Jeffrey Zients, the former White House staffer who helped fix previous Obama administration technological snafus, such as the cash-for-clunkers rebates and the electronic signups for an updated GI Bill program, has been drafted to fix problems at the website created to allow people to sign up for health insurance through insurance exchanges, MSN Money reported.
Since Monday, ZIents apparently has been working around the clock to help the Health and Human Services Department figure out the technical problems that have plagued the site since it launched Oct. 1.
The New York Times reported that federal contractors have identified most of the main problems with the site, but they say it will take weeks to fix them, which is not soon enough for the Dec. 15 deadline for people to sign up if they want insurance coverage beginning in January.
One expert suggested that as many as 5 million lines of programming code may need to be rewritten.
CNNMoney asked the CEOs of two information security companies and several computer engineers what it would take to fix the website. Dave Kennedy, the CEO of information-security company Trusted Sec, estimated it would take six months to a year to fix the site. The engineers said it would be easier to start all over and rebuildHealthcare.gov than to fix it. However, it's unlikely that the government will want to throw away about $300 million worth of work.
Meanwhile, Republicans increasingly are calling for the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over the massive failure of Healthcare.gov, the Times reported.
Although the White House kept close tabs on the development of the site, the details were up to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which Sebelius oversees.