New Senate Finance minority report accuses WH of politicizing and sinking ObamaCare rollout

posted at 2:41 pm on June 19, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Stunning, right? I mean, no one ever thought that a computer system that hadn’t been tested for a massively unpopular imposition of a command economy in health insurance would be tainted by political ambition. No, no, no no no.

Yes:

Under pressure from the White House, Healthcare.gov was launched despite a wave of previously unknown warnings from consultants that the Obamacare website was insecure, untested, and prone to crashing after just 500 people got on, according to a damaging new Senate report.

“The White House continually meddled in technical decisions and put pressure on [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] officials to launch the website on time, regardless of operability and security concerns. As a result, officials ignored countless red flags to launch a website with thousands of defects. In the end, the launch failed miserably, crashing on takeoff,” said the report from Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, ranking member of the panel, with panel member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and their staff have spent months interviewing key officials, reviewing emails and collecting reports in their probe of the website and concluded that top officials, feeling the heat to burnish President Obama’s health care legacy, ignored several warnings and flipped the switch October 1.

Paul Bedard has the whole PDF available for perusal at the Washington Examiner, but the only surprise here is the scale of the interference. We’ve largely assumed that the insane, Rube Goldberg-esque complexity of the ObamaCare system added to the usual incompetencies of bureaucracy ended up producing a sales portal than can’t even confirm payment on the sales. Now we find, through this report’s conclusions, that the incompetence was a great deal more active than first thought.

By the way, just how clear was it that the Healthcare.gov website rollout should have been delayed? An outside auditor issued warnings that have not been made public until now that the site had 677 “serious defects” and 21,000 lines of defective code. Instead of heeding the internal calls to delay the rollout, now-booted CMS chief Marilyn Tavenner caved in to White House pressure and launched the site anyway. She did that even though:

– Just 23 percent of the site’s coding had been tested.

– Only 40 percent of security controls were tested and the administration didn’t know if they could protect the personal medical and financial information of Obamacare applicants.

– The White House continually piled on new demands, delaying the project, and meddled with the launch with pestering requests and questions.

Basically, the report accuses the White House of deliberately putting taxpayers at risk of identity theft in order to score a few political points. Again, this isn’t exactly news, but it is confirmation. Perhaps it’s time to get Tavenner back up to the Hill and ask her on the record who pressured her into that decision, and what they knew of these flaws when they did.


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What is it now? Like weekly scandals?

The sum of this guy’s scandals must equal an impeachment. Seriously.

Oil Can on June 19, 2014 at 2:44 PM

It’s one thing to know, having proof is another. Hard for libturds to argue with facts.

dogsoldier on June 19, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Basically, the report accuses the White House of deliberately putting taxpayers at risk of identity theft in order to score a few political points.


Just to be clear …

There is still NO true security in place on Healthcare.gov AND the backend to connect with the insurers STILL does not exist.

PolAgnostic on June 19, 2014 at 2:46 PM

What isn’t F—ed up anymore???…

PatriotRider on June 19, 2014 at 2:47 PM

So basically Obama & his Administration took their Foreign Policy decision making, and used it on ObamaCare.

portlandon on June 19, 2014 at 2:47 PM

What else? All the data was being housed on Lois Lerner’s hard drive?

HumpBot Salvation on June 19, 2014 at 2:47 PM

What isn’t F—ed up anymore???…

PatriotRider on June 19, 2014 at 2:47 PM

After the Obama era, the historians will say this about it:

“The Obama Administration dared to dream too big. It was the limitations of man that kept him from complete victory & excellence”

portlandon on June 19, 2014 at 2:51 PM

I simply cannot believe that all their hard drives didn’t crash. The findings of the report will be denied by the WH and the MSM will take up the hint and it will die on the shelf.

vnvet on June 19, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Calling rogerb…..
Where’s your libtard troll quote “x days…”

dentarthurdent on June 19, 2014 at 2:53 PM

After the Obama era, the historians will say this about it:

“The Obama Administration dared to dream too big. It was the limitations of man that kept him from complete victory & excellence”

portlandon on June 19, 2014 at 2:51 PM

IDK – I see a world as at the end of the movie “The World’s End” – and a byline that says “Thanks to the Obama Adminstration, we all now live in a perfect utopia of peace and prosperity for all.”

dentarthurdent on June 19, 2014 at 2:56 PM

So what? Nothing’s going to come of it.
They’re all corrupt.

vityas on June 19, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Negative report by GOP. What’s the point?

