A local congressman led the investigation on Capitol Hill Thursday into what is wrong with the government’s health care website and why
The contractors responsible for building the troubled Healthcare.gov website appeared before the Energy and Commerce Committee, saying it was the government's responsibility - not theirs - to test it and make sure it worked.
Upton, the chairman of the committee, said he wants to know if they did not know the website would fail or if they did not disclose it.
“Top administration officials and lead contractors appeared before this committee, looked up in the eye and assured us repeatedly that everything was on track, except that it wasn’t as we now know too well,” said Upton.
2 testified at a hearing that they shared their concerns with the Obama administration.
It wasn't until after all the technical problems when the administration acknowledged it had not done enough testing.
“We still don’t know the real picture as the administration appears allergic to transparency and continues to withhold enrollment figures,” Upton added. “This is more than a website problem, and frankly, the website should have been the easy part.”
Upton said Thursday the investigation is not about blame, but accountability.
CLICK HERE to watch Upton's opening statement on the health care rollout.
UPTON STATEMENT AT THURSDAY'S COMMITTEE HEARING
"Today the Energy and Commerce Committee continues our ongoing oversight of the health care law as we examine the many problems – crashes, glitches, systems failures – that have defined open enrollment.
Over the past several months leading up to the October 1 launch, top administration officials and lead contractors appeared before this committee, looked us in the eye, and assured us repeatedly that everything was “on track.”
Except that it wasn’t, as we now know all too well.
So why did they assure us the website would work? Did they not know? Or did they not disclose? That’s what we are looking to find out, with the contractors today, and with Secretary Sebelius next week.
The companies that are here today all testified before the Health Subcommittee on September 10 about their work building the federal exchanges and healthcare.gov. And in that hearing, and in briefings with committee staff, these companies represented that the exchanges would be ready for open enrollment on October 1. They also explained that their testing of the system had not identified any significant problems.
This is not about blame – it’s 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 if they liked them, “No matter what.” Yet here we are, 24 days into open enrollment, and more people are receiving cancellation notices in just two states than the 476,000 Americans that the administration boasts have begun applying 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 – and frankly, the website should have been the easy part. I’m also concerned about what happens next. Will enrollment glitches become provider payment glitches? Will patients show up at their doctor’s office or hospital to be told that maybe they aren’t covered or even in the system?
In a few months, families in Michigan and across the country are going to face penalties under the law’s 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 nothing short of a disaster?
The American public deserves answers. Today we are going to get them from the lead contractors. Next week will be Secretary Sebelius’ turn."