U.S. healthcare rollout undergoes first congressional scrutiny
Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 01:09
Oct. 24 - In testimony before lawmakers, a lead contractor responsible for developing the government's troubled healthcare website says the website will be fixed in time to allow people to enroll in private health insurance by a Dec. 15 deadline to obtain benefits at the start of the new year. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION
One of the lead contractors responsible for developing the government's troubled healthcare website said on Thursday (October 24) the website will be fixed in time to allow people to enroll in private health insurance by a December 15 deadline to obtain benefits by the beginning of the new year.
"The system is working. People are enrolling. But people will be able to enroll at a faster pace," said Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president at website developer CGI Federal.
In proceedings before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, lawmakers were trying to determine why the online portal for uninsured Americans in 36 states has malfunctioned since its start, the beginning of a six-month enrollment period that is expected to draw at least 7 million people to sign up for federally subsidized private insurance for 2014.
Republicans who control the panel criticized top administration officials and contractors for assuring lawmakers over the summer that the system would work, only to produce an enrollment characterized by crashes, glitches and system failures.
Some of the 14 U.S. states that have built their own online marketplaces have been able to set aside difficulties and enroll people in insurance. But the federal exchange and its Healthcare.gov website continue to experience problems more than three weeks after launch. The Obama administration has largely blamed unexpected high volumes of nearly 20 million visitors.
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