traded companies. i bet every business you do business with is watching. i suspect your stock holders are watching what you say. they are going to try to determine is it your capabilities and qualifications at all the, is it your judgment at quality or did c.m.s. ignore your recommendations and that's what we've got to get to the bottom of. with that i'll yield back.
>> my friend yielded and hopefully i'm coming up next. >> you're next in the queue. >> thank you. >> you stated in your testimony ,hat and if i read this correct your perform seasons based on -- performance is based on trusted data sources for the hub? you assume that data is trustworthy, correct? well, mrs. campbell in her testimony stated and if i go back to it, let me get back to it, here, that as performance -- >> the gentleman didn't let him answer. >> i didn't ask a question yet. this is my time.
i haven't asked a question but when i do i'll let you know. >> i heard it. >> when mrs. campbell testified when performance issues like slow response times and data assurance issues arose, they would be addressed through fine tuning and on thization. were you aware that data assurance issues were present? did anybody tell you about that? >> i'm not sure what was intended by that statement. >> so c.g.i. did not tell you there were data assurance issues? >> if there were issues made aware to our team, our team addresses them discreetly and promptly. >> did you tell the tester there were data issues? >> when testing occurs -- >> i know how testing occurs.
>> i think you are taking it out of context. > now that the system has gone live. we're now making those corrections. >> are you the p.m. for the contract for your company? >> i am not. >> so you do not interface directly every day with c.m.s., correct on a daily basis as the program manager? >> that is correct i am not the program manager. >> your contract required you to deliver your company to deliver a risk management plan. have you delivered the risk management plan? >> we have. >> can you provide a caller: of of it to this committee? >> with permission from c.m.s., yes, we can. >> we'll be asking c.m.s. for that as well. the contract also required that you recommend standard and industry best practices and key performance indicators.
you testified earlier you didn't make any recommendations to c.m.s. about the performance of the system. that it was totally c.m.s. that made these decisions but yet the contract requires that you recommend standard and indicators to make sure everything works right. did you just decide not to do that or what? >> once again for our portion of the system, we provided that information. >> that's not what your contract says. were you aware you were supposed to be performing under the life cycle management? >> we do. >> and tell me about the preop relational readiness review and what it requires. >> i wouldn't want to go into detail here. >> let me go into detail for you. here are some of the thanges the preop relational readiness review requires, integration testing results, toned end testing results.
you have testified that c.m.s. was responsible for toned end but your contract requires to you provide to them end to end and integration testing results, n l.o.e. estimate to achieve readiness review, in other words an estimate what it was going to take to fix those things that were found at the preop relational readiness review. do you know when that was supposed to be conducted? >> so to be clear. what that is refering to is part of our system decpwhrsh when it was preop relational readiness review supposed to be conducted? >> it's in your contract. it was 2012. >> the review also included a etter of estimate to support
>> how does that qualify you as independent? >> we independently test code developed by other contractors. >> other contractors that are interfacing with you. >> other contractors on the project. >> gentleman's time is expired. >> thank you chairman. >> gentleman from west virginia. >> thank you mr. chairman. several questions here if i could. -- e the two of you >> is your mic on? >> it is. >> can you explain to me first mrs. campbell, you said in your testimony some three and a half hours ago that the system works
but not in acceptable pace. is the >> it is not specified in the contract. >> do you feel you have fulfilled your contractual obligations? >> absolutely. >> do believe that next week secretary sibelius will concur that you have fulfilled your contractual obligation? >> i certainly hope she does. familiar with iab in orvnv?he end of the -- >> to think it would have been
justified? do you think it would have been justified? >> at the start of the program it could not have heard. hurt. ould not have do you know contractually whether or not that would be available for independent agency review? >> c i would have to go throughmf contract organization for approval. contract, is there an -- how long did you have
in the specification? did they tell you two weeks was all you have to have? the construction industry which is very specific about completion of a project. was there anything like that which said that you must begin testing two weeks before it is launched? no, none of the specifications were in our original contract. >> was every changed it said you shall begin testing two weeks prior? >> no, and once again testing was not our ultimate responsibility. independent testing was done by if you feel that you achieve
