Topics: Obamacare

Morning Examiner: Something very strange going on behind Healthcare.gov

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Beltway Confidential,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Obamacare,Health Care,Waste and Fraud,Healthcare.gov,HHS,FOIA

Healthcare.gov, the web site for Obamacare, is the crown jewel of the American welfare state and President Obama's signature domestic policy achievement.

Hundreds of millions of Americans will use Healthcare.gov every day for decades to come if the site ever functions properly and Obamacare becomes as permanent a feature of American life as Social Security.

Yes, we can!

So, if you were picking the IT firm to design Healthcare.gov, you would spare no effort to make sure every potential bidder knew about the opportunity, that the integrity of the bid selection process was beyond question, and that the company most likely to create the best possible site got the award, right?

But that's not what happened with Healthcare.gov. Officials with both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CGI Federal, the U.S. subsidiary of the Canadian IT firm that won the $93 million contract, are instead acting like they've got something to hide.

Several weeks ago, Washington Examiner senior investigative reporter Richard Pollock found that two federal contract databases listed CGI as the lone bidder for the Healthcare.gov.

No, they won't!

So, Pollock started asking questions at CGI and HHS. Nobody would talk on the record, but insisted "on background" that as many as four bidders sought the contract before it was awarded to the Canadian firm's U.S. subsidiary.

When Pollock pressed for documentation of the multiple bidders, including names of the companies involved, neither CGI nor HHS produced it. Tasha Bradley, an HHS spokesman, even claimed that "off the record, Richard, you will need to FOIA us for that information."

Then things really got strange yesterday when Bradley said this:

"Off the record, we have gotten a number of questions about your report. We are currently giving those reporters the same information that I provided to you and saying, on the record, that your reporting was incorrect."

Did you catch that? HHS refuses to document "on background" its claim there were four bidders, but goes "on the record" with other news organizations to trash the Examiner for reporting that the only available official documents found to date say there was only one bidder.

Just another day in "the most transparent administration in history," right?

From today's Washington Examiner

Editorial: Former ACORNers have lots of friends in the Obama government.

Examiner Watchdog: Obamacare website officials had White House access.

Joel Gehrke: Two House panels to investigate National Park Service shutdown actions.

Byron York: House majority failure means GOP's best hope is weak Senate minority.

Tim Carney: The twisted tale of congressmen's health insurance.

Joseph Lawler: Fitch puts U.S. on credit watch.

Rebecca Berg: Ted Cruz raked in $1 million during Obamacare fight.

In other news

The Washington Post: As U.S. faces lower credit rating, markets flash alarm.

The New York Times: Obama's debt-ceiling gamble may pay off.

NBC News: Warren Buffett says it would be 'asinine' if U.S. defaults.

CNN: U.S. faces debt-ceiling crash at stroke of midnight.

The Wall Street Journal: House GOP abandons its proposal.

The Los Angeles Times: California insurance exchange reports 94,500 application starts.

Lefty Playbook

Talking Points Memo: McCain says GOP must understand it has lost 'this battle.'

The Nation: The long road to an Iran-U.S. deal.

New York Observer: De Blasio, Lhota come out swinging in first debate.

Righty Playbook

Washington Free Beacon: Feds studying how to use Twitter for 'depression surveillance.'

The Weekly Standard: The 'real news' of this week.

American Thinker: Obama in wonderland.

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