Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer of CMS, issued a blunt, all-caps warning to colleagues just days before HealthCare.gov was set to launch:
I DO NOT WANT A REPEAT OF WHAT HAPPENED NEAR THE END OF DECEMBER 2005 WHERE MEDICARE.GOV HAD A MELTDOWN (THIS IS TO GET YOUR ATTENTION IF I DIDN’T ALREADY.
The warning came in a September 26 e-mail from Chao to fellow CMS officials and contractors working on the website. In the previous body of the e-mail he had warned that the website’s capacity was far below what would be needed on October 1.
Read the e-mails here.