News Local/State

Rep. Shimkus Grills Contractors About Health Care Website


During a Congressional hearing on Thursday morning, Collinsville Republican John Shimkus grilled the private contractors tasked with building the new federal health care website.

Technical glitches continue to disrupt the rollout of the online health insurance exchanges. Contractors say it was the government’s responsible to ensure the system worked. Congressman Shimkus pressed contractor Andrew Slavitt about why there was not more testing.

SHIMKUS: “Isn’t that a beta test? Wouldn’t it put the different components together and see if the system worked?”

SLAVITT: “We didn’t see the full kind of integrated end-to-end system testing that you’re talking about...”

SHIMUS: “Why not?”

SLAVITT: “…until a couple of days leading up to the launch.”

SHIMKUS: “Shouldn’t we have had that?”

SLAVITT: “Ideally, yes.”

SHIMKUS: “Ideally, yes. Wouldn’t any other system, corporate entity rolling out something would test to see if it worked before it went out into the field?”


Jay Angoff formerly ran the health care exchange program for the Obama Administration. He said lawmakers who voted against it, like Shimkus, are partially responsible for the troubled rollout. Angoff told NPR that those in charge of the money to operate the exchanges are dedicated to its destruction, and he says that delayed work on the exchanges.