your objectives by october 1, can you tell me whether or not there was anything about liquidated damages, if there are problems associated after october 1 that have to be corrected? >> i would have to get back to you on that. i don't recall if it was a standard for our clause. i just don't know for sure. being a cost plus type of contract, now i am stretching -- >> i have not had a chance to complete the review of it, but i thought it was a performance based plus cost for incidental expenses. i didn't read it as being a cost plus based contract. i believe it is a cost plus fee.act -- cost plus
that's what i believe. >> the one thing, just enclosing, i'm a little surprised by the whole panel. your fertile the disappointment on both sides of the aisle. over this not being satisfactory at this point. i have not heard one of you apologize to the american public forehalf of your companies problems that are associated with not having this thing ready. our apologies not in order? >> in my opening statement i said that cgi as well as myself >> owledge --
>> i have not heard the words i am sorry. -- whent heard anyone we didn't finish a project on time, we had to go to the owner and apologize. i don't understand why there's is not an apology to the american public. we are sorry that there were glitches, it was a very complicated project, but haven't heard that from any one of the four of you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to our panel. this has been a long process. i do appreciate you coming and meeting with the entire committee today. what i am learning from the situations is, i do believe that you all did your best to get
this process in order and i'm hearing repeatedly and repeatedly that the bottom line here is cms is responsible for this failure. companies, youur have the opportunity to throw them under the bus as far as i'm concerned and we will get that information i am sure. ms. campbell, the american people need to know how many people are enrolled. how many individuals are now enrolled in health care coverage from the website? >> i'm not able to provide that information. >> you're not able or you do not have an information? >> i do not have it with me and i would need approval from cms to provide that information. >> i'm going to ask you to please submit that by 9 a.m. tomorrow. i want to point something out and i understand where you're coming from.
a contracthave had with cms, but you have to asked is a cm government agency. cmf is the american people. aboute are talking contracts here, that is over talking about. s represents american people. we do need those numbers by 9 a.m. tomorrow. applications have been completed up to this time? >> somewhere between three and 4000. andomewhere between 3000 4000. >> the president gave a speech in the rose garden. gaffes, hethe referred to the one 800 number
and urged american people to call the call center and to go through the hard copy process or the paper process. point, ms. campbell, to know that process? what happens number,ne calls the 800 where are they directed and how does our process layout? i know you have to be brief. >> actually, it is a question >> goes to -- >> so you would not have knowledge of this point? >> correct. mr. lau, what that process? >> there?e do they go from
what would be the average time, had, and i know you mentioned about 3000 applications being completed up to this point. there are individuals have gone to that site and they're still waiting to find out if they have been accepted. >> to which site? >> if someone calls and there is initiated.lication >> i only know roughly how it works. >> to the best of your knowledge, because of the portal system. because it is expensive failures that it is, to her assumption, those individuals would still be waiting.
>> i am not certain about that because once they are entered into the system, then it is system processing. that since only 3000 have been processed fully that it is a minimal number. >> ms. campbell, i want to touch on one last thing. did you actually complete -- >> i am not. yourselfen you test it . i understand earlier you had said that you had actually tried it through the virginia system, went to the website. did you or did you not completed? >> mr.d not completed cassidy is recognized.
>> today, what have each of you been paid and what you anticipate being paid? what are you anticipating being paid? million dollars and for the year $196 million. the total contract value with option years and everything exercised would be $293 million. >> mr. slavik? >> just under $85 million. that includes all the hardware and software. >> i must you anticipate going
forward? >> i don't believe that amount has been fully paid. i believe that is what is been funded. we have contract for work we do. >> today we have received less than $2 million. >> you set the fsm will serve as the front door. i'm not quite sure why today it is not the front door but on the 10th it was. >> it is a matter of interpretation. towere trying to get a way explain what our role would be.
it is really the face of the application that said it is a front of the house. the front door of the house is where ei dm would take over. testimony, ievious asked you in spanish would be part of the rollout implementation. i asked if it is ready and if it would be a seamless experience for primary spanish speaker. he said with the online application yes. there are reports that the spanish-language websites are not up and it is unclear as to when they will come up. his at because websites are not ready or because the administration has chosen not to take them online? >> cms directs which components go live and when. >> is the spanish-language website ready and if it were up, would it be functional? >> it would be. it is cms decision not to. >> that is correct.
