HealthCare.gov Crashes for Congress, Risks Were Known and Other News

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The rocky rollout of HealthCare.gov, the website for people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, has garnered a lot of attention from the media as well as technology analysts. Here's our daily roundup of some of the key reports you may have missed:

  • Data Center Down: HealthCare.gov crashed during Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ testimony to Congress, The Verge reports. The outage was due to a “partial shutdown” at a Verizon Terremark data center that was down last weekend, as well.
  • We Meant to Help: Sebelius explained the reasoning behind a last-minute decision to force HealthCare.gov visitors to register before they “window shopped.” As things turned out, that decision probably contributed to the site’s terrible performance during its first weeks online, according to earlier testimony from Quality Software Services, or QSSI, the contractor that built the faulty registration system.
  • Another Glitch Fixed: A site that was fixed on the English-language HealthCare.gov remained on the Spanish site CuidadoDeSalud.gov until Wednesday afternoon.
  • Health Care Sites Are Risky: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officials knew of “inherent security risks” four days before HealthCare.gov launched on Oct. 1, CBS reports. A memo signed by CMS Director Marilyn Tavenner said HealthCare.gov computer code had not been "tested in a single environment" and that posed "inherent security risks."
  • Back in Early September: A central HealthCare.gov contract wanted more time for testing the site nearly a month before it’s Oct. 1 launch, according to testimonty.
  • The Best HealthCare.gov Movie: Congress kept pushing the Wizard of Oz analogy on HealthCare.gov and former Kansas Governor Sebelius. Our own Joe Marks is sure there’s more appropriate movie analogy.