WASHINGTON – An A-Team of tech experts is being brought in to help the Obama administration iron out the cyber wrinkles associated with the rocky roll out of the Affordable Care Act.
Google, Red Hat and Oracle are loaning the government dozens of their top computer engineers, programmers and site developers to help the Obama administration fix the problem-plagued insurance exchange website.
“As part of the ‘Tech Surge,’ we’ve added key personnel from the government and private sector, including expert engineers and technology managers,” Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said.
Among those rushing to the rescue is Michael Dickerson, a site reliability engineer from Google, and Greg Gershman, the innovation director for smartphone application maker Mobomo.
“Michael is onsite working with QSSI, the general contractor, leveraging his experience stabilizing large, high throughput applications to improve HealthCare.gov’s reliability and performance,” Bataille said.
The White House began pushing its new “tech surge” on Oct. 20, as a response to the numerous software glitches and tech errors on HealthCare.gov – the online marketplace for people to buy insurance under ObamaCare.
On Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Katheen Sebelius deflected charges that the administration misled the American people about being able to keep their health plans under ObamaCare -- claiming that despite thousands of cancellation notices, the White House is keeping its promise.
Sebelius testified at a House hearing that originally was called to address the glitch-ridden ObamaCare website. Sebelius personally apologized for those failures and told lawmakers: "Hold me accountable for the debacle. I'm responsible."
Sebelius took the blame for giving the impression that the website was ready for launch before Oct. 1. "I told the president we were ready to go. Clearly, I was wrong," she said.
Sebelius will be on the road Friday, trying to do a little damage control, with a visit to Memphis.
She’s scheduled to promote ObamaCare exchanges by showcasing people helping Memphis-area residents enroll in a health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace.