Healthcare.gov – Normal Glitches Or Phantom Menace? Calls For Sebelius' Resignation Pick Up Steam

on October 18 2013 10:01 AM

Problems with healthcare.gov -- the federal health exchange portal associated with Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act -- deepened this week, to the point where Republicans are calling for the resignation of Health and Human Services (HHS) Department head Kathleen Sebelius.

Major health insurers like Blue Cross & Blue Shield in Nebraska and Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET), who oversee the health care plans on healthcare.gov, told the Wall Street Journal that they are receiving flawed data from the website. That limits their ability to sign up people for exchange-based plans, and it could do more damage if applicants falsely believe they’ve obtained coverage.

Less than 1 percent of initial visitors to the site (9.5 million unique visitors in its first week) have successfully signed up for a health care package, according to Bloomberg.

Government contractors, including Quality Software Service Inc. (QSSI) and Canada’s CGI Federal Inc. (NYSE:GIB), received millions of dollars to build out the website over two years, though it suffered from technical glitches from day one.

HHS declined to comment to IBTimes, and said last week that it couldn’t confirm how much contracted companies have been paid in total, because of budget office furloughs during the government shutdown.

Republican lawmakers have called for Sebelius’ resignation in the wake of the fiasco, though the Obama administration has expressed “full confidence” in her. It’s unlikely she’ll resign.

Michigan Web-design shop Teal Media has also distanced itself from healthcare.gov, even though it helped design the site, according to BuzzFeed. The design company scrubbed prominent links to healthcare.gov from its website for a time. It is headed by Jessica Teal, a former member of the Obama campaign’s digital outreach arm.   

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