>> why is someone who is 49 years old being quoted a rate for some of whose 27 and why is someone who is 64 being quoted a rate for someone who is 50? clearly misleading. so incredibly misleading. i'm a doctor so i understand the difference in healthcare costs. would it be technologically difficult to ask users to date of birth to generate a more accurate estimate? >> i'm not sure i even understand the phrase front door in this context. user questions are not part of the tool. >> if you put in the d.o.b., is a technologically difficult to link that date of birth with actually what it would cost for 50 euros gentleman as opposed to giving him rates for 12 and -- giving him rates for a 27-year- old person? it would be -- it would not
be difficult to add date of birth. withd so to connect that an actual rate as opposed to a disingenuous rate? >> it would give a better accounting. it would not give a complete accounting. >> but a much better accounting. >> everybody on this panel swore that this was going to be ready. and it now appears that the administration had some idea that it was not going to be ready writer to its opening date. troubles became apparent, did the administration imposing a pressure in any form for you not to be forthcoming on the magnitude of the problems? >> no. >> or even though you had pointed out that this would not be ready for prime time and you just saw this kind of train wreck happening on the first, they never pushed back on your? >> we shared all of the results of the testing that we did. they were fully aware of those tests.
>> thank you. thank you panel i would like to note for the record for cgi and letters were sent on october 6 regarding the problems. the deadline for that that a response was october 23rd, so members of asked a number of follow-up questions. and her stand it may not be at 9:00 tomorrow, but if you could get that done as quickly as possible, particularly in light sibeliusave chairman testify next week, we would like to have that information hand so we could be prepared for that. i appreciate your testimony and you are now excused. >> thank you very much.
>> we are focused not on monday morning quarterbacking, but on -- so thathe act they can shop for and purchase health insurance. as i said yesterday, obviously, what were done and learned upon launch is that the problems with the site were greater than we expected and anticipated, significantly, and that significant work needed to be done to fix his problems. that is what is happening. we are still only three and a half weeks into a six-month process. the teams that are in place and making progress everyday. we are going to, as i said yesterday, make sure that information about the tribe gress is being made through regular briefings at cms and information is being provided
from the teams that are working on improvements. rightcus is on getting it --ecause the endgame here the fact that there are problems with health care.gov is something we acknowledge and that is why we are addressing it head-on. some critics of the affordable care act who have more assiduously worked to do away with it, repeal it, sabotage it, are now expressing grave concern about the fact that this website isn't functioning properly should be taken with a grain of salt. gettingocused on affordable health insurance to the american people. some folks in washington, have been republicans focused on preventing that from happening.
>> a system of this magnitude should require months of testing. but that didn't happen. i guess the question is why? >> there are regular briefings with cms where you can get your questions answered about the work is being done to improve this. is --sis of your question goes to the heart of the matter. should the website have been functioning more effectively on october 1? the answer is yes. we acknowledge that. we are not satisfied, the president is not satisfied, secretary sibelius is not satisfied. is consumer experience improving every day. is thel here availability of affordable health insurance to millions of . what you are asking
me and what again these questions stem from people who wanted to eliminate or delay obamacare gets to the heart of the matter which is how much longer do you ask americans with pre-existing conditions to go on without health insurance? how much longer do you ask a woman with breast cancer to go without health insurance? to go without coverage? the answer is, the time is now and it is available now from day one. from october 1, americans have been able to shop for, apply for and enroll in affordable health insurance plans. what is also true is that one portal through which they can do inadequate and has
functioned poorly. >> our picture of the white house from tonight which is put up in pink for breast cancer awareness month, a reminder that you can watch all of our programs on our website, c- span.org. >> up next on c-span, president obama urges congress to make changes to the nation's immigration laws. then more about the implementation of the new healthcare law or it e-house panel investigates problems with the website health care.gov. later, congressman adam smith talks about the use of u.s. drones. privacy and security analysts will investigate the nsa surveillance program, hosted by the congressional internet caucus advisory committee, live coverage tomorrow at noon eastern.
in the evening, texas republican senator ted cruz will be speaking at the iowa republican party reagan dinner. i was senator chuck grassley and governor -- will be on hand. live coverage from des moines begins at 8 p.m. eastern. >> president obama renewed his call for congress to pass immigration legislation. billartisan immigration passed the senate earlier this year. the house has not yet voted on immigration measure. from the east room of the white house, this is about 10 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president and vice president of the united states. [applause] >> thank you.
becky so much. everybody have a seat. have a seat. thank you very much. >> please have a seat, everybody. good morning. welcome to the white house. [laughter] today i am here with leaders from business, from labor, from faith communities who are united around one goal -- finishing the job of fixing a broken immigration system. this is not just an idea whose time has come -- this is an idea whose time has been around for years now. leaders, like all of you, have worked together with republican s and democrats in this town in good faith for years to try to get this done. this is the moment when we should be able to finally get the job done. it is no secret that the american people have not seen much out of washington that they
like these days. the shutdown and the threat of the first default in more than 200 years inflicted real pain on our businesses and on families across the country. it was a completely unnecessary self-inflicted wound with real costs to real people, and it can never happen again. but even with the shutdown over, and the threat of default eliminated, democrats and republicans still have some really big disagreements. there are some fundamentally different views about how we should move forward on certain issues. on the other hand, as i said the day after the shutdown ended, that is no reason that we should not be able to work together on the things that we do agree on. we should be able to work together on a responsible budget that invests in the things that we need to grow our economy and create jobs even while we maintain fiscal discipline.
