Kathleen Sebelius

HHS’s Kathleen Sebelius will throw contractors under the bus

In preparation for her appearance before the Health and Human Services Committee tomorrow, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has released her written testimony. While she says very little about the source of Healthcare.gov’s problems, it appears she is going to place almost all the blame on the contractors and drag out the old line about too many people trying to log on.

From basically the only part of her testimony that actually addresses the causes of the system’s problems:

To build the Marketplace, CMS used private sector contractors, just as it does to administer aspects of Medicare. CMS has a track record of successfully overseeing the many contractors our programs depend on to function. Unfortunately, a subset of those contracts for HealthCare.gov have not met expectations.

Among other issues, the initial wave of interest stressed the account service, resulting in many consumers experiencing difficulty signing up, while those who were able to sign up sometimes had problems logging in.

It appears the game is for the administration to blame the contractors and the contractors to blame the administration, while everyone involved hopes it is all fixed by the beginning of December before it becomes a serious problem.