October Chaos for Cover Oregon

coveroregon_busshelter_man_thbThree weeks after launch, Oregon’s online health insurance exchange Cover Oregon hasn’t enrolled a single person. $82 million has been spent on a website which has received more than 430,000 visits and 3.7 million page views, and yet still cannot process applications.

According to Shelby Sebens of Northwest Watchdog, Cover Oregon spokesperson Ariane Holm “said she anticipates Cover Oregon’s website will be fully functional by the end of October. She also said residents can download an application and mail it back in or file it electronically. Or they can call Cover Oregon to start the application process.”

The Oregonian has reported on numerous reasons for the delays, including last-minute federal rulemaking that set back Oregon’s website programming. Oregon hasn’t been alone with these problems: HealthCare.gov, the national website for the Affordable Care Act, cost more than $400 million dollars and has been experiencing well-publicized, thorough dysfunction since October 1.

One would think functioning websites wouldn’t be too much to ask for the official ObamaCare rollout, the date of which was the focus of both national and statewide awareness campaigns. October’s online chaos seems to bode ill for the future of Americans’ health care experiences. Hopefully, people will rethink having increased centralized government control over a health care system which comprises nearly one-fifth of the U.S. economy.

Kathryn Hickok is Publications Director at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

Learn more at cascadepolicy.org.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Obamacare | Tagged , , , , , | 72 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    Wait till the Federal government starts pulling back on its expenditures on the Affordable Care Act (which is most likely to happen sometime down the road). States like Oregon will be left holding a big “Obama-kitzhaber” welfare state bag, and the Oregon Health Plan will revert back to even more of a lottery system where most uninsured are left on the outside looking in. Kitzhaber even sees this train wreck coming, and so, he is out looking for tax “reform” (code word for more state taxes).

    • DavidAppell

      The federal government would only pull back if Republicans have their way. They really don’t seem very concerned about any but themselves, do they?

  • Oregonnative

    Kitzhaber took a bribe from the Obama and now we are all going to pay.
    My health care with Blue Cross went from $1,200.00 for two every 3 months to $1,200.00+ per month. Thanks.
    I really feel sorry for those that it will exceed their tight budget as is . More homes lost and lives.
    Kitzhaber has a place in Washington DC while we suffer.

    • DavidAppell

      Your policy under the ACA is much superior. Maybe now you can actually use it.

      • Myke

        What are you? His doctor?

      • thevillageidiot

        or his accountant? one size fits all is not necessarily a better policy. Who are you to say it was not useful or Oregonnative did not or could not use it to the best benefit? just because you think everybody should have the identical coverage does not mean everybody uses stuff like prenatal care. which is mandated. somebody pays.

        • DavidAppell

          Underinsured people cost everyone else money.

          Coverage for prostate cancer is also mandated, yet not everyone will need that. Insurance is about pooling risk, whatever your risks are, or someone else’s.

          • Ron Spicer

            Prostate cancer is mandated because they can’t tie a pink ribbon to it.

            Insurance is not about pooling risk, it is a money making business, the pooling and mandated insurance is designed to make every one pay.

          • DavidAppell

            Of course insurance is about pooling risk. That’s why people buy it.

            Yes, mandated insurance is designed to make everyone pay (it was a conservative idea originally), because it they don’t pay, the rest of us have to pay even more.

          • Ron Spicer

            affordable care adds more to the pool but does not make the cost drop, so it is not affordable at all.

          • DavidAppell

            The ACA caps individual annual expenses, which does indeed make it much more affordable for signficiant problems. Otherwise people go bankrupt and hospitals pass on their costs to everyone else.

          • R S

            Welfare more welfare now in insurance form.

      • redbean

        Only the policy’s owner can decide which policy is better. Value is subjective. I don’t understand why you would assume the poster hasn’t been able to “actually use” his old insurance.

        • DavidAppell

          No, because if he underinsures and has a major problem that isn’t covered, it will be everyone else who must pay extra.

          • redbean

            We don’t know if he is uninsured, but it makes no difference. The underinsured/noninsured are simply scapegoats. Big Insurance, Big Hospital, Big Pharma and Big Government are rigging
            the game. Blaming the victims keeps us arguing with each other instead of investigating the game of “ring around the kickbacks” being played.

          • DavidAppell

            I mostly agree with you. But there is little political appetite for taking profits out of the health care industry. Corporations have far too much say in it (and in all US issues). The big insurers would only agree to stop discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions by requiring that policies cover those expenses, and as a result some policies got more expensive (but cover more, have lower caps, deductibles, co-pays, etc). .

            The ACA is what was politically doable at the time, not what was cheapest or most efficient. As usual, it is the little people who suffer.

          • redbean

            I agree that the most vulnerable suffer but don’t see profits in healthcare as the problem. The main issue is the disconnect in the relationship between patient and care provider, which occurs in both third party payer as well as single payer systems. The disconnect affects prices as well as quality of care. When your doctor works for either the government or an insurance carrier, they don’t work for you, the patient/consumer.

          • DavidAppell

            And your proposed solution is what?

            Single payer systems usually have higher quality of care than does the US system.

