On Friday, Rep. Darrell Issa issued a subpoena, compelling the testimony of Todd Park, the White House Chief Technology Officer, at a hearing next week on the failed rollout of Healthcare.gov. The White House had said that Mr. Park was “too busy” fixing the failed ObamaCare website to testify at this time.
“Your unwillingness to appear before the Committee continues an unfortunate pattern of the current Administration when it comes to matters of transparency and Congressional oversight,” Issa writes in a letter to Park. “
“Given your continue [sic] unwillingness to appear voluntarily next week, I am left with no choice but to compel your appearance,” Issa’s letter concludes.
The White House criticized Issa’s action, saying that Park would be willing to testify after its self-imposed November 30 deadline to have the website fixed.
“This is an unfortunate and unnecessary step since we made clear several times that Todd Park is willing to testify,” said Rick Weiss, a White House spokesman. “We had hoped the Committee would work with us to find an alternative date to give Todd time to focus on the immediate task at hand: getting the website fixed.”
Delaying Park’s testimony until after the re-launch of the site is problematic, because issues beyond the basic functioning of the site have arisen in recent weeks. There are serious concerns about the security of personal information and potential invasions of privacy.
It is important to know what steps the government is taking to address these concerns before the site is relaunched. A fully functioning site, with no security protections, would actually be worse than where we are now.