Silicon Valley to the Rescue of Healthcare.gov

Obama administration has pledged website will be running smoothly by the end of November

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, Oct 31, 2013  |  Updated 7:05 PM EDT
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Silicon Valley to the Rescue of Healthcare.gov

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The federal government is turning to Silicon Valley to help fix the Healthcare.gov website debacle.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday it has enlisted the help of top engineers and technology managers from Google, Oracle and Red Hat to help solve the problems surrounding the new federal insurance exchange website.

The recruitment effort is part of a new government push to fix the problem it is calling "Tech Surge."

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison commented on his company's involvement during a shareholders meeting.

He said he "thinks it is our responsibility as a technology provider in the technology industry to serve all of our customers, and the federal government is one of our customers, so we are helping them in every way we can."

The U.S. government has long been one of Oracle Corp.'s biggest customers. Ellison cited that relationship as one of the reasons Oracle is getting involved with the troubleshooting at Healthcare.gov.

One of the engineers specifically highlighted by HHS is Google's Michael Dickerson. Dickerson is now on leave from the Mountain View company as he jumps into fix-it mode back in D.C.

Although the deal was just announced, it appears to have been in the making for awhile. Dickerson is already on site in D.C. working with the general contractor.

"We’ve added key personnel from the government and private sector, including expert engineers and technology managers. These dozens of people are strengthening and reinforcing the team we have working 24/7 to address the problems around Healthcare.gov," the federal release read.

HHS only highlighted a couple names, but says there are dozens of software engineers, developers, designers and analysts "working around the clock on performance and functionality" of the healthcare.gov site.

Exasperation with the buggy computers has been compounded by concerns that the website lacks the security measures needed to protect the sensitive information of people looking for insurance.
 
The Obama administration has pledged the website will be running smoothly by Nov. 30.
 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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