HIGHLIGHTS: Lawmakers Grill Contractors Over ObamaCare Website Debacle
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a hearing this morning on the rampant problems with Healthcare.gov, the website responsible for enrolling people in ObamaCare insurance plans.
The committee, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), is hearing testimony from four executives at companies that were hired by the government to work on signing people up for ObamaCare.
Keep checking back here as we update with key moments from the hearing:
Watch the opening statements from Upton and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
Here's the opening statement from Cheryl Campbell senior vice president of CGI Federal, which was paid millions to set up the website. She called the Dept. of Health and Human Services "the ultimate responsible party for the end-to-end performance." Each of the companies appears to be pinning the blame for the botched rollout on HHS.
Upton questioned the four executives, asking whether it was ever considered to delay the October 1 launch. He then asked whether there were any signs prior to the launch date that the website would not perform well. Each maintained that the functions for which they were responsible were performing leading up to the launch.
Andrew Slavitt, VP of Optum/QSSI, a data services firm, said his company expressed concerns to HHS prior to Oct. 1, specifically with their inability to perform as much testing as they would have liked.
In the most entertaining exchange, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) went off on one of his GOP colleagues for suggesting that Americans' private health information could be at risk.
When asked to yield by the chairman, Pallone erupted, yelling "I will not yield to this monkey court or whatever this thing is!"
Henry said the question that he wants to ask the White House is: where was the oversight in this process? He noted that the website issues have prompted some Senate Democrats to begin to call for some changes to the law.
Watch Ed Henry's report below.
Stirewalt pointed out that the "disaster" that has resulted was not hard to predict given that HHS Secretary Sebelius has said that she wanted five years, not three, to be able to set up the website and exchanges.
Hemmer asked whether Sebelius will also seek to point fingers and deflect blame when she testifies before Congress next week.
Stirewalt believes her main goal will be to convince Americans that this was not President Obama's fault and expects she will point the blame back on the contractors.
Watch Stirewalt's analysis below.