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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 25, 2013 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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as much as i would like -- i wouldn't actually like to live in this world but as much as some people would like to live in the world once we decide something is important to as everybody else has to fall in line. that is in the way that works. we have to find a way to work with them and one of the important things we can do is work back towards the clich -- cliche and the system that was the envy of the world. the extent we get back to that it helps in the broad is the logical war. >> you mentioned closing guantanamo a few times. i did want to make sure you had an opportunity to talk a little bit about that. there are various ways that one can do that in combination or in cingular transfer release movements to the u.s., civilian or military u.s. base facilities. if you have a preferred approach
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to how one gets to a closing guantanamo? >> i don't think it is that complicated once we decide the we are going to do. .. the argument been would be we will never really she because there is a risk if we release you. that's not good criminal justice policy and i don't think it's good counterterrorism policy. everybody else down there that we determined for whatever
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reason we cannot release or we've tried and convicted them we will housing in the united states. there are many, many public policy arguments over the course of my great that a frustrated me. it's amazing how people lead to incorrect conclusions and then the same irreversible. but the notion that we cannot hold dangers people safely in the united states to me is patently absurd. and yet, it drives the debate. the reason that we have not close guantánamo, keep in mind, it wasn't some big liberal goal, gates, john mccain, george w. bush said we should close guantánamo. why haven't we? well, i'll skip the political argument for the moment and just say that the argument grew that, oh, my goodness, if we bring them here it's placing at that risk. we can bring dangerous criminals to the u.s. that argument of cold. in the united states right now
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we have mass murderers. we have some of the most violent nihilistic people you could possibly imagine. we have terrorists. ramzi yousef, the blind sheikh, on and on. they are in the u.s. if we as a society can not safely hold dangerous people, then we have problems that have nothing to do with guantánamo. weekend safely hold in your and we should. it's just that simple. congress continues to block it. how do we get around that argument? i don't know. like i said, once it takes hold it becomes retractable but the solution is simple. released the once again be released, lock up the rest in super max facilities in the us just like we done with countless others. >> we have time for one last question. quick question. right over here. >> i'm an air force fellow here at csis. think you for being here today.
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you talked about building partnership capacity. what role did unmanned systems play in that? for example, should h it be revised? >> i'm sorry? >> should be mprc be recalled -- -- you lost me without. there's a couple of pieces to the. unmanned systems, by and large, the number one biggest thing they are is an isr platform. basically ability to gather information and that's one of the capacities that our partners don't have and the problem with a lot of afghans is how do we build the capacity or afghanistan. i think they can play a role, and the things i worry about is with this paranoia about selling these systems. we have a huge problem right now in italy and elsewhere, and i just think that's a huge mistake. i'm about to denigrate deal of work on export control and i think our export control policy
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has been a disaster because it's based on the premise that somehow we in the u.s. are the only ones that are capable of building military equipment so if we don't let it out, it will never happen. that doesn't work particularly well. what it does do is it devastates domestic industry and our industrial base. satellites are the egregious example of this. when i dar was passed in the late 90s where roughly two-thirds of the global satellite market. we're now down to about 20%. and understand how it worked and i'll circle back specifically to drones in the second. basically if a component part you so but go into the satellite, you couldn't tell overseas without going through a complicated, you do, complicated doesn't even begin to describe it. he sold the bulk that winning to satellite you could export that both to anybody without going through the regime, which was virtually impenetrable. so i think we need to have a more open way of looking at
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this. people will develop their own technology. we certainly should sell it to our allies. we certainly should -- that's one of the ways to build capacity so they develop these capabilities and are able to do it. we are concerned about these things falling into the wrong hands and i get that, but, you know, iran. they fall into the wrong hands, whether we're not selling them to our allies or not. i think we have an overly paranoid approach to control that harms us. so i think -- and we have reformed. one of the things we got in last year was a pretty dramatic reform of the control regime which gave the administration flexibility and that's moving forward i think in a positive direction. but the regime right now is extremely problematic. the final think i will say about this is, it's very problematic if it harms domestic u.s. industry. i used to have these arguments on the armed services committee which people would be yelling at me, if we can't choose, we can
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choose corporations and businesses and profits over national security. i tried in vain for better than decade to explain that wasn't a choice. because our industrial base is enormously important to our national security. one of the great advantages we have had for decades is the best, brightest companies in technology and equipment, you name it, where u.s. companies. that's not to say we can't buy think some overseas companies but trust me, we have a vastly better relationship with the u.s. based companies to meet our industrial base need for national security, if they are the leaders. if we hamstring them so that they can't compete, they will cease to be the leaders. once they cease to be the leaders, we lose a national security advantage that is not insignificant. there's no way -- the rest of the world, they will develop technology. we're not going to dominate the way we dominated post-world war ii but i would still like to
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hamstring domestic u.s. companies ability to get markets is extremely problematic. so i think we need to reform that as well. >> let me just briefly mentioned at csis in november will be beginning and unmanned systems drones working group series. we're going to look at a lot of these issues that hav come up ty related to drones. i asked the audience to join me in thanking representative smith for spending time today and giving us a great talk. thank you very much. [applause] >> coming up live tonight at 8 p.m., texas above content crews speak that the iowa republican party reagan dinner in des moines. the "des moines register" write about tonight's event, he is coming for the third time in less than three months probably couldn't get a more provocative time to still 2016 presidential
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speculation. some concerns iowans consider a trial for his cause. we will bring his remarks live tonight at eight eastern on our companion network c-span. on c-span2 we profiled to lawmakers on capitol hill. west virginia center joe mentioned and congresswoman rogers. here's a preview. >> i guess i looked into the eyes of what i saw from robert c. byrd and his reference for this great institution. and i would'v would have thoughn everything come with chips are down it was always country first, state second, politics there. i would have always thought that. it's not what i see. what i do see, i see 100 people in the senate. i really do.
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i don't have anybody i don't like. i like everybody. i try to get along with everybody. but i do see, i would question some motives and reasons for the purpose of your service. i go back to john candy and i keep thinking, i watched that speech on television when i was 13. ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. that means we have -- it's our country. we own it. we the people. if we don't yet to take care of it. it's like owning a car. routine maintenance, take care of it. and now it seems like it's a country where people sing ask not what your country did to you but what you can do to it. that's a long way in 50 years. >> i don't believe that the republican party needs to change what it stands for, the principles and values that we
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believe in as republicans. that have been long-standing. but i do think the republicans have to do a better job of connecting our policy positions with how people live in the 21st century. and also using 21st century communication tools that the days of this issuing a press release or going on, raising lots of money and going up on tv for television ads, that isn't connecting this much. we talked earlier about social media. envoy, the 2008 election president obama was able to create this network of 12, 13 million people in america, e-mail addresses. that was a wakeup call to me. >> you can watch her interviews tonight starting at 8 p.m. eastern right here on c-span2.
