Tag: HealthCare.gov

Company Fired By HHS Over Botched Healthcare.Gov Rehired By IRS To Provide Support For Obamacare Tax Program

IRS Has Active Contract For Millions With Company HHS FIRED Over Botched Healthcare.Gov – Daily Caller

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Seven months after federal officials fired CGI Federal for its botched work on Obamacare website Healthcare.gov, the IRS awarded the same company a $4.5 million IT contract for its new Obamacare tax program.

CGI is a $10.5 billion Montreal-based company that has forever been etched into the public’s mind as the company behind the bungled Obamacare main website.

After facing a year of embarrassing failures, federal officials finally pulled the plug on the company and terminated CGI’s contract in January 2014.

Yet on Aug. 11, seven months later, IRS officials signed a new contract with CGI to provide “critical functions” and “management support” for its Obamacare tax program, according to the Federal Procurement Data System, a federal government procurement database.

The IRS contract is worth $4.46 million, according to the FPDS data. The contract expires Aug. 15, 2015.

Prior to terminating CGI’s contract, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Congress, “I am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of HealthCare.gov.” She called the CGI-designed website a “debacle.”

A joint Senate Finance and Judiciary Committee staff report in June 2014 found that Turning Point Global Solutions, hired by HHS to review CGI’s performance on Healthcare.gov, reported they found 21,000 lines of defective software code inserted by CGI.

Scott Amey, the general counsel for the non-profit Project on Government Oversight, which reviews government contracting, examined the IRS contract with CGI.

“CGI was the poster child for government failure,” he told The Daily Caller. “I am shocked that the IRS has turned around and is using them for Obamacare IT work.”

Washington was not the only city that has been fed up with CGI on healthcare.

Last year, CGI was fired by the liberal states of Vermont and Massachusetts for failing to deliver on their Obamacare websites.

The Obamacare health website in Massachusetts never worked, despite the state paying $170 million to CGI.

Massachusetts, the state that pioneered government healthcare through its Romneycare health insurance program in 2006, could only enroll 31,000 people in 2014. Most enrolments were through paper applications.

And in Vermont, state officials pulled the plug on CGI after its system failed to work for 10 months. Vermont had paid $66.7 million to CGI. The state imposed a $5 million penalty on the company for shoddy work.

CGI’s 2014 annual report says nothing about the disastrous rollout of online healthcare websites in the United States.

Curiously, CGI features its online health work in Helsinki, London, Alberta, Saskatchewan and for the New York State of Mental Health, but says nothing about its ruined rollout of Obamacare web sites.

In Canada, CGI’s parent company, Montreal-based CGI Group, was just as deficient.

Ontario health officials fired CGI after it failed to deliver a flagship provincial online health registry.

About 7 million Obamacare policyholders and about 20 million Americans who don’t have healthcare coverage will depend this year on the proper IRS processing of their 2014 income tax returns.

Improper processing of health information could cause some Americans to receive smaller tax refunds, or even pay more out-of-pocket for their government-issued healthcare policies.

A September 2013 audit by the IRS inspector general criticized the tax agency’s software and computer systems aimed to process Obamacare tax return forms.

Michael E. McKenney, the acting deputy inspector general, found many problems with the IRS software, including lax security and fraud controls.

Government auditors found “Many of the vulnerabilities in information systems can be traced to software flaws and misconfigurations of system components.”

The IRS did not reply to numerous inquiries to the agency about the CGI contract.

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Congressman Issa Charges HHS Secretary Sebelius With Criminal Obstruction Of HealthCare.gov Investigation

Issa Charges Sebelius With Criminal Obstruction Of HealthCare.gov Investigation – Nextgov

The lead congressman investigating HealthCare.gov’s dismal performance during its first two months online ratcheted up the executive-congressional conflict on Wednesday, accusing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of criminal obstruction of his investigation.

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The dispute centers around a letter the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent to a contractor that worked on the online health insurance marketplace, directing it not to turn over correspondence and other documents to congressional investigators and stating CMS would manage any congressional inquiries.

That letter amounted to “criminal obstruction of a congressional investigation,” according to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

“Obstructing a congressional investigation is a crime,” Issa said in a statement. “The federal obstruction laws reflect the fact that Congress’ right of access to information is constitutionally based and critical to the integrity and effectiveness of our oversight and investigative activities.”

HHS Spokeswoman Joanne Peters responded that the department is attempting to comply with Issa’s investigation while ensuring it doesn’t reveal any private consumer information or technology secrets.

“We have worked to accommodate the committee’s oversight interests in a number of ways, including by allowing the committee to review unredacted copies of the requested documents in person,” she said in a statement. “The committee already has copies of the requested documents that have been redacted to protect sensitive security information.”

The department plans to respond directly to Issa later, Peters said.

Issa issued a subpoena in October to compel Sebelius to turn over documents related to HealthCare.gov’s troubled launch.

