"While individual components were tested, no end-to-end testing occurred until less than two weeks before launch," the Forbes article stated.
Further complicating the matter, contractors said, was the fact that 10 days prior to launch, CMS opted to change a software feature that would have allowed consumers to browse plans and pricing before registering. A representative for the company which made that software, Quality Software Services Inc., testified that late decision created a major problem.
"This may have driven higher simultaneous usage of the registration system that wouldn't have occurred if consumers could 'window shop' anonymously," the executive said according to a report by Reuters.
Forbes contributor and former IT project manager Evan Albright acknowledged last-minute changes to a platform are not unusual, but added, "... here’s where the Republicans may be right. To change a feature that big right before launch had to be ordered by someone far up the food chain. And, of course, the higher up one goes in government, the more political they are."
ABC News reports Republican committee members said the website problems are "symptomatic of deeper flaws in the Affordable Care Act" and further accused administration officials of "misleading Congress with repeated assurances that the rollout was on track."
So who is to blame? Contractors, CMS or the administration?