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>> as each generation goes on, we have less and less morals in our society. what are we becoming? >> america needs remain on the offense on the global war in terror. spent in the end, i'm trying to change the world and become a better person to create a better place for all of us to live. >> there are basically three teenage upper-middle-class white boys which i know is really quite striking for a lot of people but i think what we want to do in the film was really explore the baseline political realities in the country by looking at what's happening for the boys who essentially are out of traditional leaders in america. i think a lot of people come to the film, come to any film about young leaders and expect to see and multicultural tapestry of what america really looks like but i think our country is really still run politically at least largely by upper-middle-class, relatively
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privileged white men. and i think reacting to that is really what i'm trying to do. >> jonathan goodman levitt, a story and follow the leader. hear more sunday night at 8 p.m. on c-span's q&a. >> next week on capital lawmakers will continue to look into problems with the rollout of the affordable care act website. tuesday, administrator of the centers for medicare and medicaid services will testify before the house ways and means committee, and wednesday hhs secretary sebelius will appear before the house energy and commerce committee. that same committee heard yesterday from government contractors on the role in building that there is component of the affordable care act online health insurance exchange is and user technical difficulties since its release on october 1 of this year. federal officials did not fully
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tested the site until approximately two weeks before it became available when asked if this was sufficient time for testing, both witnesses said they would've preferred more time. here's a look at that hearing. >> colleagues were unable to be with us this morning. sadly i convicted of our late colleague, former corporation chair bill young he was certainly a friend to all year and a mentor to so many of us on both sides of the aisle. he will be deeply missed and particularly and his legacy, establishment of the bone marrow registry, something that literally will save tens of thousands if not more lives. we appreciate that work. today the energy and commerce committee continues our ongoing oversight of the health care law as we examine the many problems, crashes, glitches, systems failures that have defined open enrollment. over the months leading up to the october 1 launch, top administration officials and lead contractors appeared before this committee, looked us in the eye, and assured us repeatedly that everything was on
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track. except that it wasn't, as we now know all too well. so why did they assure us the website would work? did they not know? or did they not disclose? that's what we are looking to find out, with the contractors today, and with secretary sebelius next week. the companies that are here today all testified before the health subcommittee on september 10 about their work building the federal exchanges and in that hearing, and in briefings with committee staff, these companies represented that the exchanges would be ready for open enrollment on october 1. they also explained that their testing of the system had not identified any significant problems. this is not about blame, this is about accountability, transparency, and fairness for the american public. the broken promises are many. the president promised americans could keep their health plans if they liked them, no matter what. yet here we are, 24 days into open enrollment, and more people
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are receiving cancellation notices in just two states than the 476,000 americans that the administration boasts have begun applying in the entire country. this is a troubling fact, but we still don't know the real picture as the administration appears allergic to transparency and continues to withhold enrollment figures. this is more than a website problem, and frankly, the website should have been the easy part. i'm also concerned about what happens next. will enrollment glitches become provider payment glitches? will patients show up at their doctor's office or hospital only to be told they, or their coverage, aren't in the system? in a few short months, families in michigan and across the country will face penalties under the law's individual mandate. how can the administration punish innocent americans by forcing them to buy from a system that does not work and whose rollout has been nothing short of a disaster? the american public deserves
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answers. today we will get them from the lead contractors. next week will be secretary sebelius' turn. i now yield two minutes to the vice chair of the committee, ms. blackburn. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank our witnesses for being here. we're looking for to giving your perspective of what went wrong and how it went wrong with this rollout. we were repeatedly told by members of the administration that everything would be working correctly and on time. these false administration assurances seemed to sway some people on the other side of the aisle, and they believe fully that things were going to be done on time. well, yesterday mr. waxman and i were a great on some things in hearing but last month we were disagreeing. he had said that nothing could be found from our committee's
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investigation of exchange implementation and readiness. but we were quite concerned. that definition of nothing which turned out to be designed -- hide unaffordable premiums, massive glitches, dead ends, error messages, system breakdowns and americans spending countless hours trying to navigate exchange is not ready for prime time. so i hope all of our colleagues are going to work together and joined efforts to do proper oversight of the health care law. this is taxpayer money on the line. we need to be judicious, and the past three weeks of exchange messiness have demonstrated that nobody can be a blind cheerleader for the affordable care act when they see all these problems right before their very eyes. at this time i yield -- is the gentleman from texas, mr. barton -- i would yield back to the chairman. >> gentlelady yield. the chair would recognize for an opening statement my colleague,
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the ranking member of the full committee, mr. waxman from california. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. the affordable care act is an enormous success, with one obvious exception. it has a poorly designed website. the law has already accomplished a lot. millions of americans, especially seniors, have saved hundreds of dollars on prescription drugs. young people have gotten health insurance coverage. millions of families have received rebates from their insurance companies that use more than 20% for their overhead costs. preventive care is now a free benefit in medicare, and private insurance. every day we hear more stories of people saving thousands of dollars and finally getting the security of quality health
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insurance. what hasn't happened and what has not been successful is the early performance of the website. and that has caused understandable frustration and anxiety as americans have tried to sign-up for the coverage. the heart of the law is getting insurance coverage, private insurance coverage that others have who work for large employers like the federal government. democrats want to work, and we want to know what is wrong with the website and how we can help fix it. we want to learn what the contractors can tell us about the problems and how they can be addressed your that's what all my colleagues should one come including my republican colleagues but that has not been their agenda so far. they've already documented a record of republicans attempting
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to sabotage the affordable care act. which they know would result in denying coverage to millions of uninsured americans who cannot find insurance under the market system that excludes them if they have pre-existing medical conditions or if they can't afford their coverage. from voting more than 40 times to repeal the law, from intimidating organizations that have tried to help the law succeed, republicans have encouraged their governors to obstruct implementation, deny medicaid coverage even though 100% is being paid for by the federal government. and even by shutting down the government. in order to try to repeal this law or republicans have not shown us that they're trying to make this law work so far. well, we all want answers,
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because we want families to have affordable health insurance. we have already seen extraordinary demands from this coverage being offered through the exchanges. one of the reasons we were given that the website didn't work is that it crashed when so many people were trying to access it. we know that people want to shop. and have a choice between different health insurance plans that are being offered to them, and have already been lined up to offer them private health insurance. we are encouraging our constituents t use other means f signing up in the meantime, like call centers and written applications while the website problems are being fixed. we are present administration to redouble their efforts to fix the website, and we welcome yesterday's announcement giving
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americans more time to sign-up for the insurance. everyone has a responsibility to get health insurance. we expect people to observe that responsibility, but i cannot see that anyone is going to be penalized under the law if they have not been able to buy health insurance during this time where they have not had access to the exchanges. we need to start listening to our people who sent us to congress. they don't want the government shutdown. they don't want congress to drive the country to the brink of default. they want this law to work, but they do want us to make sure that we hold everybody accountable and insist that the law and the promise of affordable health care become a reality for all americans. and that means we've got to get this website fixed. that's why i'm pleased we're going to hear from the four
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contractors today and next week from the secretary. if we want this law to work, we've got to make it right. we've got to fix it. not what the republicans have been trying to do, nix it and repeal it. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back my time. >> the chair would recognize an opening statement, chairman of the oversight subcommittee, dr. murphy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as chairman of the oversight investigations committee, i've heard numerous promises from the administration officials that all was well with the health care law, not true. either these officials were shockingly unaware of what was happening inside their own agencies, or deliberately misleading our committee and the public. hoping this would all suddenly turn around. two weeks before enrollment began, hhs is insurance czar told us that consumers could go online, shop integral on october 1. not true. we were promised a website where
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people could easily compare plans and costs. $500 million later, we find the american public has been dumped with the ultimate cash for clunkers. except they had to pay the cash and still got the clunker. secretary sebelius has admitted hhs didn't do enough testing but wasn't agency warned ahead of time that this was an issue? with the contractors it would work with each other and complete in the testing? testimony today, q. ssi states a late decision requiring consumers to register for an account before -- was a major contributor to the websites october 1 crash and burn. who made this major decision just before launch? were they trying to hide from the public the true cost? now the president is committing untold amounts of money for an undisclosed plan spearheaded by an individual without technology experience to fix this huge problem.
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but at 55 different contractors can successfully build, test and run a website, how do we expect anyone else to do this? given all these questions congress should press pause on the text searching to get what went wrong first before throwing good money after bad and forcing the public to use a broken site. in addition to explaining why this disaster happened we want an explanation of how the system will be fixed, what it will cost, how long it will take. after putting the american people deserve something that works, or start over. take responsibility, tell us what's wrong, fix it. or try something else. i yield back. >> yield to. >> thank you, mr. chairman. hhs officials repeatedly assured this committee that the administration would be ready for a cover first 2013. this past july the secretary of state that hhs would quote up on the switch on october 1 and say to people, come on and sign-up.
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on august 1, administrator tavenner told us in this very room that cms would finish off and testing by the end of august. on september 10, that subcommittee held a hearing at which representatives for cgi that'll, qssi, aqua facts and serco, all of whom are here today, testified that each contractor assured us that its components of the exchange would be ready on time. and yet when the exchanges open for business on october 1 it was nothing less than an unmitigated disaster. we're now hearing reports that the administration was repeatedly warned that the site was not ready for an october 1 launch. the "washington post" reported tuesday that quote as late as september 26, there have been no tests to determine whether a consumer could complete the process from beginning to end, end quote.
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secretary sebelius said just this week that almost no testing occurred. these past few weeks of exchange dysfunction along with stories of hundreds of thousands of americans losing their existing health plans, help underscore why washington should not be running our private health insurance system. the botched rollout is all the more reason that the individual mandate penalty should be delayed. average americans deserve a waiver from obamacare, too. it's only fair. when the exchanges are such a mess. the companies represented here today were in charge of building the federal exchange, a cms was responsible for ensuring that everything worked together properly. so the question we have to ask ourselves is in light of all the administration's assurances, is this -- are they simply incompetent or were they just line to the american people?
