The White House Is Finally Doing Some Firing Over Healthcare.gov

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Jan. 10 2014 5:07 PM

The White House Is Finally Doing Some Firing Over Healthcare.gov

459137759-certified-enrollment-specialist-yanelis-diaz-waits-on
CGI is on the outs, but Accenture has to do much better to make any significant difference for healthcare.gov.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Obama administration is poised to make some healthcare.gov contract changes, according to the Washington Post. Behemoth consulting firm Accenture will replace CGI Federal, which was largely responsible for the website’s botched rollout. The new contract retains Accenture for $90 million over 12 months.

CGI began work on healthcare.gov in 2011. After the site’s initial failure when it launched last year on Oct. 1, the Obama administration set a new goal of drastic improvement by Dec. 1, and CGI scrambled to shape up and make changes. The site was in much better shape when the December progress report went out, but the Post reports that officials were frustrated because approximately half of the code CGI presented failed on the first try.

Advertisement

Even though the site is in much better shape now and Accenture is coming at the project with relevant experience—like the creation of California’s new insurance exchange—it could still be a rocky road for the new contractor. The main task is to make improvements that are not just minimally functional, but pleasant for users and powerful to help rehab healthcare.gov’s problematic reputation. Accenture must also make sure that there are easy ways for users to deal with some of the Affordable Care Act’s most damaging early problems, like people losing policies they were supposed to be able to maintain.

But the massive project isn’t exactly primed for a smooth and collaborative transition. Accenture will have only two and a half months to take over from CGI before it's on its own. Hopefully, if nothing else, the PR nightmare from October will scare Accenture into really stepping up to the plate.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.