People demand answers over Oregon’s Obamacare fail

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by Shelby Sebens | Northwest Watchdog

As Oregon reels from a failed launch of the state’s health care exchange website, people demand answers.

Despite getting an early start and extra funds from the federal government, Oregon has yet to enroll a single person in the health exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Now everyone from Oregonians seeking insurance to lawmakers both for and against the law want to know what’s going on.

“My belief is that Oregonians need to hold people accountable for the actions that they make. And for this particular plan, it’s President Obama and essentially every Democrat who voted for it.  And in the state of Oregon it’s Gov. John Kitzhaber who is responsible for its implementation,” Oregon state Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, told Northwest Watchdog.  ”He (Kitzhaber) needs to explain why, as an early adopter with additional funds that other states didn’t get, that we’re dead last in sign ups.”

Cover Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority have hired and reassigned more than 400 workers to help process paper applications because the website is not working — and hasn’t worked properly since its launch Oct. 1. Despite millions of dollars spent on ambiguous TV and other ads, the Oregon exchange is failing.

ZERO ENROLLED: Despite millions of dollars spent on hipster ads, Cover Oregon has yet to enroll anyone in Obamacare.

Kitzhaber held a press conference earlier this month announcing additional help to process paper applications.

“This is about more than a website,” he said in a press release. “This is about making sure that every Oregonian who wants health insurance coverage is able to get it.”

Oregon lawmakers, including Knopp, who serves on a Senate health care committee, will hear an update from Cover Oregon officials Wednesday during Legislative Days, three days of committee meetings to prepare for next year’s session. Knopp said Oregonians want to know when they can sign up.

“Clearly, this has been a debacle in terms of the launch of a program,” he said.

Even Democrats who supported the law are calling for action.

“The implementation of Oregon’s health insurance marketplace has been abysmal,” U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, a Democrat representing the fifth district, said in a statement. “The current situation is completely unacceptable, and I expect much more from a state with a reputation for being an innovator in the field of health care.”

He called for Cover Oregon and the computer technology company Oracle, which the state has contracted with, to fix the problems.

“Catastrophic technical failures, insufficient forethought and the complete absence of effective leadership and accountability at Oracle and Cover Oregon have resulted in our state being ranked dead last in enrolling folks in new health insurance plans, which is the heart and lifeblood of the health care law and the only way Oregonians are going to receive better, more affordable care,” he said in the statement.

Some Oregon lawmakers say they saw this coming.

State Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, said in his recent newsletter that progress reports by Cover Oregon leading up to the launch showed the site wasn’t ready, but it was pushed to launch anyway. Richardson, who is running for governor, said he warned Kitzhaber and lawmakers last year the site wouldn’t work.

“Cover Oregon’s inadequacies were identified regularly and its catastrophic failure was fully anticipated,” he said. “With proper leadership, planning and execution, Oregon’s expensive Obamacare disaster could have been avoided.”

The Oregon House Interim Committee on Health Care and the Senate Interim Committee on Health and Human Services will meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Salem to hear an update from Cover Oregon Executive Director Rocky King and Bruce Goldberg, director of the Oregon Health Authority.

The Oregon Health Insurance Exchange Board is also pressuring King for answers.

Contact Shelby Sebens at [email protected]

Northwest Watchdog is a project of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Gov. Kitzhaber, Obamacare, Oregon Health Authority | 33 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Britt Storkson

    Obamacare isn’t working to deliver health care because it was never intended to deliver health care. It was intended to take money from us- average citizens- and give it to the Doctor-Lawyer-Insurance consortium who paid for it via campaign contributions. And it is working very well in that respect.

    If you think that there is considerable angst regarding the Obamacare “rollout” right now just wait until people figure out that just because they have insurance doesn’t mean it pays for anything. That’s when a very large amount of excrement will hit the fan.

    • .

      Doe Impeachable ewes, Clyvia Hayes and Michelle Obama: Drag their significant beu-boos packing off to Keny kin Nonsense and spare US from michael moore-on of of their inane.

