Healthcare.gov chief resigns amid Web site glitches

As bugs and glitches continue to plague the healthcare.gov Web site, the man who oversaw the site’s creation has said he’s resigning. Tony Trenkle, who is the chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), sent an e-mail to his co-workers on Tuesday that said he will be leaving on November 15 “to take a position in the private sector.”

Apparently, Trenkle’s resignation isn’t directly a result of the bungled Web site, but rather a management restructuring within the department, according to information sent to CNET by CMS.

“Given the importance of the I.T. portfolio here, we’ve moved quickly to fill this position with another internal staff member who had vast experience and knowledge of the I.T. issue,” CMS Office of Communications director Julie Bataille said during a press call on Wednesday.

CMS’ current director of the Office of Enterprise Management, Dave Nelson, has agreed to serve as the acting chief information officer upon Trenkle’s departure.

Healthcare.gov is the Web site where US residents can buy health insurance, which is now mandatory under the Affordable Care Act. The site launched October 1 and the digital exchange has been plagued with problems and criticism ever since. Glitches have included site crashes, down time, erroneous data, and possible privacy violations.

This Web site forms one of the cornerstones of President Obama’s domestic agenda, and there have already been plenty of hearings at the U.S. Capitol determining who to pin the blame on within the administration. Obama himself deemed the glitches as unacceptable, saying last month that the online health insurance marketplace “has not lived up to the expectations of the American people.”

Healthcare.gov is scheduled to close its doors for registration on December 15 to meet the deadline for 2014 enrollment. According to The New York Times, several politicians from both sides of the aisle have urged officials to extend the open enrollment period. However, extending that period could lead to delays in commencing the Affordable Care Act and people getting health care.

Via The New York Times.

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