HealthCare.gov gets new IT advisor

The former top tech advisor for HealthCare.gov is on his way out, to be replaced by a former Microsoft exec, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.

HealthCare.gov gets new IT advisor

Life & Health

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The top tech advisor for HealthCare.gov is on his way out this week.

The White House announced Tuesday that Jeffrey Zients, the management consultant sent in to do battle with the error-ridden HealthCare.gov, is leaving the administration after saying he has “met his goal” now that the site is supposedly working smoothly for most users.

Kurt DelBene, a former Microsoft executive, will take over the role as head IT honcho, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates praised the appointment, calling DelBene “a talented and capable executive, with a track record of successfully managing complex large-scale technology projects.”

“I’m certain he’ll make an important positive contribution in his new role with HHS,” Gates said.

DelBene is married to Washington State Rep. Suzan DelBene, a Democrat who also has a technology background.

Producers working on the site agree that HealthCare.gov has substantially improved since its fixes over the Thanksgiving holiday, though they are still playing catchup in the days leading up to the Dec. 23 deadline to sign up for health coverage.

“It took almost a month-and-a-half to get access to the site, which is kind of unreal,” said Will McDonald of MacLean Financial Group. “We have people freaking out, saying ‘We need enrolled, we need enrolled,’ and we’re just working on it as fast as we can.”

McDonald said MacLean is considering hiring additional employees accommodate the rush, as well as “ordering a lot of noodles and pizzas, and burning the midnight candle.”

 

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