GAO: Obamacare Rollout Failures Due To Gross Negligence and Lack Of Management

President_Barack_Obama250px-Kathleen_Sebelius_alternate_HHS_portraitI have often lamented how there does not appear to be any real sense of accountability left in Washington. (For a column, click here). Billions of dollars are wasted or programs are run into the ground, but rarely are people held accountable. Part of the reason is the duopoly of power. Politicians have so convinced voters to adopt this red state/blue state paradigm that Democrats and Republicans will no longer tolerate any criticism of their respective leaders or parties. It is, to put it simply, nothing short of a scam. We have become so programmed by the respective parties that any negative story about our respective party automatically unleashes an attack on how much worse the other party is or would be in a given area. It is the same phenomenon that we saw during the Bush Administration where Republicans remained silent in the face of failed policies and poor administrative decisions. We have become a nation of apologists.

One of the greatest examples that I have previously discussed is the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Democrats deserve ample criticism first for a law that was poorly drafted and vetted (when I spoke on Capitol Hill before its passage, I said I was in favor of national health care but thought this was one of the worst crafted major pieces of legislation I had seen go to the floor of Congress.). After doing a uniquely bad job in drafting the law, the Obama Administration then did an absolutely appalling job in managing the program in its critical rollout despite years of planning and billions in costs. Now, the independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) has completed its investigation of the disastrous rollout and found gross negligence that drove up costs and crippled the start of the program. The response? Crickets. Nothing.

The GAO concluded that the Obama Administration lacked the most basic management discipline in creating “effective planning or oversight practices” for — the key component of the rollout. Investigators found gross negligence with the Administration constantly changing directions to contractors, widespread confusion among Administrators, and millions of unnecessary cost overruns. It also included over 40 instances where Obama Administration officials increase expenditures without authority. In the meantime, insiders benefitted from the gushing of federal funds like Jonathan Gruber who received almost half a million dollars as a consultant. The government has spent some $840 million on and its supporting systems. Almost one billion on a website that failed.

Take the computerized sign up system. Thousands of companies have such systems in business. However, the Obama Administration drove up the costs from $56 million to more than $209 million from Sept. 2011 to Feb. 2014 and still produced a dysfunctional system. The verification system for information was allowed to grow from $30 million to almost $85 million. A contract for fixes to the website, also grew from $91 million in January to $175 million as of last month. Website fixes went from $91 million in January to $175 million as of last month. That’s right, the costs are increasing for such fixes. At any private business, such a record would result in massive firings and a stockholder revolt.

Contractors who were widely criticized for negligence were warned but ultimately paid in full. Take Virginia-based CGI Federal, which built The system failed on the first day and led to a snow balling catastrophe. However, the Administration paid all of CGI’s $12.5 million in fees, withholding only $267,000. We previously discussed the company’s highly dubious record.

While the Administration and former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius later said that they were entirely unaware of the problems, that was obviously the problem. It was their job to be fully aware — not just to throw hundreds of millions of dollars at problems and hope everything was fine for the rollout. The problems were so extensive that contractors refused to sign off on the rollout. CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner had to personally sign off (an unusual act) because no one else would. Wasn’t that a bit of an indicator that the system was not ready?

None of this matters of course. For Democrats, any criticism of Obamacare is treated as a criticism of Obama in today’s encoded political discourse. Ironically, the negligence of the Obama Administration in the rollout helped worsen the view of voters toward the law and the Democrats. Disapproval of the law now stands at 55 percent and Obamacare is featuring prominently in the backlash. This could have been quite different if the Administration had done a competent job at the rollout. The Democrats are at risk of losing both houses and many of those losses may prove to be self-inflicted wounds from simple negligence and the lack of accountability.

Here is the report.

91 thoughts on “GAO: Obamacare Rollout Failures Due To Gross Negligence and Lack Of Management”

  1. Good day my children member! I need to point out that this information is astounding, awesome published are available using just about all major infos. I would like to appearance much more articles like this .

  2. MA,

    You are a professional. Does the government run your business? Will you next demand a government takeover of the legal industry – OBAMALAW?

    Doctors are professionals such as yourself. Why should the government run their businesses? Because you say so? Aren’t they free?

    Somewhere in all of this is a perverted desire for control; an obsession.

    Is your business efficient because of effective operation and market forces or government control?

