recommended reading

special report

The Technology Behind Obamacare

The Oct. 1 launch of proved rocky. The website was supposed to help people choose and enroll in health care plans, as required under the Affordable Care Act, but most early visitors experienced only glitch-filled frustrations.

Below is Nextgov's continuing coverage of the technology that will make or break the Obama administration's signature policy initiative.

Todd Park, former chief technology officer of the US, prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington. Security Back in the Spotlight

November 19, 2014 House Republicans say they remain concerned about the cybersecurity controls underpinning the online federal health exchange.

Federal Customer Experience 'Downright Bleak'

November 11, 2014 Six federal agencies earned an average of “very poor." scored the lowest.

Relaunched Can Handle Twice as Much Traffic as Last Year

November 10, 2014 The White House is hoping the people turned off by the website's disastrous debut will come back for its second try.

Attention, HHS: Don’t Do What Australia Did with Its Online Health Exchange

November 4, 2014 Down under, a government-administered health exchange accidentally exposed consumer data online.

Todd Park, former U.S. chief technology officer at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy testified before the House Oversight Committee, Nov. 13, 2013.

Republicans Target Tech Official to Link Obama to Woes

October 28, 2014 Todd Park formally subpoenaed to testify Nov. 19.

HHS Debuts New and Improved -- The 'Back' Button Now Works

October 8, 2014 Officials hope rigorous testing will avert a repeat of last year's fiasco.

House Oversight Committee member Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va.,

Contracting Officers: Take a Look, It's in a Book

September 19, 2014 "The problem is the average contracting officer doesn’t know how."

Officials Pulled Code From GitHub Because of ‘Bashing’

September 18, 2014 Republicans release CMS emails about pulling code from open-source site.

Breached Server Still Had Default Password

September 18, 2014 Hack did not compromise any data or personal information, DHS official tells Congress.

Former Chief Technology Officer Todd Park.

Todd Park Subpoenaed to Testify on Security

September 17, 2014 Panel says new emails contradict former CTO’s previous statements. Still Vulnerable, GAO Says

September 17, 2014 Site is still vulnerable today, watchdog says.

Mikey Dickerson the new administrator of the U.S. Digital Service.

Mikey Dickerson: No Paper Pushing at US Digital Service

September 15, 2014 The head of the U.S. Digital Service is taking a fix-it first approach to his office.

Todd Park, former U.S. chief technology officer

Lawmakers Seek Todd Park Subpoena Over Security

September 15, 2014 Panel charges White House involvement in Obamacare website woes.

Yes, Was Hacked -- But Here's Why It May Not Be That Big of a Deal

September 4, 2014 No evidence personal data was breached or even targeted, but malware did end up on Obamacare marketplace

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, HHS secretary

Under Further Scrutiny, Obamacare Website Gets CEO

August 26, 2014 Twenty contracts cost more than estimated, while the cost of seven more than doubled.

Lesson Learned from Rollout: White House Launches US Digital Service

August 11, 2014 Team will focus on helping agencies improve their digital service delivery.

Is This a Different Kind of Contract?

August 1, 2014 In some ways, it looks a lot like the old contracts. Official: Expect Glitches in November

July 31, 2014 Still, the agency responsible for the site is in a "vastly different situation," official tells Congress.

Obamacare Website Has Cost $840 Million

July 30, 2014 A slew of management failures led to the site's disastrous launch, according to a new GAO report.

The Obama Administration Is Looking for the Next Obamacare Website Contractor

July 17, 2014 The bid is probably not going to CGI Federal.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, left, talks with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa

Administration Got What It Deserved in Botched Rollout, Report Says

June 19, 2014 Lawmakers attribute the website’s initial failure poor IT and management. Gets a Redesign for Obamacare Enrollment’s 1st Birthday

June 6, 2014 Some fear the overhaul won’t be done in time and could result in a failed open season.

MNsure insurance exchange representatives Carlos Villanueva, left, and Emily Joyce prepare for the Oct. 1 open enrollment debut at the center in St. Paul, Minn.

2 Million Obamacare Enrollments Have Data Inconsistencies

June 4, 2014 The discrepancies could be the result of false information or changes in circumstances, AP reports.

State-Based Obamacare Exchanges Cost Far More Than the Federal Marketplace

May 2, 2014 Hawaii spent $920 for each new consumer, while Florida spent only $16.

This Is Who Actually Enrolled in Obamacare

May 1, 2014 About 28 percent of enrollees were in the vital 18-to-34-year-old range.

Oregon's Health Care Website Is Worse Than

April 24, 2014 It's so bad, an advisory panel recommended Thursday that the state move to the federal exchange.

Heartbleed Means Users Must Reset Passwords

April 19, 2014 The online marketplace's homepage directs users to change their login information.

Flagging Tweets Didn't Weigh Down Late Obamacare Enrollments

April 18, 2014 The White House drastically slowed its #GetCovered Twitter campaign after March 31.

Federal Websites Avoid Heartbleed Risks, DHS Says

April 11, 2014 But Akamai systems powering the Obamacare website contained the data-leaking vulnerability. Still Glitchy for Medicaid Enrollees

April 10, 2014 The size of the problem is hard to pinpoint, as experiences vary by state and info is largely anecdotal.

An information table advertising California's health care exchange sits in downtown Los Angeles in January.

Remember the Woes? State Exchanges Had the Same Problems

April 3, 2014 Issa argues state exchanges were redundant and unnecessary.

Two Atlanta residents fill out HealthCare.Gov applications at the Atlanta Medical Center South Campus Monday.

Obamacare Clears 7 Million Sign-Ups

April 1, 2014 A last-minute surge gives the White House a major victory.

Obamacare Sees Social Media Surge Ahead of #Deadline

March 31, 2014 struggles to meet demand Monday.

More Glitches Hit Obamacare Site on Sign-Up Deadline

March 31, 2014 Technical problems strike again as last-minute shoppers flood the site with traffic. Shows Symptoms of Its Own on Final Enrollment Day

March 31, 2014 The site was down for maintenance Monday morning.

Obamacare Enrollment Tops 6 Million

March 27, 2014 The White House clears a major milestone with four days left in the enrollment window. Visits Surge Ahead of Obamacare Enrollment Deadline

March 26, 2014 Consumers must try to sign up for a plan by March 31. Bugs and 16 Other Ways to Qualify for an Obamacare Extension

March 26, 2014 The administration releases a long list of loopholes to the enrollment deadline.

Obamacare Enrollment Deadline Extended for Victims

March 26, 2014 Consumers who say they tried to sign up for health coverage before the March 31 deadline will get more time.

Two States Want to Extend Obamacare Deadline Because of Glitchy Websites

March 18, 2014 Oregon's exchange doesn't work; Nevadans get error messages reminiscent of's early days.