ROCnPhilly on June 19, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Obama, politicizing anything? You sure are joking, right?

Rix on June 19, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Crickets lets focus on Scott walkers faux scandal

cmsinaz on June 19, 2014 at 3:03 PM

So Republicans once more stand in an empty room in the dead of night complaining at the wall that “the-White-House-is-incompetent-and-corrupt-and-abuses-its-power-for-political-gain-and-isn’t-it-just-awful-and-why-doesn’t-somebody-do-something-about-this?”

Ho-hum…

jbspry on June 19, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Stunning, right? I mean, no one ever thought that a computer system that hadn’t been tested for a massively unpopular imposition of a command economy
============================================================================

Speaking of Oregon:

APNewsBreak: Oregon closer to health exchange suit
By JONATHAN J. COOPER
— Jun. 16, 2014 7:13 PM EDT
***************************

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon has taken new steps toward a potential lawsuit against the developers of its failed health insurance website by hiring a phalanx of lawyers and issuing demands for evidence and other material that could be used in a civil case against technology giant Oracle Corp.

Legal demands for potential evidence were issued Monday, officials in the governor’s office and the state Department of Justice told The Associated Press. But they declined to say how many of the so-called civil investigative demands were issued or whom they target. They are the first such demands issued in preparation for potential litigation against Oracle, said Kristina Edmunson, a department spokeswoman.

In addition, documents obtained by the AP show the state last month more than quadrupled its contract with a law firm handling the case, raising it from $550,000 to more than $2.5 million.
(More…)
=========

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/apnewsbreak-oregon-closer-health-exchange-suit

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:03 PM

It’s one thing to know, having proof is another. Hard for libturds to argue with facts.

dogsoldier on June 19, 2014 at 2:44 PM

LibFree and weedisbad would beg to differ with you.

Johnnyreb on June 19, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Didn’t we know most of this like 2 weeks after the site crashed??

Deano1952 on June 19, 2014 at 3:05 PM

I guess by now we can be absolved of being paranoid, psychotic, conspiracy theorists.

Oh – and racist.

tru2tx on June 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

I’m digging this liberal utopia.

John the Libertarian on June 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

21K of bad code isn’t really surprising, its also bad but not as bad as the 666 serious defects.
I gave them 1 to change it to 666 since it fits.

these things though are pretty damned bad too

— The White House continually piled on new demands, delaying the project, and meddled with the launch with pestering requests and questions.

— The decision by a top official to delay the launch was overridden by Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner.

dmacleo on June 19, 2014 at 3:11 PM

What is this now? Scandal # ?

sandee on June 19, 2014 at 3:15 PM

The report put much of the blame on politics, but also the lack of a general contractor or top official who had control over the web page.

Kathleen Sibelius not mentioned in the story. Ms. Tavenner looks like the Scooter Libby on this one.

cbenoistd on June 19, 2014 at 3:16 PM

When it came time to certify the website as secure, political pressure again trumped technological reality. Normally, the job of approving a major IT project as secure would go to the Chief Information Officer of CMS, in this case Tony Trenkle. As discussed previously, his subordinate, Chief Information Security Officer Teresa Fryer testified that she recommended to at least four key individuals that the ATO be denied: Tony Trenkle, CMS CIO; George Linares, CMS Chief Technology Officer; Frank Baitman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Technology and Chief Technology Officer at HHS; and Kevin Charest, Chief Information Security Officer for HHS.112 Ms. Fryer was overruled. Ms. Fryer was overruled. As a result of the controversy, CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner herself signed the ATO, in a highly unusual move. In doing so, she certified the security of the website, and permitted the launch to proceed on October 1.