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i yield back. >> yield to mr. barton. >> thank you. i have slide once i would like to put up. like all of obamacare, what it appears on the surface is not what it is. this is the terms and conditions that you except at some point early in the process. that looks pretty ranging. now put up a slide number two. what you don't see is this slide, which says you have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data stored on this information system to at any time and for any lawful government purpose the government may monitor, intercept, search and seize any condition or data transiting are stored on this information system. any condition or data stored on this information system may be disclosed or used for any lawful government purposes. that's obamacare in a nutshell.
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it says one thing on the surface, does something totally different behind the scenes. and my questions i'm going to ask the contractors about this total lack of privacy and what they knew about it. with that i yield back. >> chairman yields back. the chair will recognize the ranking member, mr. pallone from new jersey. ..
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to use the website and glitches as an excuse to defund or repeal obamacare. and i just think it is very unfortunate because there are millions of people out there who have been trying to go on this website. i understand like 20 million. and they deserve an opportunity once this is fixed, and i know the administration is trying to very hard to fix it as all the witnesses here today, they deserve to have an opportunity to have health care and not among 30 or 40 million uninsured or more so that don't have a good benefit package. i would ask my republicans, let the goal here to be fix it, not nix it. if that were your goal i would feel very good about this hearing but i don't see that happening. one of the things i wanted to bring attention how democrats take a much different approach to things. when medicare part-d started up, i have this chart here, there were all kinds of problems with the website. it went on for months.
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these are some of the headlines that appeared in newspapers about the problems. but did the democrats get up and say, oh, medicare part-d is terrible, let's repeal it or defund it? no. we said let's mark hard to make it better. that's what we did. the glitches disappeared and the program became a good program. that is what i like to see my republican colleagues do today. but it is not the case. time and time again the gop tried to slow the progress of implementing the aca. they were willing to shut down the government for three weeks. did we forget what was happening last three weeks when they tried to shut down, well they did shut down the government for three weeks. the reason was because they wanted us to defund or make changes or delay the affordable care act. i hear my republican colleagues talking about they care about money, whether federal dollars or individual dollars. the information that has come out now say that the government or the, gross national product
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lost $24 billion during the three-week shutdown. half a percent of the gross national product for the last quarter. you're talking about money, you don't care. what about you will at money you lost in the three weeks? that doesn't matter because you wanted to delay the affordable care act? again, there is no clean hands here, my colleagues. do you really care? i don't think so. i just wish that you would stop this obstruction, work with us on trying to make this a better system. and as the, my colleague, as mr. waxman said, this can be fixed if you will work with us. i yield now to the gentlewoman from colorado, miss degette. >> thank you very much. , mr. pallone. as we've heard, we're here today to find out what the problem is with the website and how we can fix these multiple technical problems. last month, as the chairman noted, we heard from cgi,
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qssi,er is could and he can -- serco, equifax, the same four contractors that are here today. they told us the website would work. we asked them point-blank. mr. pallone asked them and i asked them. they told us hhs was doing an excellent job of testing the product. they said there was nothing wrong and they expressed nothing but optimism. so weeks later here we are. we're still hearing reports of significant problems. i appreciate all the contractors coming today. i give them the benefit of the doubt when they say things are improving but, i want to stress, for the affordable care act to act work, these problems need to be fixed and these props need to be fixed fast. we need to hear today exactly what they're doing to fix these issues and we need to see clear examples of improvement and be provided with a timeline for how it will be fully optional.
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mr. chairman, this is not our first experience with introductions of new health care programs as mr. pallone said. i was on this committee in 2006 when medicare part-d was implemented during the bush administration. let's not forget what a mess it was and the significant problems seniors had with registering for the new benefit. but i also want to remind my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, that the difficulties passed and were soon forgotten amid the success of part-d. so i really take the gestures on the other side of the aisle seriously and i hope that we can say that we work together to insure the success of now there is something else i remember from the introduction of the part-d benefit, mr. chairman. every single one of us, whether or not we voted yea or nay for the law worked together for our success. i found the newsletter that i september out to my constituents
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after medicare part-d. in which i said, i opposed the law that created this program, but people need to be armed with the information requested. and i would urge everybody on both sides of the aisle to do that. so my hope, mr. chairman, is that today marks the beginning of an effort on the majority's part to make sure that the health care law works and is successful and americans can enjoy the benefits. i really think that it is important to make that happen and i'm so happy, i'm so happy, and touched really today, to hear the majority express these concerns about making the aca work better. and i really hope they're legitimate in it because this is what is going to give insurance to millions of americans who have gone without health care for many, many years because they couldn't afford the programs. and with that, i yield to the chairman emeritus of the full committee, mr. beginning gel.
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>> i thank the gentlewoman for yielding to me. this is a opportunity to make the affordable care act to work. i remind my colleagues the last perfect law came off the top of mt. sinai with moses written on a stone tablet bit hand of god. nothing so good has happened since. i urge us to use our best efforts to see to it this new law goes into effect and that we carry out our responsibility to the american people to see to it that we do everything we can to support and defend the constitution and the laws of the united states. i have heard some unfortunate things on the other side. they said we have to do everything in our power to prevent obamacare. obamacare, get rid of it, period. all of a sudden now our friends on the other side have forgotten that. i hope they continue to forget it because we have a chance to see to it that the american people get health care as a matter of right, not as a matter
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of financial privilege. i am very frustrated, at least as frustrated as anybody else in this room about the problems facing this is unacceptable. it needs to be fixed. and we can, if we are willing to work together do something to see to it that it in fact is fixed and that it helps all of the american people. now, slow website is better than the alternative, and where health care is a privilege only for the few, it doesn't seem to matter but if it's for everybody we have to address that question and see to it that we take care of all of our people. i look forward to exploring how the website can be fixed in this hearing today. i look forward to working with my republican colleagues and my democratic colleagues to see that we do a constructive job of making this new law work. i remind all that when we were dealing with medicare part-d, which was not something that was originated on this side of the aisle, we worked together to see
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to it that in fact it worked and now it is an accepted and acceptable conclusion to a significant problem which, by the way has improved by affordable care act. mr. chairman, i thank you for your courtesy. i thank the gentlelady for yielding to me and i hope we can work constructively on this matter today. it is a great opportunity. >> the gentleman from the great state of michigan's time has expired. at this point i would like to introduce the witnesses for today's hearing. our first witness is cheryl campbell. she is a senior vp for cgi's federal health and compliance programs and defense agency programs. she was appointed to this position in 2009 and in this capacity she is the driver of strategy and execution for the practice to serve the needs of providers, government and public. our second witness is andrew
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slavitt. he is the group executive for optum/qssi in this capacity he is responsible for business strategy, public policy, corporate investment, research and development and acquisitions and corporate governance. prior to this role he has served in other roles at unitedhealth group and was founder and ceo of health allies, which was acquired by unitedhealth group in 2003. our third witness is lynn spellecy. she serves as the corporate counsel for equifax workforce solutions. in this role her responsibilities include advising the business on matters related to contracts, products, regulatory issues and client relationships. she also works with sales leaders and internal contract staff and the broader legal department to manage workforce solutions related issues, related to litigation, human resources government affairs and
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regulatory -- our last witness is john lau. he is the program director at serco. he is responsible for overseeing eligibility and enrollment support services, specializing in implementation and management of large-scale health and human services programs in the u.s. including medicaid, chip and tanf. his experience includes initial implementation and startup, risk identification and issue resolution useing a commercial governance system, security and privacy and the design implementation and management of multimillion transaction health care documents and transaction processing systems including calfornians schip and texas eligibility system for medicaid, chip and tanf. so at this point i will now swear in the witnesses. you are aware that the committee is holding an investigative hearing and when doing so has the practice of taking testimony under oath.
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do any of you have objection to testifying under oath? seeing none the chair then advises you under the rules of the house, and the rules of the committee, you are entitled to be advised by counsel. do you desire to be advised by counsel during your testimony today? seeing none, in that case, if you would please rise and raise your right hand. will swear you in. do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? thank you. you are now under oath and subject to the penalties set forth in title 18, section 1001 of the u.s. code of the you are now able to give a five-minute summary of your written statement and ms. campbell, we'll start with you. welcome. >> chairman upton, ranking member waxman, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear today.
