Sebelius Asked To Testify Before Congress - Her Response, "I am Unavailable."

by Patrick Riley 21 Oct 2013
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These past 3 weeks have probably made for some interesting days and sleepless nights for the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sebelius. For the better part of the summer Sebelius was on the Hill and traveling around the country defending and guaranteeing that the federal Website ( would be "ready" come the first of October. She strongly defened the site's development and cast any claim that things were awry aside in her oracle. Yet, doubts arose amongst political ranks and government contractors alike as summer faded into autumn. Still, Sebelius dug in and she along with the President insisted all was well. Yet, concern was rising.

Henry Chao, the government official who is directly responsible for the fielding and development of the "data-hub" or health IT infrastructure is on record as early as March of 2013 as being "deeply concerned" about the ability of 55 government contractors to interface and be "ready" by October 1. He feared it would be a debacle of epic proportions and as predictions go, he was spot on.

The immediate cover story was that there are "glitches" with the software which prompted CGI, Inc., a Montreal based IT firm responsible for the largest part of the Website infrastructure programming and recipient of $88 million dollars to do so, quickly clarified to say that it is not software. It is the engineering oversight or project management that failed. CGI also went on to state that they had built the software for the state of Kentucky's health insurance exchange Website and it and the software were performing flawlessly.

Meanwhile, no comment, no data, and no idea of when the site will be fixed from the White House, HHS, or CMS who is in its own cloak of darkness as it was CMS who oversaw the 55 government contractors and was intended to test and validate their work and the performance of the Website. Reports over the weekend suggest testing took place only days before 1 October. Oracle experts say they would have needed 6 months to a year to fully test the site before giving it a vote of approval to go live.

This is far from over, answers need to be found, and questions need to be asked, stripped of the politics that dominate Washington. Sebelius who has made it known she will not be available on Thursday to testify before Congress that "she will cooperate with the committee" and provide any and all answers when asked. Somehow, I think that might be a challenge. Growing momentum is mounting in the House to demand her resignation. The President is said to be speaking to the nation to address "the concern" over the "gliltches." I am not available.

You can follow me on @Patrick_FrostHC.

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Comments (1)

By  klara andrian
klara, klara

15 Jun 2017 04:35
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