This is really playing out as a clinic in how not to launch a major website project, failing in every respect across the board, from planning, to the communications, to testing and everything in between. Can you think of anything in history of the web that was worse? This is the government of course and history indicates that the exchange was probably built by a number of the cheapest available contractors through a bidding program, that is actually pretty close, but just wait until you hear about the money. The contractors behind the exchange were CGI Federal, who built the site, Quality Software Systems Inc. (CSSI) – a Canadian company that built the information hub, and Booz Allen who is responsible for enrollment and eligibility technical support. Somewhere in that soup of contractors, they built a site that – /wait for it/ – was built for 50,000 to 60,000 concurrent users at a total cost (so far) of $634 million. Feel free to replay that ratio. $634,000,000/50,000. Here’s another ratio to ponder – 50,000 users in 50 states. I guess if you can get the work….you do it. In this case unfortunately for many the product is downright poor.
The only correction i would make in that is they probably weren't the cheapest, just the most available.