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my name is cheryl campbell and i'm the senior vice president at cgi federal. i have responsibilities for all of cgi federal's projects at the department of health and human services and self several other federal agencies. i'm here today to reinforce cgi federal's ongoing commitment to the success of the federal exchange on health care.dove governor. let me state unequivocally that cgi federal is fully committed to its partnership with cms. our priority is for americans to have a positive experience in applying, shopping and enrolling on the federal exchange. to this end we dedicate the very best expert to optimize our portion of the federal exchange. for context let me first describe our role in the federal exchange. the exchange is comprised of six complex systems and involves 55 contractors including cgi federal, five government agencies, 36 states, and more than 300 insurers with more than
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4500 insurance plans, all coming together in cms competitively awarded cgi federal its portion of the federal exchanges, a software application called the federally facilitated marketplace or fsm. specifically the fsm provides functionality for eligibility and enrollment, plan management and financial management. cms serves as the systems integrator having ultimate responsibility for end to end performance of federal exchange. it also is important to understand that the complexity of cgi federal's work on the exchange. the fsm is a sophisticated software application that combines a web portal, a transaction processer, and sophisticated business analytics to simultaneously help americans determine their eligibility for insurance, apply for subsidies, shop for health plans, and enroll in qualified plans. the technology works in real
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time with sophisticated analytic systems developed by other contractors, large-scale data repositories hosted in disparate federal agency databases and health plans of more than 300 insurers. in short, the federal exchange including the fsm, is not a standard consumer website but rather a sophisticated, enat that gated -- integrated technology platform for the first time in history combines the processes of selecting and enrolling in insurance, in term determining eligibility for government subsidies, all in one place and in real time. since award on september 30th, 2011, cgi federal has worked diligently to develop the fsm by following a rigorous process that is customary for large i-t projections. fsm passed eight required technical reviews before going live on october 1. while cgi federal delivered the fsm function gnat required and
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some consumers were able to enroll on october 1, we acknowledge that issues arising in the federal exchange made the enrollment process difficult for too many americans. consequently, cgi's federal focus shifted immediately to solving consumer access and navigation processes on the exchange. the first set of issues on the exchange concerned another contractors enterprise data management or eidm function. the eidm allows consumers to create secure accounts and serves as the front door to the federal exchange. consumers must pass through this front door in order to enter the fsm application. unfortunately the eidm create ad bottleneck preventing vast majority of consumers from accessing the fsm. since then, cms, cgi federal and other contract torts worked closely together to troubleshoot and solve the front door problem. as more consumers gain access through the fsm and enrolling in
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qualified plans increased number about transactions caused performance problems such as slow response times and data assurance issues. cgi federal is addressing these problems through tuning, optimization and application improvements. over the past two weeks the federal exchanges has steadily improved. we continue to dedicate the resources necessary to shorten wait and transaction times and improve data quality. we have you ever confidence our ability to deliver successfully. why? because the company i represent here today has successfully delivered some of the most complex i.t. implementations for the u.s. and government including, federal we have partnered with cms on transformative projects like which has enabled more than 50 million beneficiaries to compare health and drug plans annually. we are widely recognized by independent parties for our
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expertise in i.t. systems and software and have cmi credentials that demonstrate commitment to rick russ software development processes. as part of the 5th largest independent business i.t. processing service company in the world we leverage resources and expertise after global workforce. i will end this testimony where i began, by reinforcing cgi's federal's unwaiverring commitment to work collaboratively with cms to improve the consumer experience. thank you. >> thank you. mr. slavitt. >> chairman upton, ranking member waxman and members of the committee. good morning. my name is andy slavitt and i'm group executive vice president at optum. business unit of unitedhealth group. optum's qssi one of the contractors working in the online health care contractor marketplaces of the let me begin by say we understand the frustration many people have felt since has
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launched. we have been and remain accountable for the performance of our tools and our work product. i will start by discussing our work on the data services hub. a large, and complex project that was the subject of much interest in qssi's work for the marketplace prior to the launch. simply put the data services hub is a pipeline. it transfers data, routing queries and responses to between a given marketplace in various trusted data sources. specifically a consumer interested in purchasing health insurance goes to the marketplace's web portal to fill out enrollment forms and select a plan. the consumer provides the marketplace with information such as citizenship which must be verified. the data services hub directs queries from the marketplace to various sources such as government databases that can verify that information and send the information back to the
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marketplace. as a technology pipeline the data services hub does not determine the accuracy of the information it transports nor does it store any data. the data services hub has performed well since the marketplace's launch. on october 1 the data services hub successfully processed more than 178,000 transactions and it is processed millions more since. when occasional discrete bugs in the data services hub were identified we promptly corrected them. in addition to the data services hub, qssi also developed the eidm, a registration and access management tool used as one part of the federal marketplace's registration system. the eidm tool helps the marketplace create user accounts and is being used successfully currently in at least two other cms applications.
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its relevant to note while the eidm tool is important, it is openly one piece of the federal marketplace's registration system. registration components developed by other vendors handle other critical functions such as, user interface, confirmation emails to users, the link that users click on to activate their accounts, and the web page users land on. all of these tools must work together seamlessly to insure smooth registration. after the launch was undated by many more consumers than anticipated. many of the critical components developed by meese multiple vendors were overwhelmed including the virtual data center environment, software, database system and hardware and our eidm tool. now it appears one of the reasons for high concurrent volume at registration system was a late decision requiring consumers to register for an account before they could browse
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for insurance products. this may have driven higher simultaneous usage of the registration system that wouldn't have otherwise occurred if consumers could window shop anonymously. in the days after the launch qssi worked around the clock to enhance the evident idm tool to meet this unexpected demand and as i understand it, this has largely succeeded. by october 8, even at high levels of registration the eidm tool was processing those volumes at error rates close to zero. the eidm tool continues to keep base with demand. at cms request we're working with other vendors to plan for higher levels at peak activity. finally qssi was one of several testers used to test the functionality of the federal marketplace. in our testing role we identified errors in code that was provided to us by others. in this function we reported back the results to cms and the relevant contractor who in turn
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was responsible for fixing coding errors or making any necessary changes. to conclude, the data services hub has performed well and after initial scalability challenges the eidm tool is now keeping up with demand. we're committed to helping resolve any new challenges that may arise in any way we can. thank you for the opportunity to discuss qssi's work. i'm happy to answer any questions you have. >> thank you. miss spellecy. >> good morning, chairman upton, ranking member waxman and distinguished members of the committee. my name is lynn spellecy. i serve as senior director and corporate counsel for equifax workforce solutions. in that role i'm the primary attorney responsible for the day-to-day legal operations of that business unit and i provide guidance, advice and legal support. i appreciate the opportunity today to provide an update
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related to the income verification services that equifax workforce solutions is providing to cms to assist them in their benefit eligibility determination requirements under the affordable care act. the equifax workforce solutions income verification solution is working as designed. since the exchanges first went live on october 1st, 2013, we have not experienced any problems or interruptions in the processing of data to cms we have received and responded to verification requests regarding individual applicants from the federally-facilitated marketplace as well was from state-based agencies. equifax workforce solutions tested our verification solution before the october 1st, 2013, open enrollment start date to ensure that we could transmit data between our servers and the federal data hub. we performed end to end testing with the federal hub and considerable internal stress and
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volume testing to guaranty that we would be prepared for current and future applicant volumes. now that the federally-facilitated marketplace is opening we're monitoring the flow of verification requests from the hub to our servers and back. equifax workforce solutions role in the federally-facilitated marketplace is limited. equifax workforce solutions receives an income verification request only after an applicant successfully gains access to or state-based marketplace website, creates an user name and establish as security authentication profile and enters an online application process. equifax does not play a role in any of these steps, nor does workforce solutions play a role in identity-proofing and authentication. we are neither involved in nor do we have visibility into the eligibility decision process or downstream display and processing of benefit election.