we should be able to pass a farm bill that protects vulnerable americans in hard times. and we should pass immigration reform. [applause] we should pass immigration reform. [applause] it is good for our economy. it is good for our national security. it is good for our people, and we should do it this year. everybody knows that our current immigration system is broken. across the political spectrum, people understand that. we have known it for years. it is not smart to invite some of the brightest minds from around the world to study here and then not let them start businesses here. we send them back to their home countries to start businesses and create jobs and invent new
products someplace else. it is not fair to businesses and middle-class families, who play by the rules when we allow companies that are trying to undercut the rules, work in the shadow economy, to hire folks at lower wages or no benefits, no overtime, so that somehow they get a competitive edge for breaking the rules. that does not make sense. it doesn't make sense to have 11 million people who are in this country illegally without any incentive or any way for them to come out of the shadows, get right with the law, meet their responsibilities, and permit their families then to move ahead. it is not smart. it is not fair. it does not make sense.
we have kicked this particular can down the road for too long. the good news is this year, the senate has already passed an immigration reform bill by a wide bipartisan majority that addressed all of these issues. it is a bill that would continue to strengthen our borders. it will level the playing field by holding unscrupulous employers accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers. it would modernize our legal immigration system so that even as we train american workers for the jobs of the future, we are also attracting highly-skilled entrepreneurs from beyond our borders to join with us to create jobs here in the united states. it would make sure that everybody plays by the same rules by providing a pathway to earned citizenship for those who are here illegally, one that includes passing background checks, learning english, paying taxes, paying a penalty, getting in line behind everyone who is
trying to come here the right way, it had all of the components. it does not have everything i wanted. it does not have everything that anybody wanted, but it addressed the core challenges of how we create an immigration system that is fair, that is just, that is true to our traditions as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. and that has passed the senate by a bipartisan majority. [applause] here is what we also know -- that the bill would grow the economy and shrink our deficits. independent economists have shown that if the senate bill became law over the next two decades, our economy would grow by $1.4 trillion more than it would if we don't pass the law. it would reduce our deficit by
nearly $1 trillion. this is not just the right thing to do -- it is the smart thing to do. securing our borders, modernizing our legal immigration system, providing a pathway to earned legalize d citizenship, growing our economy, strengthening our middle-class, reducing our deficits -- that is what commonsense immigration reform will do. now, obviously just because something is smart and fair and good for the economy and fiscally responsible and supported by business and labor and -- [laughter] -- the evangelical community and many democrats and many republicans, that does not mean it will actually get done. [laughter] this is washington, after all. so everything tends to be viewed through a political prison.
m everybody has been looking at the politics of this. i know that there are some folks in this town who are primed to think if obama is for it, then i am against it. but i would remind everybody that my republican predecessor was also for it when he proposed reform like this almost a decade ago, and i joined with 23 senate republicans back then to support that reform. i would remind you that this reform won more than one dozen republican votes in the senate in june. i am not running for office again. i just believe it is the right thing to do. [applause] i just believe it is the right thing to do. [applause] and i also believe the good policy is good politics in this instance him and if really that -- and if folks are really
consumed with the politics of fixing our broken immigration system, they should take a closer look at the polls because the american people support this. it is not something they reject they support it. , everybody wins here if we work together to get this done. in fact, if there is a good reason not to pass this commonsense reform, i have not heard it. so anyone still standing in the way of this bipartisan reform should at least have to explain why. a clear majority of the american people think it is the right thing to do. now, how do we move forward? democratic leaders have introduced a bill in the house that is similar to the bipartisan senate bill. now it is up to republicans in the house to decide whether the reform becomes a reality or not. i do know, and this is good news, that many of them agreed that we need to fix our broken immigration system across these areas that we have just discussed.
