Local Internet expert says Obamacare sites ignored the basics

SEATTLE -- The federal contractor who built the Affordable Health Care website was reportedly paid $70 million.

Now, the CEO of a Seattle Internet company says he knows why the site is troubled, claiming some of the basics were ignored.

Ian Lurie's job at Portent is to make websites faster and more efficient. So when he ran his analytical tools on and every state exchange that has its own website -- including Washington's -- he was surprised by what he found.

"The average was somewhere around a C minus or a D plus, if you assume the fastest site on the internet is an A," he said.

He said Washington's site received a C grade. He said it was the little things, basics of building a website, that were slowing down performance.

"Understand, I'm a very liberal Democrat, it just pains me to see things like this not done right," Lurie said.

Something as simple as a green graphic on the federal website slowed everything down. Lurie said the graphic should have been a lot smaller, which would have made the site faster.

"This fixes are basic internet 101," Lurie said. "It's something any webmaster should know."

Washington is one of just 14 states that built its own online health exchange from the ground up, but it still relies on federal databases for support.

When those go down, Washington's site goes down with them.

What Lurie couldn't see is how quickly customer information is getting to the government.

"I don't think it was the technical part of it, it was the pressure," he said. "I think it was the race to get everything live."

On the bright side, Lurie said he's noticed that little things are getting fixed and the sites are beginning to move much faster.

So far, 50,000 people have signed up for health care on Washington's exchange website since it went live on October 1.