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although the majority of the verification requests to date have come through the federally-facilitated marketplace, equifax workforce solutions is also verifying incomes for state-based marketplaces and state medicaid agencies. the continuing appropriations act for 2014 included new requirements for the department of health and human services to insure that the federally-facilitated and state-based marketplaces verify that individuals applying for coverage and seeking premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions are in fact eligible for these subsidies. equifax workforce solutions looks forward to sharing expertise and income verification services at cms, and hhs as they develop guidance regarding verification solutions for the federal and state exchanges. since the october 1st, 2013, start date, equifax workforce
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solutions has exceeded contract for cms to provide income verification services for those seeking financial assistance under the affordable care act. the extensive experience we have gained from providing income verification to states and other federal agencies for their eligibility reviews for government subsy dishas prepared equifax workforce solutions to successfully serve cmn this new capacity. we will continue to monitor and test our interface with the cms data hub and various state agencies to insure maximum efficacy. thank you for the opportunity to testify and i welcome your questions. >> mr. law. -- lau. >> good morning mr. chairman, congressman waxman, other distinguishes members -- >> would you make sure your mic is set there. >> can you hear me now? >> now we can. >> okay. good morning again, mr. chairman, congressman waxman, other distinguished members of the committee. my name is john lau and i represent serco and i am the
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program direct or for our cms contract in connection with the aca. thank you for the opportunity to again appear and to discuss serco's current status and performance of this program. for the next several mips what i would like to do is provide a quick review of serco's role in the program and then the current status of our work. serco's contract is to provide eligibility support services in support of the paper application processing as well as error and issue resolution on applications regardless of the mode in which the consumer submitted them. it's important i think to clarify that we have no role in the development of the website. we have no role in determination of eligibility. and we have no role in health plan selection. i think there have been some confusion about that i would like to make sure that's clear.
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our primary role in the early days of this implementation is to key enter paper applications into the eligibility system. as time goes on more of our work will entail inconsistency resolution in order to clear previously-submitted applications for the eligibility determination process. inconsistency resolution entails data verification and validation of the self-attested data from applicants. these are problems identified through use of the data hub in the main system and then communicated to us. to date serco has successfully opened two of its four processing centers. those in kentucky and arkansas. a third will be opening next week in missouri and in about four or five weeks the final site in oklahoma. we have had no trouble recruiting or hiring competent staff in any of our areas and
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received a number of compliments from local officials and community groups about the professionalism of our recruiting efforts and out standing ways we on boarded and trained our people. . .
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entering about half of those. the remaining half were generally applications that were missing important data and those cannot be entered directly until those problems are solved. we expect to be able to complete processing and entering the applications in the near future. over to lenders have included coping with performance as that is our means of entering data just as it is for the consumer. with the relatively low volumes of applications we receive thus far, it's not presented a challenge. as i testify september 10th, serco was ready to process on 10-juan and we are processing today and i very much look forward to your questions. thank you. >> thank each and every one of you. we will get to questions from the members and alternate between republicans and democrats. i just want to say as we've seen
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the taxpayers spend about half a billion dollars, i guess the constituents across the country really expected a user friendly program in the system and to the company whether it is like ordering a pizza or flight or hotel it is a standard that many were expecting to see. and i think most at this point would say it's really not ready for prime time. listening to the testimony of each of you, i've heard that your goal is to perform well, you want a positive experience, working on design to try to do that and that's not what we have heard from folks at home. so my first question is was it ever an option to delay going live on october 1st? who did any of you come forth, did the administration say this may not be ready october 1st we might want a delay until we get it right?
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any hands up? no. prior to october 1st, did you know that the website was going to have crippling problems or did you not know about these problems and chose not to discuss them to the administration when you figured out that it wasn't working the way that perhaps it was designed to work, and maybe i will get comments from each of you as it relates to those two questions and start with ms. campbell. >> sure. >> he will testify in september so either you didn't know about these problems or you knew about them and chose not to discuss them. which one is it? >> chairman, from a cgi perspective, the application work was designed, people had been able to enroll. not at a pace or the experience that we would have liked, but
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the end to end testing was the of responsibility of cms. our portion of the system is what we testified in terms of what was ready to go live but it was not our decision to go live to be speaking was not your decision to go live? >> it was cms'. >> did you ever recommend to cms that you were not ready and they would perhaps want to believe the date? >> it was not our position to do so. >> so you chose not to share those thoughts with them? >> let me clarify my statement. cms had the decision, not cgi. we were not in a position. we are there to support our client. it is not our position to tell a client whether they should go live or not go live. >> who at cms were you sharing
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that information with or those decisions? do you remember? >> once again, chairman, i did not have, nor did cgi have an opinion on a decision for cms to make on a lie of or no go decision. >> do you know who at cms made the decision to go live? >> it's a body of individuals. >> mr. slavitt? >> thank you mr. chairman. we headed a limited view of the entirety of the project. what i can speak to is we were confident in the availability. we were confident that would work on october 1st. and in fact it had. other than not, we had -- all of the concerns we have, which were mostly related to testing and the inability to get as much testing as we would have liked, we expressed all of those
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concerns and risks to cms to our project. >> so you shared that there were difficulties in them? >> all of the risks that we saw and all of the concerns we had regarding testing were shared. >> what was the response when you shared the pitfalls in terms of what was going on? >> they understood those and were working on them, but i don't know further. >> did they ever come back in terms of the shortcomings and what needed to be done? any concerns the were raised by him? >> i never got a depiction from them, but we did talk about the risks that we saw and we pass those along. spinet was to go from 2013. we successfully completed end to end testing between the equifax
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workforce solutions and the cms data hub. prior to that date so we did not anticipate any sort of problem with our connection and had not experienced any. >> we were ready to process and had done extensive internal testing of the process these and systems offer awareness of difficulties. it's when we attempted to do the key entry. >> you didn't test prior to october 1st? >> mr. waxman. >> as we evaluate the problems with this website, i think it's important that we focus on the facts predicting health care reform would be a disaster for three years now and every time they've been wrong in the said
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insurance rates would skyrocket the said of carow costs would soar and they've grown at a record low rate. they said medicare would be undermined and in fact it is stronger than ever and saving billions of dollars on prescription drugs. so what we need to do is separate the fact for us to reach a determination here. some have said that fixing the website would take six months to a year. others have said there are four of million lines of code to re-ride and some have helped the health and human services to turn down the entire system and start from scratch. i hope that you can help us with of these predictions in perspective. does cgi expect it will take six months to year to the enrollment process working smoothly on
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>> we do not. we anticipate the system as we have seen is improving day over day. people will be able to enroll in the time for an allotted that is necessary for them to have insurance for the january 1st time frame to respect to the have to have an application in by december 15th for it to be effective on january 1st? >> that's correct. >> you anticipate by that date the system will be working. >> the system will continue to improve. from our perspective as painful as it sounds i know that the experience has been a difficult experience. the system is working. people are enrolling but people will be able to enroll at a faster pace. the experience will be improved and then go forward and people will be able to enroll by the december 15th time frame. >> do they have to fix the problems we have seen so far?
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>> the 300 plus employees that i have back in the office i think they would all walk out if i told them they had to leave right. >> you think it will be necessary to scrap the entire system and start from scratch? >> i do not, sir. >> you think the website will be fixed in time to ensure that americans who want to get coverage for next year that there will be available to them? >> i do, sir. >> can you explain that these problems are going to be fixed in time? >> we are seeing improvements day over day and we are continuing to run in queries against that in -- database and we are fine-tuning our servers and analyzing the code for anomalies. everyday we are finding challenge uncertain the system and find the corrections that
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you put on any system goes life. when the system goes into production these are things you would typically find after production. maybe not the level of details that happened in this experience but when a system goes live these are the things you typically do. you continue to provide system builds to make sure that it continues to improve time over time. >> mr. slavitt, your company has been involved in troubleshooting and fixing the problems on do you have any reason to believe the problems experienced in this will prevent americans from getting insurance in the coming year? >> i'm confident that the services developed and the registration tool are working well today and will continue to work well. >> you have problems with your part early on but you fixed them. >> correct. >> problems can be fixed.