    Because you failed in some aspect(s) of your life (medical insurance procurement), does not make you the dictator to the rest of us.

    What makes you believe you alone have the right to impose your government control concept on the rest of us in an ostensibly free nation? Even if you have the votes, it remains unconstitutional to take freedom of others.

    I KNOW that America had the best healthcare in the world which will eventually be destroyed by Obama and intervention by collectivists. The real question is did the founding documents provide Americans the freedom to NOT be dictated to by people with a compulsive need to control other people.

    Where did you get your belief that medical care was free? Did the Founders have free medical? Did they mention that in their writings? I never read that America was founded to provide everything free for parasitic citizens and every foreigner that could get here, even illegally. Nuts.

    Did not the founding American documents protect Americans from your kind of control, tyranny and oppression.

    Your statements of your overwhelming desire to control the healthcare of other people are disturbing.

    If you want to be a doctor, go get a degree. If you want to operate a hospital, go open one. If you want to run an insurance company, go do that.

    What is the psychological engine driving you to control other people’s lives and control the healthcare industry?

    Why don’t you think it is appropriate for doctors, hospitals and insurers to operate in the free markets of the private sector?

    Collectivists go from education, to direct welfare payments, to utility subsidies, to food stamps, to healthcare…why stop there?

    Why not just admit to a desire for government control of everything and state that no private business every did anything well or efficiently or profitably?

    I love my healthcare, my insurance, always have.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with healthcare that getting rid of obamacare won’t fix.

    Every citizen can go out an buy a great healthcare insurance policy on the open market.

    Every citizen is free to take care of himself.

    Maintaining a certain status of every citizen is not a function of government…not in the Constitution.

    Freedom through self-reliance is in there.

    The American Revolution occurred to get rid of oppression and tyrants.

    They’re baaaaack!





    Either Americans are free or they’re not.


    The inmates have taken over the asylum.

  3. Mike Appleton said: “We forget that in his Second Treatise, John Locke listed health as well as life, liberty and property in his description of unalienable rights.”

    “The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions”

    “Every one, as he is bound to preserve himself, and not to quit his station wilfully, so by the like reason, when his own preservation comes not in competition, ought he, as much as he can, to preserve the rest of mankind, and may not, unless it be to do justice on an offender, take away, or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of the life, the liberty, health, limb, or goods of another.” John Locke, Two Treatises of Government

    Unalienable rights are negative rights; they are created by our existence and they impose no obligation on others to act. In a civil society, we have the expectation these rights are respected.

    On the other hand, positive rights are typically created by two or more people and they have reciprocal obligations of action. So in the negative we are secured against action and in the positive we are secured for action.

    So, while health is an negative right, healthcare is a positive right. And obliging others to pay for someone’s healthcare or healthcare insurance violates the unalienable rights of others and is basically “legalized” theft.

    But, since I’m in a room of lawyers, I suspect their to be other opinions.

  4. Both sides indulge in dog-whistle politics and set us against each other so no one looks too closely at what can actually be done to make government employees efficient and programs workable. I am in favor of Obamacare. I don’t jump when the ‘un-constitutional” dog whistle blows, (especially when the NRA says their right to Open Carry trump my right not to have my life menaced or endangered) The amount of pure tax $$$ waste is something which I believe should bother all of us. Corruption, bribery and incompetence is a.very serious problem that should bother all of us because it rots our government from the inside out.

  5. Jeff, Come on! They’ve succeeded in shredding the Constitution. That’s a pretty big deal.

  6. This entire Administration has been inept and full of gross negligence and mismanagement. The list is huge of critical mistakes let alone the complete disregard for the American Constitution. It’s utterly amazing to say with complete confidence that this Administration has had NO successes.

  7. Dont you Earthlings remember when they rolled out Social Security under FDR?
    Same complaints from the grandpas of the grandpas complaining now. Only they did not call FDR a N word guy. In ten years there will be no one amongst the complainers today who do not partake in the government medical program. Such as it is and will be. But America needs the Canadian system–not this get rich doctor scheme.

  8. “y’all.” Channeling your inner Texan. Remember, a Republican created the EPA. It was well intentioned. Tennant in WV and Grimes in Ky. are running ads about a President and EPA that has become the Gestapo of the environment. Tough days for y’all.

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