Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are accusing Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) of selectively leaking misinformation about HealthCare.gov in an effort to portray administration officials as misleading the public about the implementation of Obamacare.
On Thursday, Issa appeared on Fox News and claimed that he had obtained documents proving that contractors working on Healthcare.gov believed that the site could only handle 1,100 users before launch. U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had publicly stated that the administration believed that the site could handle 60,000 concurrent users.
But in a letter to Issa, Rep. Ellijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking member on the Committee, pointed to an interview Issa’s own staff conducted with Henry Chao, the Deputy Information Officer. Chao explained that the 1,000 figure were “the results of a much smaller testing environment” and were not conducted “with final production testing of the system at full capacity.”
“The estimates for the full [Obamacare] website environment were considerably higher,” Cummings writes, adding, “[I]t is reckless and highly irresponsible to make unsubstantiated public allegations by taking information out of context, especially when the Committee has information in its possession that directly contradicts these unfounded allegations.”
This isn’t the first time Issa’s leaks proved to be false. In June, Issa claimed to have evidence showing that the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of conservative groups applying for 501(c)(4) status was directed by the Obama administration. Transcripts of committee interviews with IRS officials later undermined that claim.