what i have said to them, and i will repeat today, is if house republicans have new and different additional ideas for how we should move forward, then we want to here them. i will be listening. i know that democrats and republicans in the senate, those who voted for immigration reform already, are eager to hear those additional ideas. sweepe can't do is just the problem under the rug one more time. leave it for someone else to solve sometime in the future. problems,n create let's prove to the american people that washington can actually solve some problems. this reform comes as close to anything we have got to a law that will benefit everybody now and far into the future. thist's see if we can get thing done. let's see if we can get it done
this year. [applause] we have got the time to do it. the house, in including the speaker, have said we should act. so let's not wait. it doesn't get easier. let's do it now. let's not delay. let's get it done and do it in a bipartisan fashion. to those of you who are here today, i want to say one last thing, and that is thank you. i want to thank you for your persistence, i want to thank you for your activism, i want to thank you for your passion and your heart when it comes to this issue. i want to tell you, you have got to keep it up. keep putting the pressure on all of us to get this done.
there are going to be moments, and there are always moments like this in big efforts at reform where you meet resistance and the press will declare something dead, it is not going to happen, but that can be overcome. i have to say, joe, as i look out at this room, this does not are like these people easily deterred. they do not look like folks that will easily give up. you look fired up to make the next push and whether you are a republican or a democrat or an independent, i want you to keep working and i'm going to be right next to you to make sure we get immigration reform done. it is time, let's go get it done. thank you very much, everybody. [applause]
baptist convention. later we will look at a new report on how u.s. adults rank and problemliteracy solving. we will be joined by jack buckley of the national center for education statistics and ellen scully ross. washington journal is each morning at 7:00 eastern on c- span. >> several of the contractors hired to build the health care.gov website took questions about the site's technical problems. executives from the sites main contractors cgi federal and qs as i testified before the house energy and commerce committee. michigan congressman fred upton is the chairman.
>> 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. he was certainly 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 marrow registry. something that will save tens of thousands of lives. we appreciate that work. today the energy and commerce , committee continues our ongoing 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. as we now know too well. so 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 next week. the companies here all testified before the subcommittee about their work building healthcare.gov. 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. yet here we are, 24 days into open enrollment and more people are receiving cancellation notices in just two states in the 400 76,000 americans that the administration boasts have begun complying in the entire country. this is a troubling fact, but we still don't know the real picture as the administration appears allergic to transparency and continues to withhold 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. i yield two minutes to the vice chair mrs. blackburn. >> 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 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.
but 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. that definition of nothing has turned out to be design choices in the exchanges that hide unaffordable premiums, glitches, dead ends, error messages, system breakdowns, and americans spending time on a system not ready for prime time. so i hope all of our colleagues are going to work together oversight of the health care and join the efforts to do proper 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. at this time i yield -- is the gentleman from texas mr. barton
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. 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 law is getting insurance coverage, private insurance coverage that others have who work for large employers like the federal government. democrats want healthcare.gov 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 100% is being paid for by the 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. because 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 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 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. not what the republicans have been trying to do, nix and repeal it. >> the chair would recognize the chairman of the oversight subcommittee, dr. murphy. >> thank you. as chairman of the oversight 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 -- we were promised a website where people could easily compare 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? in testimony today qssi states , that the decision requiring consumers to register for an account before browsing was a contributor to the website october 1 crash. 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 55 different contractors could not build tests and run a website, how could anyone else do this? given all these questions congress should press pause on , the tech surge and figure out what went wrong before forcing the public to use a broken site. in addition to explaining why this disaster happened 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 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. yet 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 -- should not be running our private health insurance system. the botched rollout is all the 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. so the question we have to ask ourselves, is in light of all of
the administration's assurances, are they simply incompetent or were they just lying to the american people? i yield back. >> 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 the process. that looks pretty plain jane. now put up 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 sees any communication or
seize 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. with that i yield back. >> the chair would recognize the ranking member from new jersey. >> thank you. 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 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 attention to 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. but did the democrats get up and say medicare part d is terrible, let's defund it? no, we said let's work hard to make it better. that so we did in the glitches disappeared that is what i will and the program became a good program. like to see my republican colleagues do today. but 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 about money, federal or individual dollars.
the information that has come out -- the gross national product cost $2.4 billion during -- the gross national product lost during the shutdown. $24 billion 10% of the gross national product of the last quarter. you're talking about money? what about all the money you 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 this obstruction, 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. i yield to the gentlewoman from colorado. >> thank you very much, mr. pallone. we are here to find out what the
problem is with the healthcare.gov website and how we can fix these technical problems. last month, we heard from cgi, qssi, serco, and at the facts, equifax, the same for contractors who are here today. 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 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. but, i want to stress for the , affordable care act to work, these problems need to be fixed and 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. mr. chairman 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 had with registering for benefits. 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 healthcare.gov. 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 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.