House GOP asked John McAfee for advice on Obamacare website
Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce have asked ex-fugitive John McAfee to review the HealthCare.gov website, a report said on Monday.
According to emails obtained by CNBC, House Republicans asked the founder of McAfee Associates to “guide our oversight and review” of the Affordable Care Act website.
In 2012, McAfee went on the run from Belize authorities. He was later detained in Guatemala and deported to the United States, but has not been charged with a crime.
“This is the Committee of jurisdiction for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare),” House Committee on Energy and Commerce counsel Sean Hayes wrote to McAfee’s lawyer on Oct. 14. “For three years we have been monitoring the implementation of the law and have been trying to dig into what has happened with the Exchange rollout.”
“Given the failures of Healthcare.gov, and Mr. McAfee’s expertise, I was hoping he might be able to discuss his views with staff on the hill,” the email continued. “It would be an informal discussion: we would take notes but these would not be for attribution, it would mainly guide our oversight and review of the program.”
“This would hopefully not be a heavy lift for him: what problems could lead to the compromise of personal identifying information? What could we be doing to prevent data or identify theft? What advice generally does he have?”
Follow-up emails indicated that the plans were scrapped after House Republicans refused to pay McAfee’s travel expenses.
McAfee told CNBC that he did not think it was at all odd that lawmakers would ask him for help with the website.
“I promise you this cannot be fixed without at least scrapping the front-end processing, which is more than half of the systems,” he insisted. “Seriously, if it were me and I were running this and I had been asleep in a hospital for two years and woke up to this mess, I would say OK, throw it out and start over. But start over in the right way.”
Watch this video from CNBC, broadcast Oct. 21, 2013.
Watch this video that McAfee published after being deported back to the United States.
[Ed. note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified McAfee as a “murder suspect.”]