Email shows White House had "fear" HealthCare.Gov wouldn't work before launch

In the email to a number of apparent colleagues, Chao suggests the administration should design a more palatable way to tell the public that the website was not working in case it failed after the launch, saying that such a move could help prevent the media from “just ramping up the hyperbole about hc.gov not [being] functional.”

The email refers to a meeting the previous day, Sept. 24, that included White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and CMS chief Marilyn Tavenner.

“When Todd Park and Marilyn was (sic) here yesterday one of the things Todd conveyed was this fear the WH has about hc.gov being unavailable,” wrote Chao.

He added of Park: “He will come back again and ask on 9/30 because after knowing him for the past 3+ years I can tell when he will hang on to something for a long time. Todd does have a good point and I think we should have a more comprehensive answer as to how we will ensure high availability.”