HealthCare.gov costs total $677M

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Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday said the information technology costs for the HealthCare.gov website totaled $677 million through the end of October.

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The HHS has only spent $319 million of that amount so far, Sebelius testified in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, but commitments to contractors and government officials could reach $677 million if the agency makes good on all of its obligations.

Sebelius has hinted that the Health agency could seek to withhold some payments to contractors due to the poor performance of the website.

On Wednesday, the secretary announced that her inspector general will investigate the botched launch of the HealthCare.gov website.

“I believe strongly in the need for accountability and in the importance of being good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” Sebelius wrote in a blog post announcing the investigation.

She said the IG will investigate payments to contractors and that she would “act based on his recommendations.”

The cost of the website has likely increased since October, after a months-long tech surge was needed to fix the problem-plagued portal.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has said the cost of HealthCare.gov could reach 10 figures.

“The fact is, eventually they’ll get this website working, at the cost of probably over a billion dollars,” Issa said last week.