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Obamacare 'tech surge' experts are White House fellows

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Obamacare 'tech surge' experts are White House fellows Empty Obamacare 'tech surge' experts are White House fellows

Post  fshnski Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:36 pm

President Obama promised elite Silicon Valley talent to fix Healthcare.gov, but so far his "tech surge" appears to consist of a handful of White House fellows assigned to the main contractor that designed the troubled website.

“If there were tech experts that were flown in from Silicon Valley, they did not land at our facility,” said a knowledgeable official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“There was not a Learjet that unloaded the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world,” the official said. Zuckerberg is the 29-year-old co-founder, chairman and CEO of Facebook.

A second official in a key position, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said, "There seems to be a few people out there, but I would say 'surge' is an overstatement, unless you count Jeff Zients.”

Zients is a former acting director of the federal Office Management and Budget who rejoined the Obama administration to oversee the tech surge.

Federal officials plucked participants in the Presidential Innovation Fellows program and assigned them to CGI Federal, the U.S. subsidiary of CGI Group, the Canadian firm that was awarded the $94 million main design contract for Healthcare.gov. Fellows typically spend six to 13 months working in a federal department or agency as “change agents” and to promote government-wide innovation, according to whitehouse.gov.

Healthcare.gov is the Obamacare program's web portal and was launched Oct. 1. The site immediately suffered so many malfunctions that it became a massive embarrassment for the president.

So far, the government has spent an estimated $600 million on the site's design, which until last week was managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Department of Health and Human Services.


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Obamacare 'tech surge' experts are White House fellows Empty Re: Obamacare 'tech surge' experts are White House fellows

Post  News Hawk Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:43 am

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