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Fool me again, please

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

It’s hard to read a paper, find any news channel, open a page on social media or the Internet without a full blown diatribe on the problems with the Affordable Care Act website. Three years in development and by all standards it’s an absolute disaster. The Administration initially blamed its down fall on the extremely high volumes of traffic. Now that we’ve learned only six people in the nation were able to sign up the first day it’s clear the site was never built to stand up to the demands it had to face.

The Affordable Care Act has enough press these days and personally I’m tired of reading about it and I’m sure you must also be. Since it’s now the law of the land it will either prove itself or fail under the weight of its own unfulfilled promise.

My concern relates to how government functions. Certainly Congresswoman Pelosi’s comments: “We’ll have to pass it to find out what’s in it,” continues to ring true when this nugget of news was recently released.

CGI Federal, the company that created large parts of the above mentioned Affordable Care Act Exchange website has recently been awarded several new government contracts. Since its launch CGI has signed five different agreements according to USASpending.gov, a government website that lists government contracts. The new contracts were for computer and software development at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency.

One has to wonder why the government, after spending $290 million for creating the Health Care Exchange, would consider it a wise move to use this firm again for anything. The Administration surely understands the magnitude of the failure by this company to live up to its responsibilities, but instead of demanding a refund they dole out more work to them.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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