WASHINGTON Dec 11 U.S. Health and Human
Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday asked the
department's inspector general to investigate the performance of
private contractors in the flawed launch of the Obamacare
The healthcare enrollment website, a key part of President
Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare law, crashed on its Oct. 1
launch and was subjected to weeks of emergency fixes.
"I am asking the Inspector General to review the acquisition
process, overall program management, and contractor performance
and payment issues related to the development and management of
the HealthCare.gov website," Sebelius said in a blog post.
The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known
as Obamacare, requires most Americans to have at least enrolled
in health coverage by the end of next March or pay a penalty.
The number of people seeking health insurance under the law
more than doubled in November to around 250,000, according to a
government report released on Wednesday, showing Obamacare is
still far from its goal of extending coverage to millions of
The website's disastrous debut created a political crisis
for Obama and fellow Democrats.
Sebelius, who is scheduled to testify before a congressional
panel later Wednesday, also said she had asked Marilyn Tavenner,
the chief of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to
create a new chief risk officer position at CMS.
The new official's first assignment would be to review
information technology contracting and identify the "risk
factors that impeded the successful launch of the HealthCare.gov
website," Sebelius said.
Late last month, the Obama administration announced that
QSSI, a unit of health insurer UnitedHealth Group, would
serve as a general contractor to oversee repairs to