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>> we doubled the capacity of the registration tool within seven days. >> ms. campbell, did cgi system pass its test before the system went live? >> yes it did. >> my understanding is you felt the system was ready to go on october 1 is the right? >> that is correct. >> do you or anyone else looked at the table fought or made a recommendation not to go forward on october 1st because you didn't think the system was ready is that a correct statement? >> that's a correct statement. >> mr. slavitt? >> we did not ring make a recommendation. we made everyone aware of the risks we saw. >> no we did not make a recommendation. >> we did not either. >> thank you mr. chair. >> of the chair recognizes the vice chair of the full committee from tennessee. >> thank you mr. chairman and all of you for your testimony. i would like each of you to
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submit in writing how much you have been paid to date and how much are being paid on retainer either to clear a and so if you will submit that to us for the record that would be wonderful. compliance were you all trained on hippa compliance prior to your contract? i will go right down the line ms. campbell? >> mr. slavitt? >> yes. >> ms. spellecy? >> yes. >> mr. lau? >> yes. >> did your company's needs as a group with hhs before you started the process? >> anyone? did your companies need to get there with hhs to discuss the integration? mr. lau, go ahead. >> the security people from cms and others coordinated -- >> all right. let me ask each of your
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question. how many people in each of your companies have physical access to the data base servers storing heavy enrolling information? >> we have zero access to the database. >> okay. >> i believe the answer is also zero. >> ms. spellecy come for the verification? >> we have no access to the cms servers. >> mr. lau? >> 2,000 people. >> 2,000 people have access to the data base? >> through the key entry of the applications. >> okay. no one is supposed to have direct access to that data base. under the current technology infrastructure, how many separate servers or virtual servers in the cloud are being used to host and store data for ms. campbell and mr. slavitt i
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think that is primarily to you. >> i don't have the exact number. i can tell you from the cgi perspective we have from 80 to 100 servers. >> you have 80 to 100 different servers that are holding information. >> that are passing information through the system. >> okay. mr. slavitt? >> , first woman i don't have the answer to that question specifically to how many servers we can follow that up with. we don't score any data however, any personal consumer data in any of the systems. >> okay. then ms. campbell and ms. spellecy let me ask you this colin kofi application and information -- is that being stored separately from the patient database information? ms. campbell? >> can you repeat the question again?
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>> the applicant servers and the patient database, are you holding this information on your patience and on the database separately? are you holding them separately? >> we are not holding any information. >> you're not holding any, okay. >> we are provided only with limited information. social security numbers, names and dates of birth which we used to match against. >> okay. mr. lau, you mentioned that you all are working through the paper entry and then the data entry from the paper application. >> that's correct, yes. >> where are you physically storing the data that is collected and is given to you? >> when the paper comes and it is converted into electronic images and then got paper is destroyed much the image has been verified. the electronic images put into a database and kept only until the
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information is entered and then it's put in archives and will be retained no more than 30 days. >> okay. does the current system keep detailed error logs that can be referenced with the difficulties that are surrounding >> i will begin with you. >> yes we have error logs. >> we do keep error logs for the product toole. >> yes we keep error logs. >> we keep track of successful or unsuccessful applications >> de one to submit these to less? >> i will have to confirm back with cms what documents we can and cannot provide.
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>> it would be interesting to see those error logs because i think it would give us an idea of how many people are actually accessing this system and the problems that you have had with skill ability. we would like to see what is causing the systems to crash and where the flaws may be also. with that i'm over time and will yield back. >> we are having some questions before us which are very important. i know the problems are not surprising given the fact there's been considerable obstruction to the program going forward. i've received a letter from a constituent recently. she said in a minute $12 an hour to buy my own insurance market.
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i can barely afford it so i need to purchase it through the exchange and will therefore be eligible for subsidy making health care affordable. this is what the debate is all about. there are problems but we have time to fix it so let's work together to get this matter resolved so that the people can benefit and do not suffer. these questions are for cheryl campbell of cgi travel. these are yes or no. adis cgi responsible for developing software for federally fasuba did marketplace yes or no? >> yes, sir. >> did cgi contain this through competitive bidding? >> yes, sir. >> to the provide other technology services to the federal government yes or no? >> yes. >> did cgi conduct testing of the software for the marketplace web site prior to october 1st
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when relaunching took place yes or no? >> yes. >> was cgi responsible for testing the function of the integrity of >> no. >> if not, who was? >> cms. semidey you believe that it is unusual for such a large project to experience some problems after it launches, yes or no? >> no. >> despite the initial problems with the website, have consumers still been able to enroll in the health insurance plans yes or no? >> yes. >> do you believe that progress has been made getting the website to run as intended since launched three weeks ago, yes or no? >> yes. >> these questions are for mr. lau of serco. is serco responsible for handling and processing paper applications for health insurance in the marketplace?
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>> yes, sir. >> with all of the problems with of the web site, many consumers are turning to pay for applications. those serco have the capability to handle larger amount of paper applications than was originally expected, yes or no? >> yes. >> the last question is for all witnesses and we will start with ms. campbell. do you all commit to working with cms and all the stakeholders until the website is fixed and functioning in yes or no? >> yes. >> i would appreciate very much if you would each submit for the record a summary of actions that you have taken to fix the website after the october 1st launch. will you please do that? >> yes. >> i would also ask that you submit also for the record
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suggestions for there to be changes and improvements in the way that the matter is being dealt with by the federal government and any changes that might be useful in seeing to it the matter goes forward as it can and as it should. can you do that for me, please? >> yes. >> that question i hope you understand this to all of you. >> it's clear that we have plenty to do in the coming weeks and i hope and pray that we will be up to the task. i urge my colleagues on the committee. this is a time we can work together on something good. maybe we didn't agree with the program or with the legislation, but we have the duty to see to it that works to the benefit of the american people and that we achieve the benefits which we hope we can achieve.
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i would note that this legislation originated under the hand and penn of my dear friend bob dole and of john chafee and is therefore i think subject to the charge that it has some bipartisanship even though little can be found in the process. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. mr. martin? >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to put slide number to back up. unfortunately that blue highlighted thing is hard to read, so i'm going to read it again. this is the part of the sign of that is hidden. the applicant does not see this but it is in the source code and what the blue highlighted area that has been circled in red says you have no reasonable
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expectation to privacy regarding any communication or transit store on misinformation system. now miss campbell you all said that you were hippa compliant. hauer in the world can this be compliant when it's designed to protect the patient privacy and this explicitly says in order to continue to have to accept this condition that you have no privacy or no reasonable expectation of privacy. >> that would be the decision made by cms. >> so this is news to you? you are the main prime contractor. you've never seen this before? >> we are one of the prime contractors, yes. >> have you seen this before, were you aware this was in the source code? are you aware this is in the source code yes or no?
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>> yes. >> do you think that is hippa compliant? how can that be? >> you know it's not compliant. admit it. you are under oath. >> that is cms -- >> you told mrs. blackburn that it was hipaa compliant and you know that it's not. you admit that you knew it was in their. it may be their decision to hide it but you're the company, not you personally but your company is to put this together. we are telling every american including all of my friends on the democratic side and they are huge privacy advocates. diane degette is chairman of the privacy caucus. you're telling every american if you sign up for this or even attempt to you have no reasonable expectation of
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privacy that is a direct contradiction to hipaa and you know it yes or no? >> once again cms has to comply with a set of rules and regulations they established under our contract. and that is a cms call. >> you are now saying that they made a decision to break the law. do you agree with that decision? >> i cannot speculate on cms. >> let me ask mr. slavitt. >> this is the first time and becoming familiar with that source code. >> so you were not aware of it? >> i was not aware. >> okay. but me go back to ms. campbell. she at least admitted she knew about it. who made the decision to hide this or put it in the source code in the first place? >> i can't give you that answer. >> who do you report to?
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was it some junior at cms? was it the director of cms? who generically generally made decisions that the policy level that your company interfaced with? there were many decisions made under this program over this last two and a half years. >> is this another example where things just go into the cloud? all of you are is a contractor that spend three or $400 million? it goes to some cloud and then it comes back down? who wrote that? >> i'm not clear as to who wrote that? >> let me ask this way. do you think they should be? do you think that should be a requirement to sign up for
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obamacare that you give up any reasonable expectation of privacy? >> that is not my jurisdiction. one way or the other. >> i will answer. i don't think it should be. i don't think it should be. my time is about to expire. let me ask one more question. did you all do any type of a pilot program on this before it was rolled out? >> there was no pilot program. >> you said that it was complicated and a big but it was meeting your expectation? do you think it's right that 99% of the people that try to go through the system get rejected, can't even complete the application? is that a system that you are proud of? >> this is a system that we are working every day to make improvements. >> if we have a system that almost no one can successfully navigate and we have to go to
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the peeper system as this gentleman's company down here, that is the system that has failed. with that mr. chairman i yield back. >> thank you >> thank you mr. chairman. i started out in my opening statement saying there was no legitimacy to the hearing and the last line of the questioning certainly confirms that. hipaa only applies when there's all the information being provided. that isn't in place today. no health information is required in the application process. why is that? because preexisting conditions don't matter but once again here we have the republican colleagues trying to scare everybody. >> will the gentleman yield? >> malae will not yield to this monkey court would defer it is i'm not yielding. i'm trying to tell you that --
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>> there is no help information in the process. you insert your address, date of birth, you're not asked of information so why are we going down this path? you are trying to scare people so they don't apply and therefore the legislation gets delayed or the affordable care act is defunded or repealed. that's the people will apply. the fact of the matter is there's people out there over 20 million that are gathered in the site and they are going to apply and they are ultimately going to be able to enroll. my republican colleagues for get a lot of people are enrolling in state exchanges rather than the federal exchange and if it wasn't for the fact that many republican governors including my own from new jersey had agreed to set up state exchanges we wouldn't be putting so much burden on the federal system. in new york and washington over 30,000 people have enrolled in
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coverage. in oregon over 50,000 people. in california over 100,000 of started applications. in kentucky nearly 16,000 people have enrolled. so this federal website is not the only way that you apply. in fact you can go to your community health center, you can go to the 1-800-number, you can go to many ways for people to enroll and all we talk about here is the web site because you are trying to make a case that people should not enroll. i want to add to questions. am i correct that cgi is doing work in several states including on and what you comment on that please? >> that's correct we are supporting a number of states and those states are a prime contractor in colorado and in hawaii. a prime contractor in massachusetts, a prime contractor in vermont.
