Obamacare Off The Rails: Oregon Considers Abandoning State Exchange After Rollout Disaster
January 16, 2014 by Ben Bullard
Oregon has spent more money than any other State to bring its State-managed Obamacare website, Cover Oregon, into existence. After lavishing millions of dollars on advertising, website development and an endless series of quick fixes and workarounds, the website has failed to successfully enroll a single person in a health insurance plan.
Now Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber, who’s taken a public beating for his aloofness throughout the launch of Cover Oregon, and for walking out of an interview when pressed to discuss the site’s shortcomings (including a smoking-gun email about problems with the site), is indicating the State may just let the whole mess revert to Federal government oversight.
A health policy staffer for the governor’s office said Tuesday Kitzhaber is now considering making the switch to Healthcare.gov, a site that’s certainly not without its share of technical and security problems. But the move would amount to a political Jonah moment for Kitzhaber, who could jettison his longtime support for the State’s participation in Obamacare in order to mount a credible re-election campaign this year.
The Cover Oregon disaster isn’t the first instance of a Democratic gubernatorial administration fielding calls for a Federal takeover of its nascent Obamacare program. On the whole, the story of Maryland’s Obamacare rollout is worse than Oregon’s.
Democratic Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, however, has continually maintained that the State’s health insurance website is just about to turn a corner — even as liberal hometown critics like the editorial board at The Baltimore Sun continue to paste him for his delusional optimism.