The Obama administration waited until the last minute to test the main Obamacare website and refused to ask for a delay when hiccups arose, government contractors testified to Congress on Thursday as they tried to explain why the rollout of the insurance exchanges has been so rocky.
Executives from lead contractor CGI Federal and three other vendors who worked on HealthCare.gov told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the federal agency in charge seemed to have assembled a flawed puzzle from the intact pieces they provided, and didn’t go through the months of testing that should have accompanied such a complex system, they said.
“We didn’t see the full kind of integrated end-to-end system testing that you’re talking about until the couple of days leading up to the launch,” said Andrew Slavitt, an executive vice president of the company that owns Quality Software Services Inc. (QSSI).
The messy rollout is forcing Democrats and the Obama administration to reconsider enforcement of the law’s individual mandate, which requires most Americans to get health insurance.
Late Wednesday, the White House said it will not penalize anyone who attempts to sign up for coverage before March 31, a shift from the initial deadline of Feb. 15, and officials have vowed to work around the clock to clean up problems with the website, which is the main way for consumers to purchase insurance on the health care exchanges.
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