Dems to DOJ: We should probably ask for a refund from HealthCare.Gov’s contractors

posted at 7:41 pm on October 28, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Certain Democrats have been putting on a good show of bullishness about ObamaCare and its upcoming impact on next year’s midterms; Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently appeared confident that “Democrats will run on the Affordable Care Act and win,” while Howard Dean insisted that ObamaCare will be the reason that Democrats in fact “pick up seats in the House” over the weekend.

…They might want to tell that to these guys, though, via The Hill:

Five House Democrats are asking the Obama administration to seek a refund from the companies that built the ObamaCare website, which has so far failed to work for most people trying to sign up for health insurance.

“It is no secret that the website has not performed in a satisfactory manner,” wrote Reps. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), William Enyart (D-Ill.), Pete Gallego (D-Texas) Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Filemon Vela (D-Texas).

“As a result, we ask that you review the contracts and determine whether CGI Federal and/or any other company involved in the construction of the website has violated the terms of its agreement or is in constructive breach of the contract.”

The House Dems’ request to “seek to hold contractors accountable for their unsatisfactory work” was made in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder last week, but was just released today — and it certainly doesn’t help the perception that a growing number of Democrats are, to quote MSNBC, “freaking out” about ObamaCare on multiple fronts. As Rep. Henry Waxman so aptly demonstrated last week, heaping the blame on the private-sector contractors is a neat way to avoid dumping too heavily on the Obama administration while assuring upset constituents that you’re concerned with both government accountability and the efficient use of taxpayer dollars. At their House hearing last week, however, the contractors placed the majority of the blame for the botched ObamaCare rollout squarely on the shoulders of the Obama administration — and I think we’ll all be interested to hear what Sebelius has to say about that one at her own hearing this week.


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That would mean attacking obama’s pockets.

They are bulging.

Schadenfreude on October 28, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Ain’t no way that’ll happen.

SouthernGent on October 28, 2013 at 7:46 PM

We should probably ask for a refund from HealthCare.Gov’s contractors

AAmerican people: We should probably demand a refund from the thieves in Washington.

Rio Linda Refugee on October 28, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Man, I just cannot take too many more pics of the old hagula on the front page…

OmahaConservative on October 28, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Yeah, that’ll work real well. Threaten the contractors with penalties, lawsuits and refunds and then just wait and see all the skeletons that come out of the Obama Administration closet with regards to Obamacare, once the contractors have nothing else to lose*.

* Except of course, the obligatory “enemy of Obama” IRS audit

parke on October 28, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Too funny! Hold back regs and specs until after the 2012 elections so as to avoid political problems, require the contractor to use obsolete technology, then blame the contractor for the problems… well, someone has to meet the underside of the bus.

obladioblada on October 28, 2013 at 7:50 PM

There is nothing “honorable” about that heifer.

Murphy9 on October 28, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Like Holder’s Justice Department will hold anyone to account. Especially Moochelle’s classmates.

Iblis on October 28, 2013 at 7:50 PM

We should probably ask for a refund from HealthCare.Gov’s contractors

LOL – like that’s every gonna happen.

Michelle Obama’s Princeton Classmate Was obamacare Website Builder

http://nation.foxnews.com/2013/10/27/michelle-obamas-princeton-classmate-was-obamacare-website-builder

Pork-Chop on October 28, 2013 at 7:51 PM

That’s right… deflect and try to blame it on someone else. There’s no proof presented thus far that this is due to the contractors. There is ample evidence however that HHS did not do the testing they were responsible for.

dforston on October 28, 2013 at 7:54 PM

LOL – like that’s every gonna happen.

Michelle Obama’s Princeton Classmate Was obamacare Website Builder

http://nation.foxnews.com/2013/10/27/michelle-obamas-princeton-classmate-was-obamacare-website-builder

Pork-Chop on October 28, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Exactly. Even if Obama was willing to throw Moochelle’s friend under the bus, you think they’ll sit there and take it? They could probably leak all sorts of dirt about how those no-bid contracts were handed out. That money is gone.

Doughboy on October 28, 2013 at 7:56 PM

And while were at it let’s ask for a refund of the airhead Kathleen Sebelius’s salary.

anotherJoe on October 28, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Wouldn’t the contractors be entitled to lots and lots of documentation?

–Wouldn’t they have lots and lots of correspondence to put on the table, none of which any Democrat with a functioning braincell would want on the table?

Axe on October 28, 2013 at 8:00 PM

There is nothing “honorable” about that heifer.

Murphy9 on October 28, 2013 at 7:50 PM

That was what I was going to say, but you beat me by ten minutes.

This administration has no honor.

And there are few things that you can say about a man or a woman that is more damning than to accuse them of having no honor.

turfmann on October 28, 2013 at 8:00 PM

I hope we get a special prosecutor for this. Of course it will never happen because it will show just how screwed up federal government managerial skills are.

