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The Obamacare Mess!

Feds promise to fix sites by December

From The Atlanta Voice staff and wire services | 11/1/2013, 6 a.m.
Political accusations were hurled; apologies were given and promises were made, but no one is exactly sure when people will ...
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gestures while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington,this week, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the difficulties plaguing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP.

CGI Federal also told the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in a memo that it could not get access to computer logs that would have pinpointed potential problems. The contractor labeled that issue as "severe" as recently as June, and said a compressed schedule for opening the site on Oct. 1 did not allow enough time for adequate testing.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asked CGI Federal for the documents last week. It released them to the public late Tuesday.

The law doesn’t create a government-run system like Britain’s, but it does mandate that large employers provide insurance and that everyone must be insured or face tax penalties. Those who can’t afford insurance can receive subsidies in states that accepted federal money for an expansion of the Medicaid program for low-income Americans. Several Republican-governed states rejected the federal money and are not expanding Medicaid.

On Tuesday, Medicaid chief Marilyn Tavenner was questioned for nearly three hours by members of the House Ways and Means Committee. The hearing quickly devolved into a resumption of Republican arguments against the whole program. House Republicans have tried to revoke or delay the new health care law at least 40 times since it was signed into law in 2010. Most recently, Republicans demanded that Obama gut the program in exchange for ending a partial government shutdown this month and avoiding a debt default. That effort collapsed in a fury of voter disapproval of the Republicans.

AP writers Stephen Ohlemacher and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.