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we are a subcontractor in california, subcontractor in kentucky and subcontractor in new mexico. >> and that appears to be going well obviously a lot of people have enrolled as i set forth. i know that when mr. waxman asked the question you said you had confidence that no matter what problems exist in the federal system or the web site that they would be fixed by december 15th and you expect that the millions of uninsured people and others who were trying to enroll would be able to buy them so that their insurance would be effective on january 1st. is that mike understanding? >> that's correct. >> the data that your company is set up to connect with the federal data when the residence of the states apply. so what i'm asking is if i go through new york or california or some of the other states that have responsible governor scott have set up the state exchanges
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and like mind in new jersey that if you do that if you go through the 1-800-number or the other means to apply in person that they can access. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> i'm trying to point out all of the state exchanges and again, a lot of people are being able to enroll. the figures show that when state governors work to expand medicaid and make sure their own citizens get coverage they can make a big difference and they also show that statistics how shortsighted it is to refuse to expand the medicaid program in their states because that's another big factor and that really isn't being discussed today. i never cease to be amazed how they use the taxes to try to
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scare people and that is again what is happening today and i was hoping that this hearing wouldn't end up accomplishing that goal. i would ask the public please, you know, try to find means to enroll. there are things other than the federal website and don't be scared by my colleagues into thinking somehow you are going to lose your privacy. there's no health information provided as part of this exercise. >> mr. hall. >> mr. chairman, thank you. this is entitled implementation till years didn't disclose and i guess this hearing has put us in a better shape to deal with this sebelius to i think is in the year next week. president obama often attempt to paint republicans as being out of order, downright crazy in their criticism of the health care law. i want to talk about that just a
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minute before i ask my question. i hear from my district and americans across the country that the craziest part of the last few weeks is seeing the president's top health care official laughing on john stewart while americans are dealing with the consequences of the president's health care law. for example, have a teacher there in my hometown where she has to face premiums that will consume nearly a quarter of her monthly income or another constituent who's tried to comply with the law that does not yet receive information about the coverage as promised. i'm very concerned our family will not be in compliance and will face fines. they are calling for a repeal of the individual mandate and most of them are calling for that. yet another has been advised their current coverage will end december 31st, 2013. so much for keeping what you have. and there's a concern the dysfunctional health care will
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expose me to an unwarranted liability if i can't get coverage for the website. the founding fathers in 1776 declared their independence and the next year they wrote a constitution the was 4500 words. the wording in here, the regulation is and voted on bye congress and contains a massive 11,588,000,000 words. i just don't know how anybody could ever answer these things. i want to ask you in an environment people are already worried about whether or not the of a job and there are no jobs now and if we go on like we are going there will be no employers a year from now. they now have to worry about navigating of the law where their chances of finding affordable coverage or often less than before. so my question to each of you is cms has had three years and most
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of you have had a year to ensure that this all could work. what do you want me to tell the americans that are terrified of facing fines for not being able to access coverage that they actually can't afford? >> you were not allowed or you chose not to use your opinion or make suggestions but are you in a position to give me some words that i could give to these people to give them any hope that we are doing our job in congress and that you've done your job the you were hired to do? >> is there hope? >> if i understand the question you're asking is the system going to be there for them to sign up? >> i beg your pardon. >> can you repeat the question? >> give me something to tell these people that are real honest people that have to live with what you all have created.
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you set up and run the website for people to run on the exchange. you must know a whole lot more than i know. i'm asking you to give me some help on that line. if you can't express your opinions to the people that you report to you can express them to me. >> i would tell your constituents that the system is improving from day over day and that we are continuing to work to make improvements for them to be able to enroll. >> did you really start with one in delaware? did you start out with one in delaware that is what the press is reporting. >> i'm not familiar. >> how much more time to buy have? >> i'm asking for help.
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i want help. i have 700,000 people i have to report to and i think about 690,000 of them heat of them all law. >> the gentleman yields back. >> the chair recognizes the gentle lady from california. >> thank you mr. chairman. having listened to what several colleagues already as well as the witnesses i'm struck by two things. first that my colleagues on the other side of the nile if they are serious to pursue what i think is the much larger issue of federal procurement, how it takes place, how we end up with contractors that say essentially everything is all right, when it isn't, that's going to take a
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bipartisan effort to really bring about a fix. but we have to keep in mind that these are the people that shot of the entire year government down, but caused pain across the country and extracted some $24 billion out of america's economy and the american people were put through health. -- hell. there was all on defunding the affordable care at. there isn't any love lost between the republicans and the law. that is their position and it's abundantly clear. the other thing i'm struck with today is in reading of the submitted a written testimony when i read it last night, there wasn't anyone that royte
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testimony and submitted it. let me put it this way. when you said was -- and i read it more than once, that everything was a okay. no one acknowledge anything. now, we've got problems with this website. there is no question about that. now, i represent silicon valley, and i find this very hard to follow. this is the 21st century. its 2013. there are thousands of web sites that handle concurrent volumes far larger than what was faced with. you keep speaking about unexpected volumes, ms. campbell. and that really sticks out i have to tell you that. because as i said there are thousands of websites that carry far more traffic so i think that this kind of a lame excuse. amazon and ebay don't crash the
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week before christmas and pro flowers doesn't crash on valentine's day. now in the testing of this can you describe exactly what kind of testing you did as the main contractors for this? there is an internal testing and then you turn it around and test it for the outside. are you saying that you didn't test, that test worked very well both inside and out or that you turned it all over to cms? >> anybody want to answer? i mean what's happening? do you have an answer?