This will be out of the news withing two days as the stupid donks realize what would happen.

jukin3 on October 28, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Shouldn’t 0 being finding out whose ass to kick? I loved the Captain Kickass days…

KCB on October 28, 2013 at 8:07 PM

I have yet to hear anyone inquire about the contents of the contracts these slugs agreed to….. that contract is the legal, governing document and should detail exactly what their responsibilities are, including repairs and forfeitures. All this posturing and sensationalism aside…. what is in their contracts?

ultracon on October 28, 2013 at 8:08 PM

LOL – like that’s every gonna happen.

Michelle Obama’s Princeton Classmate Was obamacare Website Builder

http://nation.foxnews.com/2013/10/27/michelle-obamas-princeton-classmate-was-obamacare-website-builder

Pork-Chop on October 28, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Plus, the same company was awarded the no-bid contract to distribute $2 Billion in our taxpayer money for Hurricane Sandy relief. Their vig was probably 10%, or $200 Million, if not more.

Between the Obamacare website fiasco and Sandy, this Canadian company probably pocketed a cool billion, and no telling how much of that is headed for offshore accounts in the names of Obama, Holder, etc.

I am predicting now that, before it’s over, from Solyndra to CGI and all the other bailouts and manipulations in between, Obama will be the first multi-billionaire former President and Holder (from the Marc Rich pardon to now) the first billionaire former AG.

They will make Billy Jeff look like a complete piker and rube when it comes to graft, no question.

TXUS on October 28, 2013 at 8:12 PM

“It is no secret that the website has not performed in a satisfactory manner,” wrote Reps. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.)

LOL. Barber is Gabrielle Giffords’ successor (and former staffer) and is getting a lot of heat for this disaster of a law which he and Giffords backed over the very vocal objection of a large portion of her constituents.

I’ve been getting a lot of mail from Barber recently, trying to put a happy face on the debacle that is Obamacare — a debacle that he helped bring into existence.

Keep trying to put distance between yourself and this $hit sandwich you tried to force down our throats, Ron. We haven’t forgotten, and we won’t forget next November either.

AZCoyote on October 28, 2013 at 8:12 PM

How about Obama refunding his salary … and paying damages?

VorDaj on October 28, 2013 at 8:18 PM

I have yet to hear anyone inquire about the contents of the contracts these slugs agreed to….. that contract is the legal, governing document and should detail exactly what their responsibilities are, including repairs and forfeitures. All this posturing and sensationalism aside…. what is in their contracts?

ultracon on October 28, 2013 at 8:08 PM

When you don’t have to bid for contracts with the government, the contracts will have almost no protective clauses for the government (i.e., taxpayers who pay for it). It’s pretty much a license to print money (steal), and with this crowd their SOP, knowing they and their causes and campaigns will reap the benefits.

The most corrupt administration we have ever had in this country, and possibly ever in the history of the world.

TXUS on October 28, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Yea.. Barber was at a highschool auditorium right up the street with a bullhorn at a townhall pedaling this shite. Same time Gabby was calling it our “moonshot”.

Colonal Sanders can kiss my @ss.

wolly4321 on October 28, 2013 at 8:20 PM

And there are few things that you can say about a man or a woman that is more damning than to accuse them of having no honor.

turfmann on October 28, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Well, they have no honor but they do have a lot of power and large bank accounts. You have your priorities and they have theirs.

VorDaj on October 28, 2013 at 8:21 PM

This deathcare.gov fiasco is just one more example in the long line of events demonstrating the failure of free-market capitalism …

/Leftard

ShainS on October 28, 2013 at 8:22 PM

I got in a shouting match with Giffords that day. She was supremely arrogant.

All this Camelot JFK bullshite is what the sell.

wolly4321 on October 28, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Why, was there no oversight from the WH or HHS?

You sure you want to open this door, demorats?

Bishop on October 28, 2013 at 8:29 PM

“Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”

faraway on October 28, 2013 at 8:29 PM

At their House hearing last week, however, the contractors placed the majority of the blame for the botched ObamaCare rollout squarely on the shoulders of the Obama administration

Jail them all.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on October 28, 2013 at 8:30 PM

You’ll have to pardon Her Highness of Health Care. She’s so busy on so many different projects that she failed to keep up on her briefing papers.

Hey! It worked for Holder!

GarandFan on October 28, 2013 at 8:40 PM

why , was there no oversight from the WH or HHS? You sure you want to open this door, demorats? Bishop on October 28, 2013 at 8:29 PM

There were drones orbiting. That’s oversight.

wolly4321 on October 28, 2013 at 8:46 PM

In a normal rule-of-law world,fat chance. Under Oboobi, the Meerkat could get away with clawing back the full refund or even a trumped up penalty, but at what cost to the IT industry whose confidence in contracts will be shaken to the core? They already did it by upsurping the creditors in the GM and Chrysler bailout. They Did it to the dealerships, to the banks and so on. Eventually no one will do business and Oboobi will have suceeded where Mugabe has yet to go – no one doing business except cronies.

AH_C on October 28, 2013 at 9:04 PM

If I were Dems (well, firstly, I’d kill myself)
and then I’d be reeeeeaal careful about showing this requirement to the rest of the world.

