Thursday, October 24, 2013

OBAMACARE - TRYING TO PASS THE BUCK(S) ON THE ACA

As I sit here, gritting my teeth and watching the House committee questioning the heads of the various sub-contractors involved in the debacle that is healthcare.gov I'm totally amazed there are problems with the government's much-ballyhooed web site.



Background:

CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) is an operating division within HHS overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  It’s been much mentioned in the early testimony, inferring that this group was the aggregator for the technical ‘product’ provided by the aforementioned contractors. 

CMS has also assured Congress, in hearings back in 2011 during the start-up for healthcare.gov that …’CGI did not receive any sole source awards. They competed for the work on our multiple award contract….’  CMS explained that there were 16 pre-qualified bidders, and that CGI was one of four bidders.  ‘On September 30, 2011, CMS conducted a competitive procurement and selected CGI Federal to design and develop the FFM.’  [FFM = Federally Facilitated Marketplace - the technical term for the Obamacare exchange.]

Apparently the 9/30/2011 testimony before Congress wasn't quite true.  CGI was 'selected' as the primary contractor without the required competitive procurement process being used in contractor selection.  CGI Federal (which by the way is a frigging CANADIAN company - please tell me why the F**K we are NOT hiring techs from OUR OWN COUNTRY!  It's not like our unemployment rate is 2%) 

On October 13, 2013, The Washington Examiner reported:
Rather than open the contracting process to a competitive public solicitation with multiple bidders, officials in the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid accepted a sole bidder, CGI Federal, the U.S. subsidiary of a Canadian company with an uneven record of IT pricing and contract performance. [1]

As an aside, by using an apparent loophole in the federal procurement system, CGI received ‘multiple awards’ for small contracts, and since 2009, have been awarded 185 separate ‘task orders’, which COULD give CGI up to $4 BILLION taxpayer bucks.
Additionally... on October 22, 2013, a Canadian report has documented how the primary company given hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars – CGI -  for the still-inoperable website had built a reputation for failure, cost overruns and calamity for years before being hired by the Obama administration.
CGI’s ‘one qualification’….according to Sun News’ Brian Lilley, is that the company, CGI, seems “to do computers for all the right progressive causes such as government healthcare and gun control.”…..” Lilley reported the company had been fired because it failed to build a much smaller health care database in Ontario.” [2]

Anyone ever heard of ‘due diligence’?

Cheryl Campbell, the senior vice president of CGI testified today that THEIR part of the program worked fine.  She also said she was aware of 'glitches' in other parts of the program, but they were not in her scope, so CGI didn't notify CMS.  Again - WTF!?  How was this company selected?  I report, you decide....

This is Ms. Campbell....

The other three witnesses included officials from contractors associated with the launch, including Optum/QSSI, Equifax Workforce Solutions and Serco.  As each representative gave their opening remarks, it was totally clear that EACH CONTRACTOR HAD DONE THEIR PART AS NECESSARY, AND ‘THEIR’ PART OF THE PROGRAM WAS WORKING PERFECTLY.  It’s as if these four representatives have never met one another, never discussed how their technical work was to interact.  But clearly, EACH company represented in the hearing did their work, and did it perfectly.

Over $600,000,000 (that's half a BILLION) tax dollars have already gone down this black hole.  This week, Obama said he was calling in the 'best and brightest' to fix this problem.... and he calls VERIZON!  Confidence is NOT high.

This hearing is a total waste of time.  I have three questions for each of these people.  
  • TO WHOM in the Obama administration did you report the last three years, if not the CMS?
  • WITH WHOM did you coordinate laterally to make sure your 'product' could interface with theirs?
  • WHERE DOES THE BUCK FOR THIS DEBACLE STOP!!?





Here's a fun read.... wonder how it feels (as a nationally acclaimed news outlet) at that moment when you realize you were completely WRONG about something....

No comments:

Post a Comment