At today’s House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on the health law, a top Obama administration official admitted that the payment features for HealthCare.gov are still not built. In response to a question from Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight Gary Cohen testified that as of today, “The automated process for payments is still being built.” This revelation comes on the 108th day since the HealthCare.gov website went live on October 1. Despite assurances from the administration that the glitches associated with the health care law have been overcome, this fundamental, so-called back end component of the exchanges is still being built. Cohen was unable to provide an estimated timeline for its completion.
Watch the exchange HERE
Rep. Murphy: Has the part of the website dealing with payments been built? Or is it yet to be built?
Cohen: The automated process for payments is still being built. But we have a process in place that is working and payments will be going out next week.
Rep. Murphy: Yet do you have an anticipated date on when it’s going to be built?
Cohen: I don’t have an answer to that as I sit here, no.
Henry Chao, Deputy Chief Information Officer and Deputy Director of the Office of Information Services at CMS, testified on November 19, 2013, that 30 to 40 percent of the exchanges were still being built, including this payment function. That day, an industry source told CNBC, “That’s like setting up an online bank account without setting up a way to make deposits.”