U.S. to Dump HealthCare.gov Contractor CGI

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U.S. to end CGI contract for Obamacare website
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/AP
WASHINGTON -- The federal government will end its contract with CGI Federal for the error-plagued HealthCare.gov website, instead signing a contract with Accenture, The Washington Post reported Friday in its online edition.

U.S.-listed shares of CGI Group (GIB), the parent of CGI Federal, were down 3.5 percent at $31.36 in late trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

HealthCare.gov's technology failures in the weeks after its Oct. 1 launch created a political crisis for President Barack Obama, threatening the rollout of his signature health care law to consumers and emboldening its foes among Republican lawmakers to call for its delay.

CGI has been immersed in the effort to repair the site, which began working more smoothly for hundreds of thousands of consumers in December, allowing them to enroll in new health insurance plans offered under Obama's Affordable Care Act.

But the government's dissatisfaction over the website's early crash, %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%as well as aspects of the site that still do not work, are behind plans to sign a one-year contract with Accenture (ACN) instead, the Post report said, quoting a person familiar with the matter.

CGI's current contract for the work ends in late February, and the new 12-month agreement with Accenture is valued at about $90 million, the Post said.

In an emailed statement, an Accenture spokesman said, "We are in discussions with clients and prospective clients all the time -- but it is not appropriate to discuss new business opportunities we may or may not be pursuing."

Officials at CGI weren't immediately available for comment.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency overseeing the health-reform law's rollout, wouldn't confirm or deny that it planned to end its contract with CGI.

"We are working with our contract partners to make a mutually agreed upon transition to ensure that HealthCare.gov continues to operate smoothly for consumers," a CMS spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

More than 1 million people in 36 states have enrolled in health plans through HealthCare.gov, most of them in December. Another 1 million people enrolled through websites run by individual exchanges in the other 14 U.S. states.

-Washington breaking news team; additional reporting by Caroline Humer and Lewis Krauskopf in New York.

U.S. to Dump HealthCare.gov Contractor CGI
A year ago, in response to a Reddit thread titled "What is Obamacare and what exactly did it change," one user put together an exhaustive post that explains pretty much everything about Obamacare. While some of its answers are a little out-of-date, it is incredibly complete, and regularly links back to the original Obamacare legislation. For most Obamacare questions, it's the first -- and best -- site.
Unfortunately, for all its completeness, the Reddit explanation isn't the most interesting read. If you want something a little more diverting, you may consider taking a peek at Obamacare: Explain It Like I'm Five. Basically, this cartoon explains Obamacare like a playground argument, a he said/she said battle between insurers and average people, with Obama running interference in the middle. As an added plus, the website also lists 24 bullet points covering most of the things that Obamacare will change.
If you want something a bit more scholarly, Obamacare Exchanges Open: The New Law Explained in Seven Easy Steps uses President Obama's own words to explain several main points of the plan, answering questions about how it will affect health care costs, how it will impact small businesses, and the positive effect that it may have on family finances. And, for those who like bullet points, the White House has put together a list of their own.
Speeches and bullet points and detailed explanations are all well and good, but if you're one of those people who likes to get their weighty explanations with a spoonful of sugar, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation's new video, "The Youtoons Get Ready for Obamacare" does a great job of explaining most of the ins and outs of the new law. It's hard to find a better ground-level understanding of how the new law will affect your life.
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