His charges come on the same day Sebelius asked her department’s inspector general to launch his own investigation into HealthCare.gov’s failures. She also asked CMS, which led the Obamacare implementation, to appoint a chief risk officer to investigate why risks weren’t identified during the building of HealthCare.gov and how the agency can avoid such failures in the future.

Issa’s committee has uncovered evidence of significant doubts among contractors that HealthCare.gov would be successful upon launch. He has also charged government officials with forcing last minute changes to the site for political reasons that may have contributed to its troubles after launch.

The oversight committee’s Democratic leaders did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Issa’s charges.

HealthCare.gov has been operating generally well since Nov. 30 following a “tech surge” by the government and contractors that included 400 bug fixes, increased server capacity and a new management structure.

About 137,000 people enrolled in new health insurance plans through the marketplace during its first two months online. An additional 227,000 people enrolled through state-run online marketplaces.

The government hopes to enroll 7 million people in new insurance plans by the end of March. Some experts worry the slow start to enrollment may deter young and healthy people from enrolling in plans through the site, leading to unsustainably high premiums for people who do purchase the plans.

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It Figures… Expert Says Healthcare.gov Security Risks Even Worse After ‘Fix’

Expert: Healthcare.gov Security Risks Even Worse After ‘Fix’ – Washington Free Beacon

The Obamacare insurance marketplace is even more vulnerable to security breaches since the administration “fixed” Healthcare.gov, according to a cyber security expert.

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Health and Human Services (HHS) released a progress report on Sunday following its self-imposed Nov. 30 deadline to repair the website, saying that the “team has knocked more than 400 bug fixes and software improvements off the punch list.”

The administration said that the “site capacity is stable at its intended level,” though the site continued to crash on Monday.

The eight-page report made no mention of the website’s numerous security flaws, which experts say put Americans’ personal information at risk.

“It doesn’t appear that any security fixes were done at all,” David Kennedy, CEO of the online security firm TrustedSec, told the Washington Free Beacon.

Kennedy said fundamental safeguards missing from Healthcare.gov that were identified by his company more than a month ago have yet to be put in place.

“There are a number of security concerns already with the website, and that’s without even actually hacking the site, that’s just a purely passive analysis of [it],” he said. “We found a number of critical exposures that were around sensitive information, the ability to hack into the site, things like that. We reported those issues and none of those appear to have been addressed at all.”

After warning Americans when testifying before Congress on Nov. 19 to stay away from Healthcare.gov, Kennedy now says the situation is even worse.

“They said they implemented over 400 bug fixes,” he said. “When you recode the application to fix these 400 bugs – they were rushing this out of the door to get the site at least so it can work a little bit – you’re introducing more security flaws as you go along with it because you don’t even check that code.”

“I’m a little bit more skeptical now, and I would still definitely advise individuals to not use the website because it’s definitely something that I don’t believe is secure and neither did the four individuals that testified in front of Congress,” Kennedy said. “I think there’s some major security concerns there around privacy and information, and they haven’t even come close to being addressed, and won’t be in the short term.”

Security exposures are not limited to the federal health exchange, but the 14 state marketplace websites as well. A breach has already been cited in Vermont, where a user was given access to another’s Social Security Number.

“That’s a whole other front of hacking,” Kennedy said. “That’s what’s actually going to contain all the sensitive information for residents in those states.”

“States are required to notify in the event of a breach, the federal government is not,” he added. “So in the event that Healthcare.gov gets compromised and all their information gets taken out of it they don’t have to notify anybody.”

Kennedy said the team working on Healthcare.gov is more likely to hide its security flaws than address them. When it was revealed that the most popular searches on the website were hack attempts – confirmed by entering a semicolon in the search bar – the website simply removed the tool.

“The top results were hacker attempts,” Kennedy said. “Their fix for it wasn’t, ‘Hey let’s restrict people from inputting malicious code into the website,’ – because that’s how hackers break into websites – it was, ‘we’re just going to completely disable that entire function completely, and not even show the search results back.’”

CMS did not respond to requests for comment.

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Related video:

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So when can we realistically expect that Obama Care website to work?

In only three more years, give or take apparently

Wait, did he say 2017?

“It may take until 2017. It will work really well then.”

– White House adviser David Plouffe, quoted by ABC News, on the implementation problems facing Obamacare.

Talk about setting low goals for the greatest legislation evah!

The Obama administration claimed victory Sunday for making HealthCare.gov workable for the vast majority of users, a standard that will be tested as millions of people flood the site in the next three weeks.

Sunday marked the passage of the administration’s self-imposed deadline for fixing the broken ObamaCare enrollment website, which serves consumers in 36 states.

The agency that oversees HealthCare.gov said “we believe we have met the goal” of making the system navigable for most people, but cautioned that more problems may lie ahead.

