Healthcare.gov, the federal Obamacare website, will cost taxpayers over $1 billion, according to congressional testimony submitted by HHS nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
In response to questions from Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) Burwell noted that $834 million had already been obligated to the glitch-prone website as of Feb. 28, with “a need for approximately $200 million” more from taxpayers through Fiscal Year 2015.
The full responses from Burwell are as follows:
Question: What has been the total cost of creating healthcare.gov to date? What has been the total cost of “fixing” healthcare.gov? Please include a detailed accounting of all costs associated with this website, including (but not limited to) salaries and expenditures, contractor costs, and training.
Answer: “It is my understanding that as of February 28, 2014, CMS has obligated a total of approximately $834 million on Marketplace-related IT contracts and interagency agreements. These expenditures include the website and the systems that support enrollment through the Marketplace, such as the data services hub as well as other supporting IT infrastructure, including cloud computing, to support Marketplace IT development.”
Question: What financial outlays are expected for fixing the backend of healthcare.gov? Please include a detailed estimate of future costs for fixing and maintaining the website, including (but not limited to) salaries and expenditures, contractor costs, and training.
Answer: “The President’s Budget reflects a need for approximately $200 million for all Marketplace-related IT in FY 2015, some of which is funded through user fees. Much of this amount reflects ongoing operational and maintenance costs of HealthCare.gov, as well as continued development."