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Expert: Obamacare Website Is ‘Not Even Ready For Beta Testing’

Contractors Were Paid Nearly $400 Million To Develop Site, CBS 2 Finds

CBS New York (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSNewYork.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSNewYork.com/Health

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two weeks after the Affordable Care Act online marketplace opened, many people have reported continued trouble logging onto HealthCare.gov.

CBS 2’s Don Champion got to the truth about how much it all cost, and found concerns about the website before it even went online.

With ads promoting HealthCare.gov hitting the air, Americans flocked to the website, finding themselves wishing they had health coverage to cure the headache the site has caused them.

“As of yet, I still have not even seen the plans,” said Shirley Stigall, one of numerous people having problems with the site.

For two weeks, Stigall has tried logging onto the site. She shared her frustration over webcam.

“It tells me I have an account and here are your plans, and then I look and there are no plans,” Stigall said.

CBS 2 tested out the New York and New Jersey marketplace websites, but hit virtual walls of error messages just registering.

Government officials have admitted the site is a work in progress.

“We won’t stop improving HealthCare.gov until its doors are wide open,” a U.S. Health and Human Services representative said in a statement.

Luke Chung’s company has built online databases for nearly 30 years. He called the website design “flawed.”

“It’s not even ready for beta testing from my book,” Chung said. “I would be ashamed and embarrassed if my organization delivered something like that.”

CBS 2 checked and found government records showed the federal government dished out nearly $400 million in contracts to 55 contractors on the exchange website and data hub — including the exchange site for New Jersey.

With that hefty price tag, what’s up with all the problems?

CBS 2 obtained a June 2013 Government Accountability Office report. Citing work still needed to be done at the time and “pushing it close” deadlines- it warned of “potential for implementation challenges going forward.”

People such as Stigall said they are hitting just such challenges.

“It makes me a little unsettled as to how this is all going to work out,” Stigall said.

A separate contractor put together the New York State Exchange website. CBS 2 was not able to determine the price tag,

Overall, industry experts have admitted HealthCare.gov was no easy undertaking.

A review by the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan watchdog group, found contractors that were awarded bids on the project were actually better-known for things such as military tanks and ammunition.

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