This was confirmed during testimony today before a Congressional committee. Issa, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman, said the Obama White House turned down the offer.
Bill Hemmer: Was it proven today that an internet company offered to build the website for free but the government passed on it? Was that true? Did that happen?
Rep. Darrell Issa: It was stated under oath that it was true. No one argued that it wasn’t.
The Obama administration blew over a billion dollars so far to build the failed Obamacare website.
UPDATE: It looks like they were talking about IBM. Via Politifact:
In a 2010 interview, IBM’s CEO said: “We could have improved quality and reduced the costs of the health-care system by $900 billion. … I said we would do it for free to prove that it works. They turned us down.”