Officials in charge of implementing the HealthCare.gov website feared a “meltdown” similar to the botched rollout of a 2005 program in the days leading up to Oct. 1, according to emails obtained by congressional Republicans.
Five days before the website was set to launch, Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), sent out an urgent email in all caps to get his staff’s attention.
“I DO NOT WANT A REPEAT OF WHAT HAPPENED NEAR THE END OF DECEMBER 2005 WHERE MEDICARE.GOV HAD A MELTDOWN (THIS IS TO GET YOUR ATTENTION IF I DIDN’T HAVE IT ALREADY,” he said in an email on Sept. 26.
Chao’s email was in response to a briefing that several performance stress tests of the website were “not good” or consistent, according to an email by Akhtar Zaman, who works in the CMS Office of Information Services.
Up until the Sunday before the launch, Zaman said CMS would continue to test until the website could handle “at least 10k concurrent users and eventually 50k.”
Many Democrats have compared the shaky rollout of ObamaCare to the Medicare Part D program implemented by the President George W. Bush administration — arguing that despite the early setbacks of the 2005 program it has become widely popular.
Is there anyone out there who recalls the launch of the Medicare Part D website? Besides, that wasn’t designed to force everyone into a government-run boondoggle.