Topics: Obamacare

What if the healthcare.gov 'tech surge' is a PR illusion?

By |
Beltway Confidential,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Health and Human Services,OMB,Health Care,Kathleen Sebelius,Healthcare.gov

New questions are being raised about yet another aspect of the secrecy that has shrouded healthcare.gov, the Obamacare program's Internet portal, since its inception.

At the height of the media coverage of the avalanche of technical problems attending healthcare.gov's failed launch on Oct. 1, President Obama announced a "tech surge" in which the "best and brightest" minds would be gathered to fix the troubled website.

All flackery, all the time

Calling it a "tech surge" linked the healthcare.gov rescue effort with the military surge strategy that defeated al Qaeda in Iraq, while the "best and brightest" reference brought back memories of the Camelot years of JFK.

But the only visible face associated with the tech surge is Jeff Zients, the former acting director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and Obama's all-around Mr. Fix-It of the federal bureaucracy.

And the only visible change in the excessively complicated organizational chart for the healthcare.gov design project is Zients' designation of contractor QSSI as the systems integrator for the tech surge.

Show us the names, Jeff

But secrecy remains the dominant feature whenever Obama administration pooh-bahs are asked for details. Zients declined during a conference call with journalists shortly after his appointment to provide names of other individuals or firms working on the tech surge.

And officials at the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversee healthcare.gov, were equally uncooperative.

All of which leads to one logical question: Is the healthcare.gov tech surge really nothing more than a PR fiction?

In today's Washington Examiner

Editorial: Why work when government makes it so easy to live comfortably on the dole?

Ron Arnold: 'Fractivists' caught in a flood of Colorado lies.

Hugh Hewitt: Dick Cheney highlights how Obamacare kills the world's best health care system.

Christopher C. Horner: More lies and evasions from the Treasury Department on Obama's secret carbon tax.

Susan Ferrechio: Democratic governor says people need to chill out about Obamacare website failures.

Joseph Lawler: The week ahead in economics as Fed chairman nominee Janet Yellen goes to the Hill.

In other news

The New York Times: FDA shift on painkillers was years in the making.

The Washington Post: Al Qaeda affiliate shakes Iraq with bloody violence.

CBS News: Congress demanding answers on healthcare.gov 'glitches.'

NBC News: Syrian rebel groups opposed to peace talks.

The Los Angeles Times: Attackers in Mexico blow up nine electrical plants.

Time Magazine: Here we go again on the Washington budget battle.

Lefty Playbook

Talking Points Memo: Marco Rubio wants immigration reform scaled back.

New Republic: Right-wing populism could hobble America for decades.

Washington Monthly: Three cheers for inflation.

Righty Playbook

Washington Free Beacon: Egypt's chief executioner says strangulation was his hobby as a child.

The Weekly Standard: Obamacare pledge is to not use information for immigration purposes.

Daily Caller: How Obamacare makes life hell for academics.

View article comments Leave a comment