    • DavidAppell

      So then, you are in favor of serious campaign financing laws — or even public financing of elections?
      If so, welcome to the club.

      • Britt Storkson

        Neither. I’m in favor of full disclosure of campaign contributions. Right now money laundering of campaign funds is legal (not illegal). All that we have for campaign finance reporting is numbers and names attached to them. There is no legal requirement that the true source of the campaign cash be disclosed.
        However, if you try that same thing with the IRS you risk jail time.

        • DavidAppell

          But campaign contributions are free speech. Or so we’ve been told…. You want more than names & numbers? How much privacy do you want to invade?

  • thevillageidiot

    This statment says it all “This is about making sure that every Oregonian who wants health insurance coverage is able to get it.”
    No it is about FORCING everyone to take health insurance at the end of a gun. (the gun is figurative at this point for those of you who don’t get it.)
    The statment implies that the consumer has a choice as to buy it or not. The consumer has no choice. If you don’t buy insurance then we will fine you until you do. if you don’t pay eventually we will come and take your property, possession, ruin your credit, etc. Pauper prisons have been outlawed in this country unless you owe child support. there is no real choice of plans when you look at the many options. I have seen over 100 options through the browse. (not the same as signing up). There are only three choices bronze, silver, gold. The platinum doesn’t even present itself probably because it is above our pay grade. Ask your legislator if they have that option. What if I don’t want to Pay 250 to 400 dollars per month (the range for individual plans) because I am healthy and save money for the emergencies. Assuming that I can save 400 per month, that is 19000 dolars in four years. If it were available (all have been or will be cancelled) a catastrophic plan (typically 100 to 200 per month) to cover major medical issues which would involve a significant hospital stay and perhaps rehab afterward I would be pretty good shape financially. But I have no choice. The government is now making my choice for me. Does the government know how to better spend my money than me? All the blather about everybody in the pool benefits only the insurance companies and pharmacuitical companies. It is another way of telling me that you want your medical insurance paid by someone else because you have made decisions throughout your life that are different than mine. I became successfull and you didn’t therefore I owe you. I can’t change BOCARE. I can’t make stupid people understand but I can try to shed some light on dark thinking.

    • DavidAppell

      If the consumer doesn’t buy insurance and suffers a major accident or illness, it will be everyone else who pays for it.
      Would you prefer that?

      • thevillageidiot

        you really don’t get. it is up to the individual to be prepared for rain. if one can’t afford it now how does one afford BOcare. otherwise it might as well be medicade or OHP and we already have those. No matter how you want to justify it this is a new tax perpetrated on the middle class.

        • DavidAppell

          You don’t get it. Individuals are rarely prepared for rain…and can’t possibly cover the big, expensive bills for accidents and diseases.
          They can’t pay their bills, and then the rest of us have to.
          You prefer paying for the care of others in addition to your own care? Seems so.

          • thevillageidiot

            So you are saying that as a responsible person I am required by law to support irresponsible people. You said “You prefer paying for the care of others in addition to your own care?” Already are paying for those. So enlighten me as to why the new system is better? I don’t really expect and answer since this over 12 hours old. some of us have other work to do.

          • .

            ButterbuttHead, your oink so much fried pork’ns ‘coked’ a sleeze of trans fats and globules of grease me you fools with si patronshism you boo coo socialism you fools.

  • DavidAppell

    What, again, was “state Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend’s proposal for addressing the disintegration of the US health care system?

    • .

      Choking down an Appell a day won’t keep Dr. Kitzhaber out of the way, but the core of many liberal social schisms may be diverted from twirping the blight fantastic looney tunes he spins too often.

      • DavidAppell

        So you don’t know Sen Knopp’s health care plan either? I’m not surprised — I suspect he doesn’t have one. It’s much safer to criticize others than stick out one’s own neck….

        • .

          Appell’s brains falling out his opine mouth again.
          Katy bar the al gore, please!

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