An email obtained by Fox News predicted the errors Healthcare.gov would suffer upon launch as late as September 25.
The revelations came on Wednesday evening when a Congressional subcommittee released the document, which indicates what was happening mere weeks prior to the site going live.
The email from Henry Chao, Healthcare.gov project manager, worried the website would not be able to handle the thousands of visitors that were expected to flock to the page for information on the Obamacare exchanges.
In the September 25 email, Chao expresses his concern that Healtcare.gov would be unavailable and predicted the headlines that would come because of the failure.
Chao suggests the White House come up with acceptable explanations as to why the website was not functioning as expected.
We should note the email was sent before the launch of Healthcare.gov on October 1.
Ever since its inception, the site has suffered from several glitches that are preventing Americans from shopping the medical exchanges available to them, as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Over the last few weeks, Americans have seen minor improvements while visiting Healthcare.gov, The Obama administration is struggling to have the site fully functional by the end of November, as promised by the President.
The email was sent a day after a meeting on September 24, 2013. Both White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and CMS chief Marilyn Tavenner were present at the meeting, according to Fox.
“When Todd Park and Marilyn was (sic) here yesterday one of the things Todd conveyed was this fear the WH has about hc.gov being unavailable,” wrote Chao.
Commenting further on Park, Chao went on to say:
“He will come back again and ask on 9/30 because after knowing him for the past 3+ years I can tell when he will hang on to something for a long time. Todd does have a good point and I think we should have a more comprehensive answer as to how we will ensure high availability.”
Chao attached the now famous screenshot indicating Healthcare.gov is unavailable.
A White House official tells Fox the fear referenced in Chao’s email is related to the rollout of Healthcare.gov. The unnamed official says the White House was worried that high traffic would create problems for users.
The Obama administration has tried to explain Healtcare.gov’s glitches, saying they are due to the high volume of people trying to register for the ACA.
In the email, Chao seemed to be worried about the media backlash if the site didn’t work properly:
“Can you think about a better way to convey to the public when the site is not available?” wrote Chao. “I am picturing in my mind all the major print and online publications taking screenshots of what is below and just ramping up the hyperbole about hc.gov not (being) functional.”
Obama held a press conference on November 14, saying he was never informed that Healthcare.gov would not be fully functional by October 1.
“I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as (…) the way it was supposed to,” he said.
The Healthcare.gov email details come on the day that new polls show the lowest approval numbers yet for the President, at 37 percent, according to CBS.