“From the beginning, the Obama Administration made it clear that a critical part of the success
of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was offering insurance to uninsured
individuals through a modern website that was simple and easy to use. To that end, the
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services (CMS) invested hundreds of millions of dollars in developing the HealthCare.gov
website (website) to make it the showcase of PPACA, since it would be the first tangible
product the American public would associate with the law. Both metaphorically and factually,
the website was designed to be the public face of President Obama’s signature achievement.
However, the Obama Administration failed to task any one individual or entity within HHS or
CMS with ensuring the success of the public face of Obamacare. While there were individuals
and entities tasked with building and coordinating many of the business level components of
the website, there was no central coordinator fully responsible for the development of the
website, and no single contractor had the authority to direct other contractors. Furthermore,
rather than delegate responsibility fully to HHS and/or CMS, the White House continually
meddled in technical decisions and put pressure on CMS officials to launch the website on time,
regardless of operability and security concerns. As a result, officials ignored countless red flags
to launch a website with thousands of defects. In the end, the launch failed miserably, crashing
on takeoff.”

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