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>> are you asking me that question? >> i'm asking both of you and you're wasting a lot of my time with your silence. if you don't have an answer just say that you don't but maybe we can take something in writing. but the beta testing and inside testing i think is clearly the main contractors job. and you are essentially saying that everything was all right and it's not all right. >> there was testing done throughout the process. we did the testing that each component did separate testing and we had independent contractors testing the system as well. >> was the result of that? >> that our system of the portion, that our functionality worked. >> and it didn't? when it became part of an integrated end to end system. >> you knew it was going to be
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integrated. that wasn't a surprise. do you have something to say about the testing? >> let me be clear about the role of the testing. our work, the data services hub was tested well and adequately. additionally, we played the role one of many independent contractors testing the code developed by other contractors. we tested every piece of code that we receive timely and returned a full report of anything we found to cms promptly and made everyone fully aware of of the potential risks and concerns that were made available to us. >> i am now over my time but i think that what we would like to hear from you is when you are going to fulfill your contracts to the taxpayers of the country so that we can go on and have people injured. taxpayers have paid you a lot of money and you are essentially
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saying to us everything is all right when it's not. i will submit some questions in writing and with that i will yield that. >> mr. shimkus. >> i have a lot of questions i will try to go fast it i'm going to follow-up on those questions. we would like the names of the personnel at cms that you provided the risks that you identified in your analysis of other contractors code. can you do that? >> let me follow up with you on that. >> that's fine. when going to encourage my colleagues to do is ask for names because there are people there and i'm going to eventually guess that the bureaucrats did their job, the political appointees manipulated the system to hide the data that they didn't want the public to know and we are going to find out who that is because that is
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the crux of the problem. i have a letter from a constituent who basically says we have never been without health insurance however the affordable care act before us into the position of going without it. this whole battle is over whether americans can have affordable health care and this system is not helping in this debate. i want my friend mr. pallone and my friend ms. degette i was a ranking member when this bill got passed and signed into law. after it got signed into law we had 13 subcommittee hearings on things like smokeless tobacco, antibiotic resistance, health care pricing, national electronic reporting authorization. each one of those i asked for a hearing on the health care law and it's in the congressional record, statements like on april 28, 2010 we must hold hearings on the new health
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reform act. may 6, 2010 we should also call secretary sebelius to testify. june 9th, 2010, we need a hearing on the new health care law. june, 2010, shouldn't the committee hold hearings and take immediate action? my friend mr. waxman always sends us letters i want to do this and that. we send countless letters to the democrat majority of the time asking for a hearing on the recently passed health care law and guess what, no hearing. when speaker pelosi then said we have to pass the bill before we know what's in it we are finding out. we are finding a small tax system that is a mockery. now let's talk about this. i accept the premise that you tested your individual sections. but we are getting to the point of the integrated system. when was the integrated system tested starting with
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ms. campbell. when was the integrated system test it? >> during the last two weeks of september. >> was the result of that? >> i don't have the results. you'd have to get that from cms. >> who is you're point of contact? >> there are a number of people. >> give me a name. >> meshaal snyder. >> okay. another one. >> esters slavitt tsp mcclellan that put the different components together to see if the system worked? >> here's what we saw. we didn't see the full integrated end to end system testing that you're talking about until a couple of days leading up to the launch. >> shouldn't we have had that? >> ideally, yes. >> wouldn't any other system, corporate entity ruling out
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something to see if it worked before it went out into the field? >> yes. >> do you have names of you talked to? >> i don't have any names with me. >> would you provide those? >> we would be happy to follow-up. >> ms. spellecy? >> we tested -- >> i know you tested. when did it happen? >> the information only comes to us after the application is completed. so we were testing a to the time that the system went live and as far as we were concerned everything that came to us we were able to process. >> quickly. >> our systems are not integrated with the main system. our main attraction with this key entry. >> i would like the names buy tomorrow morning if you could do that. finally going back to ms. campbell. the future the distressed change on the web site, who told you to do that? >> i couldn't hear you.
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>> remember the website field and part of the problem is people don't of the cost of the plans are. you all made a change to say see the plans first, just reported yesterday by i think cbs. who made the decision? >> i don't know. >> can you give names? >> we can get them. >> who made the decision that if you are younker than 50 you would be quoted a 25-year-old health policy? >> i don't have an answer. >> can you get a name? >> i can go back to my team. >> who made the decision that if you are older than 50 you get quote a 50-year-old policy? >> the same i would have to go back to my team. >> the gentleman from new york. >> thank you mr. chairman. you know, it amazes me how our republican colleagues are so concerned about the affordable health care act since they tried to defunded and kill it, they shut down the government because of it.
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you think there may be a little bit of politics here? perhaps they should work with us to improve the affordable health care act instead of playing for gotcha politics this morning and trying to scare people not in a rolling into the affordable health care act. there will be plenty of time to find out who is responsible for the problems facing the exchanges. what is more important to me is that americans will be able to access the benefits found in the plan offered through the exchange's. i know it's been asked before but i want to get a specific answer. how soon will that take to correct these so that people can have unfettered access to the website? i know things are improving but how soon will it be do you think so that the average american can do ms. campbell? >> i have a team of people working around the clock trying to quickly get this resolved.
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as i said, there is improvement day over day. i cannot give you an exact date when it will be completely to satisfaction. >> how about a guess? >> i would prefer not doing that. i don't like to raise expectations. >> we don't control of pieces of the website that i believe you are referring to. we are committed to maintaining the capability that we have built so far and we are committed to helping resolve any new challenges that a rise in the project that we get asked to do so. >> let me say this, i hope that it's as soon as possible because i think there are numerous benefits and i want to see the american people utilize this because i happen to think it is a good of all and i'm proud can out of this committee and that we had many months of deliberation before we passed it. now, new york state, my home state has also been experiencing some technical capacity related
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issues since october 1st but i think in new york is a good example of what is possible when the federal government as a willing and enthusiastic partner and implementation. as of october 23rd 174,000 new yorkers had completed their application and new york continues to make improvements to its exchange website including quadrupling the processing capacity and by the end of the weak individuals should be able to look at coverage based on various providers and doctors. i think that with my republican colleagues, given the new found interest in seeing that it's successfully implemented, i hope that i can see these same call feeds starting to champion the medicaid expansion in their home state so that the most vulnerable citizens can access health care coverage and stop calling for the continued repeal boats. many of us who were on this committee the last time -- this was mentioned before but i want
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to emphasize it, a major new health and if it was introduced and there was medicare part b. it's easy to forget now but when the program was introduced there was significant problems. the website had headlines the devout bad information and when the program opened, pharmacists called it a nightmare come a disaster, and all kind of things like that. so, in my correct that cgi did work for medicare part he in the early part of the program? >> that is correct. >> then you probably remember like i do that the problems were solved and soon enough medicare became a popular successful program. and by the way we improve the program by closing doughnut hole in the affordable care act. so that is one important lesson to remember now that even if a program gets off to a rocky start it doesn't mean that we need to jump to conclusions about the long term success to be that's why i'm confident that even with the website problems, the affordable care act will be
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successful and there's another lesson to be learned from that. all the members of the committee democrats and republicans with medicare part b work together to fix the problems. democrats didn't sit on the sidelines and root for failure. we pitched in and helped. republican committee members in particular insisted that will be patient with these and some of the members of the committee i can quote what they said at a time. the benefit and the implementation are imperfect but i hope we can work together as we go through the implementation phase to find out what is wrong with the program and if we can make some changes to fix it let us do it on a bipartisan basis pity it's too big of a program and too important to too many people not to do that. another member said any time something is new there is going to be glitches. it is a questionable ethical tell you. i think if people only spending time criticizing the glitches in the program as with any program that occurs whether it is a public or private program
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criticizing it, standing on the outside is not good. so let me just say let's take that same approach we have and work together on both sides of the ogle to improve this program and not play gotcha politics. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman. question to everyone. have any of you or your company is prepared memorandums or summaries explaining where the problems of our with ms. campbell would you submit those for the record if you have? >> if we are allowed to do so -- we have to get permission under our contract with cms. >> but you have prepared summaries or memorandum? >> i would say we probably have, you know, just a normal course we have provided information about what's happening on our system.
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>> we would appreciate if you would submit that to the committee. >> nothing holistic you're describing to my knowledge. >> ms. spellecy? >> we don't have any involvement with, so we do not. >> mr. lau? >> likewise. >> the cgi and the qssi "the washington post" reported this week when the website went live october 1st it looked up shortly after midnight as about 2,000 users attempted to complete the first step. is this true? >> that is true. >> 2000. >> i don't have the exact number i just know the system -- >> thank you for the follow-up. i don't have the exact number. the system just became overwhelmed. >> so only 2,000, not millions the administration has claimed. so if it crashed with only 2,000
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users is the volume the issue? surely the web site was designed to have more than 2,000 users. >> cgi is not responsible for as i call the front door so i'm not in the position to answer. >> who is responsible? >> what i can tell you is that the tool is in fact capable of handling all of the demands being placed in the system. i would point out that the tool is one part of a registration process that includes five vendors and multiple pieces of technology so i can only speak to the tool and they're functioning. >> i've listened to the testimony this morning and it sounded like you think everything is okay. but it's not okay. we have heard a variety of
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reasons as to the difficulties for why the site doesn't work and they include the inability to browse the required users to log in and the website was overwhelmed, poor coding and hardware. why doesn't work properly? >> if there was a silver bullet to answer i would give it to you to read it is a combination of a number of things. it is not just a component of what cgi is responsible. it is the aspect that is challenged. there are components across the entire system that can have an impact. >> we absolutely take accountability for those first days when our tour was a part of the issue in terms of being able to handle all of the unexpected volume and we absolutely will take accountability for helping
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in any way that we can to help this project go forward. fortunately today the data services are performing well. >> now you were here on september 10th when we conducted the hearing in the subcommittee. i expressed my skepticism at that time. 40 days later we have seen the exchange rollout, nothing short of disastrous. i would like to ask again why were we told everything was okay if you weeks before? one of the biggest disasters in government history. ..


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