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Healthcare.gov Site Will Move from Verizon to HP

Healthcare.gov, the Department of Health and Human Services site for the federal health insurance marketplaces offered under the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), will be finding a new home next year.

The agency has awarded Hewlett-Packard a $38 million contract to host Healthcare.gov starting in March, The Wall Street Journal reported last week. Verizon's Terremark unit now hosts the site but the decision to move to a new provider was made before the Oct. 1 public launch of Healthcare.gov, which has suffered ongoing and widely criticized outages. The Verizon datacenters have experienced numerous outages since the launch and, according to the report, agency members were aware of prior problems. 

It bears noting that the outages are just one of many reasons Healthcare.gov, one of the hallmarks of Obama's presidency, has failed. The heart of the reason many people were initially unable to register was an application designed to authenticate individuals and application integration issues. The blame largely falls on how the project was managed, not any one component, as I reported back in October when I described it as "the biggest IT failure ever."

Certainly, losing Healthcare.gov gives Verizon a black eye. At the same time, Verizon is in the midst of revamping its cloud service portfolio and will have an opportunity to regroup. The company said in October that its new IaaS offering is scheduled for release early next year.

For HP, the move will give the company a chance to showcase its ability to run a business-critical site. Of course, if it's not working well by then, things could get pretty ugly.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 12/05/2013 at 12:29 PM


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