White House: HealthCare.gov to be up and running by Nov. 30

Oct. 25, 2013 at 1:20 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The HealthCare.gov website will be running properly by December, giving uninsured Americans time to sign up for healthcare, a White House adviser said Friday.

QSSI, a main government contractor, has been assigned to oversee fixes to the website and will have the site fully functional by Nov. 30, said Jeff Zients, the newly appointed chief White House economic adviser, told reporters on a conference call.

"Over the last week we worked with a team of experts to conduct an assessment of the overall state of the HealthCare.gov site," Zients said. "We are confident that by the end of the November, HealthCare.gov will be smooth for the vast majority of users."

Applicants must enroll in the federal healthcare program by Dec. 15 to receive healthcare plans that will take effect Jan. 1, The Hill reported. HealthCare.gov opened Oct. 1 but many users reported problems including getting locked out of the website.

The House and Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing Thursday on causes of the website's problems.

Representatives of the IT companies in charge of the project testified only two weeks of testing was conducted before the website went live, but said the testing should have been carried out months in advance, The Washington Post reported.

"It was not our decision to go live," said Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of CGI Federal, one of the IT companies involved.

"The system just wasn't tested enough," said Julie Bataille, director communications for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. "We are putting into place a much more rigorous testing process now."

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