Silicon Valley Business Journal - Obamacare website woes have Rep. Eshoo grilling tech contractors

January 30, 2014
In The News

By Christine Hall

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who represents Silicon Valley, attacked the contractors who built the faltering Healthcare.gov at a government hearing last week.

Eshoo was not happy with one of the contractor's testimony that the website had "unexpected volumes" of traffic.

"There are thousands of websites that carry far more traffic," Eshoo replied. "Amazon and eBay don't crash the week before Christmas, and ProFlowers doesn't crash on Valentine's Day."

She questioned how the contractors could say "everything was alright," but ultimately, there were problems.

The contractors testified that each of them did their own testing, but did not test all of the components together.

Technical problems with the main portal for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, marred its rollout and have kept thousands of people from buying health insurance on the new exchange. That's a key problem, as the law's strategy is to get as many people paying insurance premiums and participating in preventative care as possible.

Last week, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs including Netscape co-founder Mark Andreessen, said that had the valley's tech talent been involved in the process earlier, they may have smoothed the rollout of Healthcare.gov. Now, they said, it's too late.