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Politico Furious At Contractors For Blaming Gov’t

From a spittle-flecked Politico:

Obamacare website hearing takeaways: Missing word was ‘sorry’

By DAVID NATHER | October 24, 2013

So now we know the contractors’ side of the Obamacare website debacle: They did a great job, the bad decisions weren’t their fault, and they’re fixing it.

Thursday’s standing-room-only hearing on the snakebit federal Obamacare enrollment website, HealthCare.gov, saw a parade of witnesses who weren’t about to take responsibility for the disaster. We just do what the client asks, they said — and in this case, the client was the Obama administration…

And the witnesses proved that government contracting means never having to say you’re sorry.

But why should these private sector contractors be sorry when they didn’t do anything wrong? The Obama-Care website failed because the government failed to properly test the system before launch. The overall "end-to-end" testing was the responsibility of an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, not any of the contractors.

Here are the top takeaways from the hearing:

Buck-passing bureaucrats

The main value of the hearing was to give the public a sense of who these contractors were. And what they saw was a group of self-praising, unapologetic corporate officials who talked in bureaucratic terms, passed the buck on the breakdowns — and said the website is getting better all the time.

The Politico is so furious, they even call these private sector contractors "bureaucrats." But when has the Politico ever criticized bureaucrats? They were the most important people in the world just a few days ago, when (17%) of the government was ‘shutdown.’

Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president at CGI Federal, the main contractor that designed the website, said it wasn’t her place to tell the Obama administration to delay the launch. That decision was up to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that oversees Obamacare, she said…

That’s pretty much how it went with the other contractors, too. Andrew Slavitt of Quality Software Services Inc., which built the “data hub” that pulls income levels and other eligbility [sic] information from federal agencies, says he told the Medicare agency about problems his firm discovered with the code for the main website before the launch — but he didn’t say they should delay it.

Lynn Spellecy of Equifax Workforce Solutions, which verifies people’s incomes so they can get a subsidy, said “our solution was ready to go Oct. 1” because it had been completely tested..

Isn’t what they said the truth? Apparently, the Politico can’t handle the truth if it reflects badly on the sacred federal government.

No apologies

One word never uttered by any of the contractors: “Sorry.” …

Again, why should these contractors apologize for mistakes they didn’t make? And where are the demands for apologies from the Obama administration?

Over to you, Sebelius

Thanks to all the buck passing, the hearing ramps up the pressure on the two star administration witnesses who will testify at back-to-back hearings next week. On Tuesday, Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will be grilled by the House Ways and Means Committee — which is sure to ask her about all the decisions Campbell said were up to her agency.

And on Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius — Tavenner’s boss and the administration official who’s under the most fire over the breakdowns — is expected to give her side of the story to the Energy and Commerce panel…

Something tells us the Politico won’t be demanding any apologies from them.

Yes, there was heckling

Most of the Republicans managed to stay on point and stick to the important questions without drifting into Obamacare-bashing. But not all of them…

You see? When you criticize a Republican administration, that is concern, that is patriotism. (Cf. Katrina, Iraq.) When you criticize a Democrat administration, that is "heckling."

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, October 25th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Politico Furious At Contractors For Blaming Gov’t”

  1. Politico .. isn’t that the faux-publication dreamed up at the Regional Mental Health Center in Allentown, PA? You remember. The one where the federal government did syphilis experiments on failed journalists?


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