“Dramatic progress has been made,” the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stated in a report released Sunday morning. “[But] there is more work to be done to continue to improve and enhance the website.”

The mixed message highlights the challenge facing the Obama administration as it seeks to ensure that millions can sign up for individual health plans online by the end of March.

Buffoons!

 

Obamacare Corruption Update: Subcontractor Working On Healthcare.gov Under FBI Investigation

Subcontractor Working On Obamacare Site Under FBI Investigation – Daily Caller

One of the subcontractors working on the Obamacare website is currently under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Client Network Services Incorporated (CNSI) became a sub-contractor on the Obamacare website in 2012, working hand in hand with QSSI, according to its website. QSSI was one of several contractors hauled before Congress to address the sites troubled rollout in October.

According to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “war room” notes released in October, CNSI was responsible for assisting with electronic data interchange (EDI) – defined as a system to transfer data between computer systems without human interaction.

Among the plethora of problems with the website rollout, insurance companies have complained that data received on their computers has often been inaccurate, suggesting a problem with the EDI.

CNSI is currently under investigation by the FBI, which has alleged that then-Louisiana Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein, a former CNSI employee, exerted undue influence in steering the Medicaid contract to Louisiana.

According to a story in the New Orleans Times Picayne, the FBI also acccused CNSI of witness tampering in another case.

“According to the FBI report in this Court’s possession, one of CNSI’s owners, in front of the other three owners, said if the employee ‘ever disclosed the misconduct at the company they would have him killed.’”

In 2011, the State of South Dakota accused CNSI of overbilling for a state Medicaid website, according to a story by the Aberdeen News:

The South Dakota Department of Social Services has paid $49.7 million so far for a new Medicaid processing system that at this point remains inoperable.

The original contract was for $62.7 million, but the new system is now expected to cost far in excess of $80 million to complete and will take two to three more years to get running, according to court documents filed as part of a lawsuit between the contractor and the department.

The company that eventually won the contract, Client Network Services Inc. of Maryland, submitted a proposal in 2007, later participated in another final-and-best offer round, and was awarded the contract in June 2008.

The cost of the Obamacare website – which has reportedly run “north of $600 million” – has also become a scandalous issue.

In Michigan, The Southeast Michigan Health Care Exchange – which set up a state Obamacare exchange – pursued a suit initially valued at $7 million for breach of contract involving services provided by CNSI for IT services with that website.

In 2006, CNSI was the subject of a lengthy expose in the IT trade journal, CIO Magazine, which detailed allegations that CNSI produced a low ball bid in order to win a contract, only to have the final cost balloon exponentially.

In August 2013, Fox News ran a story detailing how CNSI was involved in a scheme to subvert the normal contractual process in Illinois in another IT contract involving the States of Michigan and Illinois:

A company from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Client Network Services Incorporated or CNSI, already has a contract in Michigan to perform similar services.

By forming an alliance with Michigan, Illinois was able to bypass a drawn-out, expensive bidding process because the state procurement code says HFS doesn’t need one if there is an intergovernmental agreement.

According to the war room notes, CNSI was in constant communications with staffers at HHS on the Obamacare website.

“CNSI is working on items to be able to provide to us management reports. It probably won’t be a daily email update; it will likely be a portal log-in to view the information, which would be cumulative and provide trending analysis.”

CNSI, QSSI, HHS and CMS did not return TheDC’s requests for comment.

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30 To 40 Percent Of Healthcare.gov Not Yet Built, Including Payment Infrastructure (Video)

30 To 40 Percent Of Obamacare Tech Not Built – Daily Caller

One of Obamacare’s top IT officials admitted Tuesday that 30 to 40 percent of its infrastructure hasn’t even been built yet – including the payment systems that actually get money to the insurers.

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Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and one of the highest tech officers in charge of Obamacare’s implementation, revealed this during congressional testimony.

Republican Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner repeatedly asked Chao just how much work was left to do on the federal exchange. While Chao initially said 60 to 70 percent of HealthCare.gov remained undone, after Gardner’s dogged questioning, Chao concluded that 30 to 40 percent of the IT systems are yet to be built.

Chao maintained that as the remainder of the IT systems are completed, they will be tested “in the same exact manner we tested everything else,” potentially raising questions after widespread malfunctions.

One pretty important step remains incomplete.

“We still have to build the payment systems to make payments in January,” Chao told the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “There’s the back office systems, the accounting systems, the payment systems… They still need to be done.”

Avik Roy, a Manhattan Institute health policy expert, raised questions about what this means for Obamacare enrollment. Because insurance enrollments are typically not counted until the insurer has received a first premium payment, technically none of the almost 27,000 enrollees the Obama administration claimed can be fully enrolled until the payment systems are complete.

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*VIDEO* Healthcare.gov Enrollment Numbers Even Worse Than The Pathetic Numbers First Reported


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