Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 23, 2014

5 Democrats Target Obamacare Contractors in Website Flap

barber1028131 445x298 5 Democrats Target Obamacare Contractors in Website Flap

Barber and four House freshmen sent a letter to the attorney general asking whether taxpayers should get a refund for the faulty HealthCare.gov website. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A handful of House Democrats want the contractors responsible for HealthCare.gov to be held accountable for the failures of the Obamacare website.

On Friday, four freshmen — Pete Gallego and Filemon Vela of Texas, Krysten Sinema of Arizona and Bill Enyart of Illinois — along with sophomore Rep. Ron Barber of Arizona, sent a strongly-worded letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

They want the Justice Department to determine whether taxpayers deserve a refund for the government payments made to contractors responsible for HealthCare.gov.

“The website was not ready for the traffic it received. In the weeks since its opening, the website has never performed as expected or promised,” the lawmakers wrote. “As a result, we ask that you review the contracts to determine whether CGI Federal and/or any other company involved in the construction of the website has violated the terms of its agreement or is in constructive breach of the contract.

“Specifically, we ask that you pursue any and all remedies up to and including a refund of any and all monies paid to the contractors for a website that doesn’t work,” they continued. “If the government has purchased faulty or defective services, the taxpayers deserve and should demand their money back.”

The website, which launched earlier this month, is intended to facilitate enrollment in health insurance programs mandated by the Affordable Care Act. It has, however, been plagued by a litany of malfunctions, giving fodder to Republican critics of the health care law.

But it’s also sparked ire among Democrats in both chambers, including progressive lawmakers who are long-time supporters of the law.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., said last week that he would “like to see somebody lose their job” over the error-riddled website. In the Senate, 10 Democrats are pushing for an extension of the enrollment window.

Here’s the full text of the House Democratic letter that was sent to Holder on Oct. 25 and was released to the public on Monday:

October 24, 2013

The Honorable Eric Holder
Attorney General of the United States
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Holder:

We write today to express our deep concerns over contracts our government engaged in to create the website known as HealthCare.gov.  It is no secret that the website has not performed in a satisfactory manner.  There are countless reports of people waiting hours to get through the site only to have the system crash once they have successfully logged in.

Clearly, the website was not ready for the traffic it received.  In the weeks since its opening, the website has never performed as expected or promised.  As a result, we ask that you review the contracts and determine whether CGI Federal and/or any other company involved in the construction of the website has violated the terms of its agreement or is in constructive breach of the contract.

Specifically, we ask that you pursue any and all remedies up to and including a refund of any and all monies paid to the contractors for a website  that doesn’t work.  If the government has purchased faulty or defective services, the taxpayers deserve and should demand their money back.

We respectfully urge a full and thorough review of all the contracts the government engaged in to create HealthCare.gov and seek to hold contractors accountable for their unsatisfactory work.  We look forward to a timely response.

Sincerely,

Pete P. Gallego
Member of Congress

Kyrsten Sinema
Member of Congress

Ron Barber
Member of Congress

William L. Enyart
Member of Congress

  • paulejb

    Hey, Democrat Chumps! How about investigating the Obama administration incompetents that hired the contractors?

    • Chimookman

      Sweetheart deal with Michelle Obama’s Princeton BFF. Google Tony Townes-Whitley CGI Federal.

  • grannyk8

    In general, terms of government contracts need to be reviewed. There is no reason that the government needs to pay more, wait longer, nor accept poorer quality from any contractor than any other purchaser does. It’s time to review why, and what the government orders that is outside of standard specs, and time to add fines for delays in fulfilling contracts. Anyone who wants to complain about government spending needs to start there.

  • papal

    IT is not the contractors fault. It is questionable why the contractor got the contract, but the fiasco is the administrations fault. The administration withheld much of the regulations from the contractor until after the 2012 elections and then dumped those regulations on the contractor and so much of the code written before the regulation dump might not work. But let’s not forget that it all could have been avoided had the administration and the dems accepted the repubs second offer of the shutdown of a one year delay. The entire fiasco put off for a year or at least after the 2014 elections.

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...