          • Ron Spicer

            I would love my insurance to have every one pay extra if I under-insure. Problem is no matter how much insurance I pay for I still have to pay a lot extra for my share, and the bigger the procedure the bigger it gets. But no one else is steeping up and paying for it.

          • DavidAppell

            Everyone pays extra premiums if people underinsure, because when they have expensive problems and can’t pay their bill, the hospitals charge more to those who do have insurance.

            “Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages free riders to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass on their medical costs to others.”
            — Mitt Romney, op-ed, USA Today, 7/30/09

          • Mark Bixler

            The fact that the ACA requires one to purchase a product to insure one’s own body or face fees is morally repugnant.

          • DavidAppell

            Not unless you think it is acceptable for society to let people die in the gutter if they can’t afford the health care they need.

            Most of us do not think that is acceptable. Thus, SOMEONE is going to pay those expenses. Why shouldn’t it be the patient, via insurance, instead of the rest of us?

            Conservatives like to preach responsibility, then abandon it as soon as it is put into practice.

          • .

            AS usual, DA’s elevator is stuck between floors again…with a load of garbage too heavy for sidewalk level.

          • Mark Bixler

            Wrong. I think the ACA is wrong and at the same time I don’t think people should be left to die in the gutter.

          • DavidAppell

            Then you should vote and work for a system you think is better. Right now we have the ACA, and a lot of us think is going to be much better than what existed up until now.

          • Mark Bixler

            Alot of people have thought wrong about the ACA. Welcome to the new standard 29 hour work week…making things harder on everyone.

          • DavidAppell

            Is there evidence such a work week is becoming standard? If so, what is it?

          • Mark Bixler

            It’s starting. Just watch and wait…and learn. The problem is that anything about the ACA that’s just plain rotten will only drive the rotten people in our society to demand an even worse solution in the form of a foul single payer system.

          • DavidAppell

            Excuse me if I don’t take your word for it without any evidence.

            We will, of course, eventually have a single payer system, because it is the only known health care system that delivers affordable, universal, quality care. It will be better than the ACA, and certainly better than what we had up until now, and people will wonder why anyone ever opposed it, just like Medicare is now highly valued and sacred.

          • Mark Bixler

            Delusional, you.

          • DavidAppell

            “In 2010, among 34 OECD countries, the US rank for the age-standardized death rate was 27th, for the age-standardized YLL [years of life lost due to premature mortality] 28th, for the age-standardized YLD [years lived with disability] 6th, for life expectancy at birth 27th, and for HALE [Healthy life expectancy] 26th.”
            — The State of US Health, 1990-2010, July 2010

            July 2013:
            “Despite spending twice as much on healthcare as its peers, the United States came in dead last out of six other countries — Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand — when it came to making gains in healthcare outcomes.”

          • Mark Bixler

            None of that crap means the ACA was a proper solution. None of it.

          • DavidAppell

            “Analysis: Little evidence yet that Obamacare costing full-time jobs,” Reuters 10/22/13


          • Mark Bixler
          • DavidAppell

            IBD has had no credibility since their massive blunder about Stephen Hawking.

            National Review does political writing, not journalism.

            You’ll have to find more respectivable sources (like, say, Reuters).

          • Mark Bixler

            Incorrect. Those are just lists of facts not articles. Your link is incorrect and outright silly propaganda.

          • DavidAppell

            Reuters is one of the most respected news organizations on the planet. Yours, not at all. (In fact, IBD is kind of a joke.)

          • Mark Bixler

            The IBD article is a table of hundreds of organizations both private and public that have, rationally, adapted to the ACA by dropping hours below 30 for many employees. Each item in the table links to another reputable source like a legal document, specific news article, or news video clip. It’s just a list of facts.

            The national review article is also a factual list of hundreds of organizations both private and public protecting their viability by dropping hours below 30 per week.

            This stuff is just happening. Put on your blinders and ignore the truth if you wish.

          • DavidAppell

            You don’t get it — IBD has no credibility at all. They lie about climate change. They lied about Stephen Hawking.

            I read NR. They’re so ideological they can’t be trusted on matters like this.

            As long as companies are being required to insure their workers, there must be some limit of hours per week. Any limit is going to affect employment decisions to some degree. That’s just another reason why employer-paid health insurance is a dumb idea whose time has gone.

          • Mark Bixler

            You don’t get it, I don’t care about IBD as a whole. The table in that article is completely credible and links to sources outside of the IBD that are also compltely credible.

            Your opinion on NR as a whole is meaningless in light of the fact that their table is also completely based on fact, truth.

            There are 4 other sources. Are you going to dismiss those as well?

            You see, the ACA is what we’re gonna get for a long long time. Many people are screwed by the ACA.

  • james

    The Nit Wits are not all in Wash.DC we have one here in Ore. as Gov.

  • James Elliott

    I think it is time for Oregon to review the state’s needs in regards to healthcare. I strongly believe that Oregonians can come up with a system that is far far better than Obamacare and really serve the needs of the people in this state. The $82 million could have been used more wisely in establishing Oregon’s own program independent of the federal government that would serve us far into the years to come.

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