Cover Oregon

As We Await Word on The King v. Burwell Decision, Let’s Revisit Why It’s Before SCOTUS: The Disaster of Cover Oregon

cover oregon

Like dominos crashing in a row, many States are realizing their Obamacare exchanges are either bleeding money, on the brink of insolvency, or sadly shutting down their State controlled operations and placing their citizens’ healthcare under the federal exchange and Washington bureaucrats.

According to a recent and important story in The Hill, many of the 13 states that established their own health care exchanges under ObamaCare are fearful they won’t survive when federal dollars dry up next year. Hawaii is the most recent to give up independent operations. Democratic Gov. David Ide put it best when he revealed the Health Connector was “unable to generate sufficient revenues to sustain operations.”

Hawaii isn’t the only exchange experiencing trouble in paradise. Nevada discovered more than 1,500 defects embedded in the site last year and joined the federal exchange. Colorado, Minnesota, and Vermont are next likely to remove the constant and ever-increasing drain on their state’s budget and shutter their failed exchanges. But none of these failures are close to matching the man-made disaster that is Cover Oregon, the Beaver State’s version of ObamaCare.

The story of Oregon’s health care portal is a story of waste, fraud, and potentially criminal abuse. Once the darling of the Obama White House, the truth has been steadily emerging. Congressional hearings should not merely detail the vast waste of taxpayers dollars but shine sunlight on facts so blatantly illegal that even President Obama’s own Department of Justice will be forced to finally begin necessary criminal proceedings in this case.

Today in Liberty: Obama’s lackluster response to VA scandal, House to vote on a severely weakened USA Freedom Act

“The government was set to protect man from criminals — and the Constitution was written to protect man from the government.” — Ayn Rand

— VA scandal isn’t going away: President Barack Obama finally spoke about the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, but didn’t do much other than continue to express outrage on the reports of the fraudulent wait times and mismanagement at VA hospitals. He’s standing behind VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, at least for now, as Democrats join Republicans calling for his dismissal. Unlike the IRS scandal and Benghazi, the problems at the VA and the deaths of 40 veterans aren’t something that the White House can blame on partisanship and try to sweep under the rug. The outrage is bipartisan, and only growing louder. And perhaps the most concerning thing about the sordid mess is that President Obama and the White House treats it as though it’s an unproven allegation.

Oregon to scrap its failed $300 million Obamacare exchange

Actually, the headline doesn’t even do justice in describing how much of an epic fail this is. Oregan received more than $300 million in grants from the Obama administration to set up its Obamacare exchange system, only to experience technical glitches so significant that the website didn’t register a single enrollee.

State officials are likely to scrap the exchange — Cover Oregon, which was once called the “White House’s favorite health exchange” — and join the federal Obamacare exchange system:

Alex Pettit, the state’s chief information officer, recommended to an advisory board Thursday that the state hand the reins to the federal government.

Members of the panel appeared to agree, The Oregonian newspaper reported. The board will meet again on Friday morning to further discuss the issue, and perhaps hold a vote.

Pettit will reportedly travel to Washington, D.C. next week to pursue the transition with federal health officials.
Fixing the site would cost $78 million compared with $4 to 6 million to house the system within, the slides said.

Oregon Democrat blames “big business” for his state’s Obamacare woes

Jeff Merkley

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) has found a new punching bag for his state’s Obamacare exchange website woes. Politico notes that the Oregon Democrat is blaming “big business” for the problems with the state’s health insurance exchange website,

The problems with this particular state exchange are, arguably, even worse than those that occurred on the federal exchange. As of mid-November, Cover Oregon had not enrolled anyone into a private health plan through the exchange. Numbers provided by the Obama Administration found that just 44 people had selected health plans in the first two months of the open enrollment period.

Though enrollment numbers have improved in recent weeks, Oregon officials are still seeing enrollments below even the lowest-level projections. The state’s exchange website, by the way, still isn’t fully functional, despite getting $59 million from the federal government to assist with implementation.

Merkley, who is up for re-election this year, blames Oracle, the California-based company contracted to build the website, for this sordid mess — and it’s a talking point that’s being repeated by Democrats around the country:

Oregon hasn’t enrolled anyone through Obamacare exchange

Cover Oregon

More than a month after the launch of its Obamacare exchange, Cover Oregon has yet to enroll anyone into a government-approved health plan, despite receiving $59 million from the federal government to assist with implementation of the law:

Despite grand ambitions, an early start, millions of dollars from the federal government and a tech-savvy population, Oregon’s online enrollment system still isn’t ready more than a month after it was supposed to go live. The state has resorted to hiring or reassigning 400 people to process insurance applications by hand.

“We’re all surprised and frustrated that we’re in the position that we’re in now,” said Jesse O’Brien, a health care advocate at the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, which lobbied for the exchange.

The state has received about 18,000 paper applications, at 19 pages each, and is scrambling to manually file and clear them. State officials have not been able to say when they expect the online system to launch, nor have they established a deadline to submit paper applications in order for coverage to begin Jan. 1. Meanwhile, the exchange’s board is demanding answers from the executive director about when the website will work and how his team will get people enrolled on time.

ObamaCare exchange delayed in Oregon

Cover Oregon

Highlighting the problems that many states are experiencing with ObamaCare implementation, Oregon has been forced to delay online enrollment for insurance coverage through its state exchange:

The online insurance exchange that Oregon established under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law will not allow residents to sign up for coverage on their own when enrollment begins nationwide on Oct. 1, state officials say.

The state is the first to say it won’t be open for all comers by that date, raising concerns that other states running their own “Obamacare” exchanges might also be struggling.
Instead of enrolling in health insurance online themselves, at least through mid-October Oregonians will need the help of an insurance broker or an aide trained by the state to log on, Cover Oregon spokeswoman Lisa Morawski said on Friday.

They also will need assistance to see what policies are available, and to determine which federal subsidies they might be eligible for.

The reason for the delay, according to the Wall Street Journal, is Oregon officials can “debug” the website for potential problems that customers may experience while trying to purchase coverage. That’s a significant concern with reports that the Obama Administration is month behind on data security testing for the exchange websites. Lax security could lead to instances of identity theft.

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