BY: Follow @LizWFB
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sent letters Tuesday to five tech companies asking if they are involved with the efforts to fix the faulty Obamacare website, Healthcare.gov.
Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) asked Verizon Enterprise Inc., Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and Expedia if they were assisting the government in attempts to fix of the site.
According to reports, President Barack Obama has already called upon Verizon to help fix the online marketplace Healthcare.gov, a website that cost over $600 million to produce that has been plagued with glitches and technical problems since its launch on Oct. 1.
The administration announced a “tech surge,” a group of government and private sector computer experts, to assist with the website. The team will include “veterans of top Silicon Valley companies,” said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“The Obama Administration has announced it is ‘bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government’ to fix the seemingly endless problems with the healthcare exchange website, but has not provided details about what the problems are, who is being enlisted to solve them and how long the process is expected to take,” the committee said in a statement Wednesday.
Issa’s letters ask the tech giants to disclose any communication they have had with the administration regarding Healthcare.gov since Oct. 1.
“Despite the President’s assertion that ‘we’re well into a tech surge’ neither the White House nor HHS is providing additional details about which private sector companies have been engaged or whether they are being engaged through the appropriate procurement processes,” Chairman Issa writes.
The companies will have until Oct. 25 to respond to the committee’s request.
Issa said the committee is forced to ask the tech companies since the administration has been secretive regarding the website’s launch. HHS has refused to say how many people have been able to successfully sign up for Obamacare, and is asking insurance companies not to release their exchange numbers.
“The Committee seeks your company’s cooperation in an effort to obtain important information about the problems plaguing HealthCare.gov and efforts to address them that the Administration has so far refused to divulge,” the letter said.
“Given the lack of answers from the Administration, the requests include all communication between the companies and [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] CMS, HHS, the Office of Management and Budget, or the Executive Office of the President since October 1, 2013,” the committee said.