A few days before the failed ObamaCare launch, top IT official Henry Chao said that the White House was nervous about being embarrassed if the site was unavailable after its launch.
An email chain dated September 25 from HealthCare.gov project manager Henry Chao — obtained by Fox News and viewable below — shows the Obama administration had more knowledge than they claimed publicly about the website problems that resulted in its failed October 1 launch.
Not only was the administration made aware of the ObamaCare website problems, but they were fielding suggestions about how to break the news to the American people.
In the email chain, Chao suggests the administration should come up with a more tenable strategy to tell the public that the website was not working in case it failed after the launch, saying that such a move could help prevent the media from “just ramping up the hyperbole about hc.gov not [being] functional.”
The email refers to a September 24 meeting, which took place the previous day, and included White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and CMS chief Marilyn Tavenner.
“When Todd Park and Marilyn was (sic) here yesterday one of the things Todd conveyed was this fear the WH has about hc.gov being unavailable,” wrote Chao.
Chao added, speaking of Park, “He will come back again and ask on 9/30 because after knowing him for the past 3+ years I can tell when he will hang on to something for a long time. Todd does have a good point and I think we should have a more comprehensive answer as to how we will ensure high availability.”
Chao also attached to the email the now-infamous image of a screenshot from HealthCare.gov that read, “The system is down at the moment. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Please try again later.”
A White House official tells Fox News the “fear” referenced in the email refers to warnings that glitches were likely during the rollout, as with any rollout of a major website.
In this case, the official added, the glitches they were worried about apparently had to do with high traffic, which did occur. The official said that is “a good indication that there’s high demand for the product.”
Despite reality, the Obama administration has repeatedly claimed the website failures were due to high user traffic, but we now know that was yet another lie.
In the email, which was sent to members of the Exchange Administrative Group among other administration officials, Chao suggested that the team should come up with a more tenable strategy for explaining problems with the website, as if there was some way to avoid all of the media attention and scrutiny.
“Can you think about a better way to convey to the public when the site is not available?” wrote Chao. “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 hc.gov not [being] functional.”
Back on November 14, President Obama told reporters at a news conference that he was never told “directly” about of the ObamaCare website problems before its launch.
“I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as — the way it was supposed to,” he said.