U.S. drops contractor for work on Obamacare website
January 10th, 2014
12:13 PM ET
9 years ago

U.S. drops contractor for work on Obamacare website

Updated 1:32 p.m. ET, 1/10/14

(CNN) - The Obama administration has cut ties with CGI Federal for its work as the main contractor on the Obamacare website, a source familiar with the decision told CNN.

The contract was up and not renewed, the source said.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency charged with overseeing development of the website, said in a statement that it was working with its "contract partners" to ensure a "mutually agreed upon transition."

The flawed launch of the website in October was a big political setback for President Barack Obama.

Fixes since have resulted in improved performance of the online portal, where consumers can shop for health coverage.

The politically charged health care law, the Affordable Care Act, aims to allow millions of Americans without coverage to access insurance.

More than 2 million people had signed up so far under Obamacare at the end of 2013 with about half enrolling through the federal marketplace, officials said.

A number of states also have their own portals and other programs to sign people up for coverage.

CGI couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

It was lead contractor for building the problematic front-facing side of HealthCare.gov, a job with an original two-year contract valued at nearly $100 million.

The company came under fire following the webstie's difficult launch as users experienced major problems accessing the site, creating profiles and selecting insurance plans.

During testimony before Congress in October, CGI Senior Vice President Cheryl Campbell denied any wrongdoing by her company, telling legislators that it was not "unusual to discover problems" in a system with so many concurrent users that would need to be addressed after going live.

As part of Obamacare implementation, CGI is also performing exchange work in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Kentucky, New Mexico and Vermont, according to the company's website.

Officials in several of those states have also expressed dissatisfaction with CGI's performance.

Based in Canada, CGI presents itself as the world's fifth largest independent IT and business process services company.

The company has experience in health care IT as a partner to some of the Canadian Ministries of Health and as a provider of secure electronic medical records in Europe.

Its U.S. government contracting branch, CGI-Federal, has done more than $2.5 billion in business with more than two dozen government agencies since 2001, according to a search at USASpending.gov.

This includes nearly a billion dollars of work with the Health and Human Services Department, CMS's parent agency, as well as the Pentagon.

Filed under: Health care • Obamacare
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Luba

    Something tells me this website will start working perfectly fine in 2016 when they hire a contractor to remove it from the WWW.

    January 10, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Pat S

    JJ,where is your basis that the american healthcare system is the best in the world. How my people have lost ther houses trying to pay back what they how because they were sick and had to be hospitalized. Canada, Great Britain and even Cuba, to name a few, have a better health care plan then the US.

    it may not be perfect but Obamacare is at least an attempt a correcting a bad healthcare system. instead of scrapping it and laying blame, improve upon it, make necessary changes to make it good for everyone.

    January 10, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote out the Repub/tea bag majority

    @Badboy: "I cant believe people are still defending this POS prez.."

    I'm betting you were one of those goose-stepping Bush supporters who believed that any criticism of Bush and his administration was anti-American, anti-God, unpatriotic and helping the enemy in a time of war.

    Then, once Limbaugh said he hoped President Obama would fail, you immediately changed your tune about respecting the office of the President and now consider it your patriotic duty to goosestep for Limbaugh, Fox, Hannity and all the other liars who hate Obama.

    Judging from your post, you are just another misinformed hater, pathetic and willing to let yourself be used by the righties. I feel sorry for you – and wonder how you manage to get dressed in the morning, given how obviously dim you are.

    January 10, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Chooch0253

    @Kenman.. you are the one that is lacking in knowledge not the author of the article. The cost to develop the website, you know what was paid to CGI to do so, the company that wrote the contract and agreed to be paid a certain amount to do so, was 93 million. It is not just a claim from the Obama Administration. It is the same figure the company has released a number of times as to what they were paid. Thre fact you refuse to acknowledge the facts and instead simply repeat the ame lies over and over, you must think doing so will make the lies true. Hint: They will still be lies, no matter how many times you post them. Some of you clowns are really lacking in functional brain cells.

