Officials knew that Healthcare.gov faced a high risk of failure and continued implementation of the website despite multiple warnings, according to an audit by the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The report evaluated all factors that led to the website’s shortcomings, reviewing events from before its widely-criticized launch in 2013 through the second open enrollment period in 2015.
Despite warnings from multiple sources that there were potential problems with the launch, the audit found that officials ignored the advice and continued with implementation.
There were 18 documented warnings about the project’s shortcomings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Health and Human Services, and two consulting firms that expressed concerns about the project’s during 2011 and 2013.
Despite these concerns, leadership at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services remained positive about the launch, failing to develop contingency plans in case things went awry.
Immediately after launch, the website experienced problems ranging from system outages to login issues. Only six individuals were able to select a plan and submit an application on the first day of enrollment.
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