page 20/21
this is actually a big deal.
and for a private company, from what I understand with limited practice helping certifying my airlines tool control program sites for FAA, criminal.

dmacleo on June 19, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Bad boys, bad boys. Whatcha’ gonna’ do…

scratchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

…Absolutely nothing. Uh-huh. War, huh, yeah. What is it good for. Absolutely nothing.

(rinse, repeat)

Tsar of Earth on June 19, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Ot. Mccarthy won

cmsinaz on June 19, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Heads Up:

Rep. Kevin McCarthy elected House majority leader
20s
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is elected House majority leader – @WesleyLowery
see original on twitter.com
===========================

Bids to replace Rep. Eric Cantor in House leadership
5m
The Majority Leader’s vote is being tallied right now; winner will be announced to the press and then whip vote begins – @jeffzeleny
see original on twitter.com

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:18 PM

huh anyone notice (page 23) that there is office of health reform that reports direct to white house and is not under HHS?
that seems odd.

dmacleo on June 19, 2014 at 3:19 PM

And here in Maryland, we’re going to elect as governor this November the guy in charge of our failed exchange that cost us $130 million.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on June 19, 2014 at 3:21 PM

And the republipansies are going to do what? Bend over and ask for more. Effing gutless scum.

bbinfl on June 19, 2014 at 3:31 PM

This is the same administration that wants to completely micro-manage the nation’s power generation.

Kevin R on June 19, 2014 at 3:42 PM

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/apnewsbreak-oregon-closer-health-exchange-suit
canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Oregon Governor Kitzhaber gets a twofer on this one: looks like he’s DOING SOMETHING IMPORTANT (hoping to improve his reelection chances), and he gets to shovel a bunch of money to some lib dem lawyer supporters.

We’ll see what comes of a lawsuit. I’m betting nothing.

Marcola on June 19, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, ranking member of the panel, with panel member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and their staff have spent months interviewing key officials

It was produced by Republicans. It will be ignored. Waste of time and paper as far as the LIV and the MSM are concerned.

Walter L. Newton on June 19, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Whistlin’ and Pissed

Closet Optimist on June 19, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Basically, the report accuses the White House of deliberately putting taxpayers at risk of identity theft in order to score a few political points.

I might be shocked, if I were a complete idiot who had been living under a freaking rock for the past six years.

I’m not shocked.

xNavigator on June 19, 2014 at 5:26 PM

King Barack the Magnificent will shortly issue a rebuttal stating that the minority report is POLITICAL.

GarandFan on June 19, 2014 at 5:57 PM

There is still NO true security in place on Healthcare.gov AND the backend to connect with the insurers STILL does not exist.

PolAgnostic on June 19, 2014 at 2:46 PM

ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!

Users of healthcare.gov should realize that ANY AN ALL information they enter is easily compromised, and will probably be widely shared with others in the hacker community. And any payments they make will NOT guarantee that they are actually insured.

landlines on June 19, 2014 at 6:28 PM

So Ed, just a second here. The White House was [pushing for this and that and changes and still meeting the original launch date:

“The White House continually meddled in technical decisions and put pressure on [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] officials to launch the website on time, regardless of operability and security concerns. As a result, officials ignored countless red flags to launch a website with thousands of defects.

The White House continually piled on new demands, delaying the project, and meddled with the launch with pestering requests and questions.

While all the time getting push back from the project leaders and code writers:

officials ignored countless red flags to launch a website with thousands of defects.

And yet, President Obama claims he had no clue that the web site wasn’t anywhere near ready for launch on October 1st until well after October 1st? Hmmm, yeah, right.

parke on June 19, 2014 at 6:33 PM