Red Hat Inc. (RHT), Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and other companies are contributing dozens of computer engineers and programmers to help the Obama administration fix the U.S. health-insurance exchange website.
The help is arriving as the government’s main site to offer health insurance remains plagued by repeated outages a month after its Oct. 1 debut. Among those assisting are Michael Dickerson, a site reliability engineer on leave from Mountain View, California-based Google, and Greg Gershman, the innovation director for smartphone application maker Mobomo, according to a government official who asked not to be identified because the moves haven’t been made public.
The administration began touting a “tech surge” on Oct. 20, as a robust response to the software and technology errors on healthcare.gov that have prevented people from enrolling in health plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Insurers have said they too are experiencing problems with incomplete or garbled data from the site.
“There are dozens of software engineers, developers, designers and analysts, who are methodically working around the clock on performance and functionality of healthcare.gov,” wrote Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in a blog post obtained by Bloomberg News.
The administration hasn’t previously quantified the tech surge or identified any participants, other than Jeffrey Zients, President Barack Obama‘s incoming chief economic adviser, who was asked to first advise Bataille’s agency on fixes.
Dickerson is working with QSSI, the UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) unit that last week was named as lead contractor for repairs to healthcare.gov, Bataille said. Gershman is working with CGI Group Inc., the Montreal-based contractor that built much of the website.