Because I’ll bet a lot of money, they got a sole-source on a weak-ass statement of objective, and there was no QASP to check their performance.

Procurement-wise…I’ll bet that they broke every single rule in the FAR.

a5minmajor on October 28, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Anyone want a bet that the short version of Sebelius’ testimony will be “I take the fifth, and besides, I don’t answer to peasants like you?”

michigansahd on October 28, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently appeared confident that “Democrats will run on the Affordable Care Act and win…”

…and then went on to say, “people seem to like me because I am polite and I am rarely late. I like to eat ice cream and I really enjoy a nice pair of slacks. Years later, a doctor will tell me that I have an I.Q. of 48 and am what some people call mentally retarded.”

Myron Falwell on October 28, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Did we keep the receipt for the stimulus bill? I want that trillion back too.

Bruce MacMahon on October 28, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Did we get a guarantee with that mess? It’s probably as long as the law with all those where for and where as disclaimers.

Kissmygrits on October 29, 2013 at 7:38 AM

The House Dems’ request to “seek to hold contractors accountable for their unsatisfactory work” was made in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder last week

Are they going to fire themselves?

Gatsu on October 29, 2013 at 7:53 AM

If a contractor built a house, and it fell down the first day of move in, you would demand 100% of your money back, with interest, and not paid until the house was 100% complete…

I see nothing wrong with demanding 100% of the money back, and not pay a dime until the website is 100% perfect…

It won’t happen, but in the real world, that is how it works.

Rancid meat, lemon laws, buttons missing, it doesn’t matter, if the product is not “right” you have every right to return the product and get your money back…

right2bright on October 29, 2013 at 7:59 AM

The major problem with the Dem theory of contracts will be:

1. CMS was appointed by HHS to be the System Integrator (SI) (e.g. “General Contractor”). That role is normally performed a large experienced firm. The SI builds the sched, designs the system, writes the specs, oversees the work, accepts piece parts built by the subcontractors, tests, integrates them. tests again, then deploys. There are only a few Fed agencies that can be SI’s, none of them outside DoD. They have trained and certified PMs, lets of experience etc. The Major fault is at CMS… Bringing in a new Tech Czar as the PM and appointing one of the existing contractors (QSSI) as the SI, loses the DoJ lawsuit before it starts…

2. The contractors were neither incompetent, nor dumb. Their lawyers are much better than DoD in contract law. There will be lots of memos and status reports from them to CMS reporting problems, and smiley faced reports from CMS to HHS ignoring the concerns. Discovery in a DoJ case would be fascinating :)

3. The change orders were flowing down from the policy people till the very last second. In that environment, the churn eats any forward progress. Again, discovery would be fun, except it will never ever happen, because there would be a lot of Fed witnesses to Administration incompetence.

the drill sgt on October 29, 2013 at 8:40 AM

If a contractor built a house, and it fell down the first day of move in, you would demand 100% of your money back, with interest, and not paid until the house was 100% complete…

I see nothing wrong with demanding 100% of the money back, and not pay a dime until the website is 100% perfect…

right2bright on October 29, 2013 at 7:59 AM

something close to that would be legal if the contract were a “Firm Fixed Price” (FFP) arrangement, though the standard would be whatever had been agreed to as “acceptance criteria” rather than “100% perfect”

Your house was bought FFP.

However, the general contractor had full control over how he got the job done, built it according to plans agreed to before work started and hired all his subs.

On this job, CMS was the general contractor. see my earlier post.

Also, the contract may not have been FFP in this case, because the private contractors were subs to CMS. It most likely were “Time and materials” (e.g. hourly rates) given that they kept raising the contract ceiling. It also might have been “cost reimbursable”. In neither T&M or CR, could HHS go after the vendors unless some clear gross malfeasance was asserted.

the drill sgt on October 29, 2013 at 9:20 AM

PS: That the acceptance criteria were weak or the specs faulty is a Fed problem. In contracts, failures to specify performance or ambiguities in the contract are held against the writer of the contract (e.g. CMS) , not the vendor.

the drill sgt on October 29, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Dems to DOJ: We should probably ask for a refund from HealthCare.Gov’s contractors

Citizens to DOJ: we also need to demand a REALLY HUGE refund of all of our income and medicare taxes which were diverted, stolen from “trust funds,” and wasted by the Obamacrats since 2008!!!

The only thing we got in return was the destruction of our health care system destruction of the insurance industry, and millions of people who already had health insurance now uninsured with no way to regain insurance on reasonable terms.

landlines on October 29, 2013 at 2:09 PM

“As a result, we ask that you review the contracts and determine whether CGI Federal and/or any other company involved in the construction of the website has violated the terms of its agreement or is in constructive breach of the contract.”

Yeah, good luck with that. If they have any experience at all, they know how to play the CYA game. It’s very common, especially with government projects, to have the stakeholders screw up, delay, and change the requirements. Requirement changes necessitate corresponding changes in either resources or time or both.

IT contractors know to keep all evidence of change requests. I think if Obama’s DOJ starts going after them, leaks of that information will quickly follow.

Common Sense on October 30, 2013 at 3:58 AM