Affordable Care Act Web Site Problems

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 20, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, earlier this fall the President said the Affordable Care Act is more than just a Web site and that the problems with the Web site will soon be fixed. While I don't disagree with either of those two statements, I don't understand the timeline involved because yesterday in the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, the deputy chief information officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told us that the Web site was launched, but it wasn't finished upon launch.

I have to ask: Why in the world would they proceed with this if they knew it wasn't finished? When asked to give a percentage completion, it was confusing. His answer was either 40 or 60 percent; no one really knows, and here is the kicker. When you get to January and providers, doctors, and hospitals are seeing patients who think they have coverage under the Affordable Care Act, part of the problem with the unfinished Web site is there may be difficulty in delivering provider payments. That is an intolerable situation that must be resolved and must be resolved quickly. It could start with the administration being honest with the committee about where they are in the development of the Web site.