OTR Interviews

ObamaCare website pricetag: $1 BILLION and counting

Brace yourself, tax payers. You are about to pay even more as the government tries to fix the broken ObamaCare enrollment site


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 24, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: News tonight that there was another flashing red light that the ObamaCare website was headed for trouble. This morning it came with a hefty price tag.

"The Hill's" Elise Viebeck is back with us. So now what? What's the story on the money?

ELISE VIEBECK, "THE HILL": This is a study that came out yesterday by Bloomberg government, a nonpartisan study saying that because of all the problems with the website that were encountered by federal health officials six months before its launch, the price of this entire thing is skyrocketing to over a billion dollars. A lot of people have been saying it's in the 300 to 500-million-dollar range. Now we know it's actually much more than that.

VAN SUSTEREN: A billion?

VIEBECK: A billion. That's what the study said. They looked at federal records and used key words to make sure that they were gleaning all of the relevant contracts for this.

VAN SUSTEREN: And to me, that is astounding. That is the really ugly story here. Nobody is supervising it. No one test ran this thing. No one is paying attention and the American taxpayers now get hit with a billion dollars.

VIEBECK: I think it's raising huge questions about the federal contracting system no doubt because we know that many of the people who were involved in this were sort of on retainer for the federal government. They didn't go through what would be a normal bidding process for this and now all of these ceilings on the contracts are just being passed right through. And government watchdog groups are very concerned.

VAN SUSTEREN: And so there is just no end. There an hourly rate, nonstop. You get paid by the hour, and there is nothing -- nobody is policing it and the truth is, what the American people ought to know is that this is not something that's just going on with ObamaCare. There are so many government contract contracts out there that do the same thing.

VIEBECK: I think that's right. I think that this ObamaCare website we are seeing all the technical glitches that have risen and they haven't been fixed yet. And the White House announced this week that there would be the tech surge and these alpha teams of tech experts that are going to come in and fix it are from a variety of companies that haven't been named yet. But we know that that's also going to cost additional money. I think we will be counting on watchdog groups to make full disclosure on this.

VAN SUSTEREN: So the answer is yes we are going to be paying for all the repairs, all the redoing. There is no warranty that this stuff ever worked. Nobody ever does his job. Nobody is watching the money. Nobody at HHS, nobody cares. It's just spend, spend, spend.

VIEBECK: I was at a hearing this morning and the House Energy and Commerce Committee and there were four government contractors there. One of which has made at least $500 million off of this. They were shifting blame. They were saying well our piece of the website worked. Theirs didn't and HHS didn't put it together properly, but really ours has worked so that was their message today.

VAN SUSTEREN: What a nightmare. Anyway, Elise, thank you.

VIEBECK: Thank you, Greta.