Waste Watch: Tax Dollars Wasted on Healthcare Website that the Government Knew Didn't Work -- Erika Kurre
Updated: Tuesday, August 19 2014, 10:57 PM CDT
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Nashville, TN - We have our hands on the email that some say proves federal agencies knowingly wasted taxpayer money with the rollout of healthcare.gov.
Problems with enrollment on the Obamacare website have been called a debacle.
Almost a billion dollars was spent on it anyway.
The email is from the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which launched the website and is the center of an investigation into Obamacare.
It's part of a chain that talks about problems with phone and website registration, proving administrators knew these issues existed.
Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) says it's proof that the Energy and Commerce Committee has been asking for since October 10th, nine days after healthcare.gov's rocky launch that faced harsh criticism in the public eye.
The committee is investigating what led to the sites failures that made it nearly impossible for many to enroll in health coverage beginning October 1, 2013.
Emails like this are among the evidence the committee has been requesting but hadn't gotten until now.
This email thread begins October 5th with CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner explaining to representatives at the White House what was going on with applications, both paper and online.
It also shows them informing her of a problem with taking over-the-phone applications and entering them into the website.
The last communication was an order from Tavenner to delete the email.
Fox 17 contacted CMS both through email and by phone.
They replied with a written statement saying the Administrator "copied her immediate staff, and the email was therefore preserved."
They also claim to have 71,000 emails including Tavenner that they are compiling for the committee.
Congressman Blackburn says, "Now we know they've spent about a billion dollars on this. And then you look at the 4.4 billion dollars that was given to the states for the state exchanges, to launch those websites. That's a lot of money being spent on websites. I fully believe that people here in Tennessee could have done it for a lot less."
The Energy and Commerce Committee responded to CMS just days ago with a letter formally requesting to discuss the issue further, in person, as the investigation continues and the White House's participation is examined.