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POLITICS: PennAve

CMS says Obamacare website 'wasn't tested enough'

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Politics,White House,Brian Hughes,Obamacare,Health and Human Services,Health Care,Medicare and Medicaid,PennAve,Kathleen Sebelius,CMS,Healthcare.gov

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials Thursday acknowledged that the problem-plagued Obamacare website “wasn't tested enough” but declined to say how much longer it would take to correct technical glitches that have embarrassed the administration.

In the first daily briefing with reporters about efforts to fix the Obamacare website, CMS officials said that 700,000 people have applied for public health plans since the start of the month. However, officials still could not pinpoint how many individuals had actually enrolled in a new health plan or how many people were unable to sign up for the program.

And as contractors testified about the website’s woes on Capitol Hill, CMS officials conceded that they did not do enough to ensure the software worked before the launch of open enrollment in Obamacare on Oct. 1.

“Due to a compressed time frame, the system wasn't tested enough,” a CMS spokeswoman told reporters.

Contractors conducted just two weeks of end-to-end testing before the website went live earlier this month, they testified Thursday.

And CMS officials did not say whether Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was aware of the tech problems before the launch. They also declined to identify which companies are involved in the “tech surge” to fix the problems.

CMS officials said they have added servers and bandwidth to improve the website’s functionality but did not provide a complete portrait of the exact work being done.

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Brian Hughes

White House Correspondent
The Washington Examiner