KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

With Budget Battle Now On The Back Burner, GOP Will Step Up Health Law Scrutiny

Difficulties with and questions about the contractors that built it will be high on the list of issues receiving scrutiny.

Politico: Shutdown Over, Congress Turns To Obamacare 'Train Wreck'
With the shutdown over and a default averted, Washington has another train wreck to sift through: the Obamacare rollout. Republican critics have plenty to investigate, starting with the $400 million website that doesn’t work and the federal contractor that built it, while asking a more fundamental question: Will it be fixed in time for people to get health coverage early next year (Norman, 10/17).

CBS News: Congress Wants Explanation For Obamacare Site Glitches
Here's where the problem lies: When applicants try to log on to the website, they are asked to verify their identities before they can shop for health insurance. That proof-of-identity process has turned out to be an impassible roadblock for many users. Now Congress is investigating why. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is asking the administration and the website's private contractors if the problems are in their hardware systems or in the software. CGI Federal, the company that won an $88 million contract to be the prime architect of the website, has repeatedly assured Congress the site would be ready when Obamacare went into effect. "CGI Federal is confident in its ability to deliver successfully on its contract," company Senior Vice President Cheryl Campbell declared last month (Andrews, 10/16).

CQ HealthBeat: Federal Exchange Woes May Take Center Stage As Hill Threat To Health Law Fades
Irony of ironies. Having survived months of attacks from Republicans on Capitol Hill unscathed, is the health law, or at least a big part of it, about to grind to a halt anyway because of technical trouble with the federal exchange? That marketplace was supposed to begin serving Americans in 36 states when it launched 15 days ago. But many of its would-be customers can’t push through its virtual front doors (Reichard, 10/16).

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