Video: Oregon governor bails out of interview after being asked about ObamaCare exchange
posted at 10:01 am on January 10, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
And well he should. Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber sat down with KATU for an interview, which he had to know would focus on the disastrous rollout of Cover Oregon, a failure which has already claimed at least one top-ranking official’s job. Kitzhaber now acknowledges that the Cover Oregon website won’t be functioning in the foreseeable future, and now claims that the website rollout was supposed to be a two-year project, which may come as news to Oregonians who are being forced to enroll in ObamaCare now.
When Hillary Lake mentioned memos that warned Kitzhaber of the fiasco to come, though, the interview was swiftly brought to a close:
The interview was cut short, however, soon after KATU asked about Kitzhaber’s knowledge of problems with Carolyn Lawson. Lawson, who as Chief Information Officer was responsible for the website’s technical development, resigned for “personal reasons” in November.
The governor claimed he didn’t know of problems with Lawson until late last year.
But in December 2012, Rep. Patrick Sheehan sent an email to the governor’s office that KATU’s Investigators recently unearthed.
The email questioned Lawson’s decision-making, accused her of presenting fraudulent testimony in a legislative hearing and speculated about her ties to Oracle, the company paid tens of millions of dollars to help with the project’s technical aspects.
Kitzhaber denied having seen the email, despite his legislative director having responded “You have raised some serious allegations, and I will make sure that we get his into the right hands in addition to the Governor.”
Kitzhaber told KATU on Thursday that the allegations never made it to his desk.
“In late October was when I first learned about the problems,” Kitzhaber said. “I had (the email) come to my office, but I didn’t see it.”
After Kitzhaber gave that answer, his aid immediately limited KATU to one more question.
Kitzhaber’s office later called KATU to tell them that the aide cut off the interview because of a schedule conflict, but the timing of this interruption certainly looks … providential, to be charitable. The station tried to interview the head of Cover Oregon, Bruce Goldberg, but according to the station he ducked the cameras and went into a restricted area where the reporters couldn’t follow him. Goldberg’s staff then ordered them to leave, which is less providential and more stonewall-ential.
If it’s any consolation to Kitzhaber, Oregon’s not the only place with ObamaCare woes, although the incompetence may be worse there than even in the federal system. One major insurer warned that their demographic mix on enrollments nationwide will be worse than projected:
Health insurer Humana Inc said on Thursday that it projected its enrollment mix in private plans through the exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s healthcare law will be, “more adverse than previously expected.”
Humana attributed the enrollment trend to regulatory changes allowing people to remain in previously existing plans not sold on the exchanges. Obama proposed allowing insurers to keep selling plans that did not comply with the Affordable Care Act after political fallout that he was not keeping his promise that people can keep insurance plans if they like them.
We’ll see what that means when HHS starts releasing the demographic data on actual enrollments, which the White House keeps claiming is unavailable. That, of course, is nonsense. The data exists in a database at HHS, and can be queried at any time. If that data looked good — in other words, showed a large participation by healthy and younger Americans — it would be posted on a weekly basis.