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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Administration Discussed What To Tell Public When Obamacare Site Failed Before It Launched

A chain of emails released by the House Oversight Committee (and embedded below) revels a week before the launch of officials discussed White House fears about the website being unavailable and accurately predicted media outlets publicizing a now well-known error message that appears when the website is down.

On September 25, 2013, Henry Chao, CMS Deputy Chief Information Officer, sent an email to CMS staff and contractors stating,
When Todd Park and Marilyn  was here yesterday one of the things Todd conveyed was this fear the WH has about being unavailable.Todd does have a good point and I think we should have a more comprehensive answer as to how we will ensure high availability.
Todd Park is the White House Chief Technology Officer; Marilynn Tavenner is the Administrator for CMS.

Chao even spoke about how to deal with the fallout when failed. 
Can you think about a better way to convey to the public when the site is not available?” wrote  Chao, CMS Deputy Chief Information Office “I am picturing in my mind all the major print and online publications taking screenshots of what is below and just ramping up the hyperbole about not functional.
The "picture below" that was talking about was the home page of the Obamacare website an error message which says, “The System is down at the moment.”

President Obama has consistently blamed the problems with the Obamacare site on too much traffic, well that and the GOP.  It seems that was another Presidential lie. Based on these letters embedded below, the administration knew the site was doomed to fail and was even thinking of how to spin it to the public.

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