    January 10, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. Craig

    I'm not sure the contractors were the problem for this. I think it was requirements and oversight that was the problem. You had a person that had no clue about building high-traffic websites in charge of building a high-traffic website.

    January 10, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Joe Biden

    Why don't we hire the college guys who built this website for free in a weekend? Can you imagine what they could do with our tax dollars? How efficient this site could be!

    January 10, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. rbnlegend

    A contractor doing a bad job on implementation does not invalidate the concept. The idea of having a health care exchange website is a good one, even if CGI Federal did an unusually terrible job rolling out the product. Once a good, functional website has been made, then we can use that to decide if the idea was good, but this hasn't been it.

    Hopefully whoever has taken over as prime can get the project back on track and field a working product.

    January 10, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. bill

    why would an american company with the best compouter people in the world when we are looking to employ people go to CANADA to build the obamacare website for $600,000,000 (still does not work) instead of the USA for 10 million???? Obama is the worse president we have ever had and one reason is zero business experience with that left brain showing. This is cause to impeach. Who got this money and why? It is like obama "giving his wife a birthday present" by letting her stay in Hawaii so WE the taxpayer could send an empty Presidential plane to get her-AT THE COST OF $800,000. Won't even try to type up all the investing done by obama that has backfired-all that money could have been enough to help the unemployed. HE AND THIS ADMINISTRATION IS A DISASTOR OF MAJOR DEGREE. We will never recover from his mess of obamacare–scandals-lies-etc.

    January 10, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. dnokc

    They were the heart and soul of Owebamacare.

    January 10, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. MICK

    CGI got paid hundreds of millions. No loss there, right liberals??

    January 10, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. erocks49ers

    Duh. That was a no brainer. It would have been news if they kept them

    January 10, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  12. W8a2nd

    Always go with the lowest bidder. Makes sense doesn't it?

    January 10, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. Bonny Kelter

    Just looked at CGI website – It's a Canadian company with all work done in India. Government is doing what all private industry is doing – outsourcing and offshoring. Meanwhile, competent, educated, and experienced American IT professionals are unemployed or underemployed. Shame.

    January 10, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. rbnlegend

    Why is it that the people who are most critical of the ACA, and the president, can't write a coherent sentence or spell? Disastor? Really?

    January 10, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Bicky

    MICK, We know you are being sarcastic, but in reality, CGI is probably headed by a conservative just like you. The only thing is, YOU weren't called to share in the profits. YOU weren't invited to the party. YOU will not be part of the victory should the "conservatives" (aristocrats ... not YOU) get all they are looking for. YOU (as a so called conservative) argue for freedoms that YOU will never enjoy. YOU argue for your own enslavement. No loss there either, huh?

    January 10, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. Big_D

    More Quality through outsourcing!

    January 10, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. Sav

    This is another example of a Private company ripping off the Government. Long live capitalism and the American way!

    January 10, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. Say What?

    Based in Canada? Why are we paying a company based in Canada?? Our own government doesn't care about using companies here....

    January 10, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. bluesjordan

    Drop the contractor and drop Obamacare which benefits insurance companies and rips off consumers.

    January 10, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. Dave Stephens

    How about fining them and getting a good portion of the money back!

    January 10, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Matthew Giarmo

    "Based in Canada, CGI presents itself as the world's fifth largest independent IT and business process services company."

    Based in Canada? We can't put anyone to work in this country and we're giving contracts to foreign companies?

    January 10, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |

    100 million. Another awesome waste of the POTUS.

    January 10, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. carol

    Why no mention of one of the CGI Federal employees was Michelle Obama's college classmate????? And the Obama administration gave CGI Federal ANOTHER CONTRACT IN THE MILLIONS, after the Obamacare failure!

    January 10, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. meki60

    'dropped'? , they should be sued, but I guess Obama got some of it.

    January 10, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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