Rep. Kelly Seeks Answers about Construction of Obamacare Website

Sends letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner

WASHINGTON — Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA), a member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, issued the following statement today regarding a letter he authored and submitted to Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), requesting specific information about Healthcare.gov, the official website of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Rep. Kelly is seeking details about the bidding process and project oversight for the faulty website’s construction, which was a topic of discussion at last week’s full committee hearing. The full letter can be viewed here.

“Last week, Administrator Tavenner’s testimony before the Ways and Means committee was filled with holes that need to be filled and questions that must be addressed. After three years and $600 million of taxpayer money were wasted on a failed website for a failed law, the American people deserve a full explanation of how things went so wrong before even more of their money is spent on new contractors to clean up this mess.

“As a lifelong automobile dealer, I know full well that such a shocking lack of competence in contracting such an enormous project would never be tolerated in the private sector. When the federal government spends money, it’s the hard-earned tax dollars of working Americans that are on the hook. Only in Washington can so much money be doled out with such little guarantee that the buyers – the American people – actually get what they paid for. The bottom line is that American taxpayers paid for a defective service and now deserve answers and a refund, not excuses and another unfettered expenditure.”

Rep. Kelly’s letter formally requests the following items from Administrator Tavenner regarding the construction of Healthcare.gov:

  • The original Request for Proposal, including the specifications provided, and any amendments thereto;
  • The number and names of the respondents;
  • Details on the review process, including the criteria used and who chose the winning bidder;
  • A copy of any bid bond, performance bond, or other performance guarantee measure provided by the winning contractor against failure to fulfill the contract;
  • Details regarding who within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was responsible for overseeing the construction and testing of the website and whether this oversight was actually performed;
  • How often progress reports were provided to you and Secretary Sebelius regarding construction and testing of the website;
  • The date on which CMS became aware that actual costs were above the anticipated costs and were likely to keep rising;
  • Who authorized these additional expenditures;
  • Details regarding the process for employing the additional “tech surge” contractors, including whether there was a bidding process, how it was conducted, and who chose the winning bidders;
  • Copies of the contracts with the “tech surge” contractors as well as any performance guarantee measures or bonds provided by them; and
  • Details regarding what authority Jeff Zients is working under and how he is being paid.

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