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.


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The governor claimed he didn’t know of problems with Lawson until late last year.
===============

Wait a tic, Lawson wasn’t near any bridges by chance,..eh!!

canopfor on January 10, 2014 at 10:07 AM

The data exists in a database at HHS, and can be queried at any time.

Maybe not. I wouldn’t put it past this crowd to have screwed up so badly that even a simple SQL query cannot be done.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 10, 2014 at 10:08 AM

What demographic does probably only 10% of claimed enrollees actually buying insurance fall under? The empty chair demo?

NotCoach on January 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM

and remember the day Obumbles was citing Oregon as a model exchange…good times, good times…

hillsoftx on January 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Notice the near total silence in the MSM about Obamacare now? The only mention I’ve seen in the last couple of days is we aren’t hearing anything because the websites are working so the problems are over.

DanMan on January 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Maybe not. I wouldn’t put it past this crowd to have screwed up so badly that even a simple SQL query cannot be done.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 10, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Oregon seems mostly focused on banning fluoride in their water and other UFO-type kook issues.

tetriskid on January 10, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Oregon was smugly calling themselves the model for the nation. And now we find that no Oregonian will be able to fly on their own wings under Cover Oregon. Karma’s a tough mistress.

Happy Nomad on January 10, 2014 at 10:12 AM

If Ted Turner has a son, he looks like John Kitzhaber.

22044 on January 10, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Chris Christie! Chris Christie! Chris Christie!

Didn’t this dude get the talking points?

fogw on January 10, 2014 at 10:14 AM

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.

No he didn’t. You’re thinking like a Republican here, under the idea that if you have a sit-down interview with a reporter, they’re actually going to ask you tough questions. Kitzhaber no doubt went into the interview either expecting a sponge bath, or if there were any questions on the Cover Oregon rollout, they would be those of the friendly, leading type, where the question is merely a set-up for the Democratic pol to offer up their boilerplate answer, with no follow-up at all.

The fact KATU actually committed journalism by asking about Lawson both shocked and angered Kitzhaber, and that’s why he ended the interview.

jon1979 on January 10, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Wait a tic, Lawson wasn’t near any bridges by chance,..eh!!

canopfor on January 10, 2014 at 10:07 AM

roflmao..That is hilarious!..Good one..We all had better watch those bridges..:)

Dire Straits on January 10, 2014 at 10:15 AM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Chris of Rights on January 10, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Maybe not. I wouldn’t put it past this crowd to have screwed up so badly that even a simple SQL query cannot be done.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 10, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Why would they use SQL? The backend database is obviously dBase.

Kafir on January 10, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Is it time to get stoned and vote Democrat?

Oh wait….

Electrongod on January 10, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Chris Christie! Chris Christie! Chris Christie!

Didn’t this dude get the talking points?

fogw on January 10, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Blame the polar vortex global warming.

22044 on January 10, 2014 at 10:17 AM

DanMan on January 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM

The narrative has changed..We have “Bridgegate”..:)

Dire Straits on January 10, 2014 at 10:17 AM

The fact KATU actually committed journalism by asking about Lawson both shocked and angered Kitzhaber, and that’s why he ended the interview.

jon1979 on January 10, 2014 at 10:15 AM

I think your interpretation is closer to the truth than Ed’s.

Chris of Rights on January 10, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Meanwhile, another state – MN – has an exchange that is doing wonderfully well!

Ok, maybe not…

Many of the problems were delineated in a letter from Gov. Mark Dayton to IBM in December, which highlighted 21 specific issues, including a “black hole” where 1,100 applications for coverage were lost.

The problem with the application “black hole” has been largely resolved, Leitz said, and contingency plans involving paper applications should help MNsure handle an expected surge in applications in March.

Paper applications for the March surge? I guess they aren’t planning on fixing their website by then…

http://www.twincities.com/politics/ci_24881414/mnsures-latest-concern-will-taxpayer-money-be-needed

climbnjump on January 10, 2014 at 10:18 AM

We fly with our wings,
Free to dream the big dreams.
Long live Oregonians,
We’re free to be healthy.

Everybody sing along, you know you want to.

abobo on January 10, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Just getting started everyone and its only going to get worse…

Gatsu on January 10, 2014 at 10:20 AM

MeanWhile,………………………….

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 8m

WH opposes the bill on grounds :it would create unrealistic and costly paperwork requirements…” http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/113/saphr3811h20140109.pdf
Expand

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/113/saphr3811h20140109.pdf
===============================

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 9m

The bill requires HHS to notify individuals within 2 days of any security breach of patient information in any health exchange.
Expand
==========

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 11m

Senate not in session till Monday at 2p. House debating Health Exchange Security bill which the WH opposes.

canopfor on January 10, 2014 at 10:20 AM

“Time for some zoning problems with the KATU facilities.”

Bishop on January 10, 2014 at 10:23 AM

We fly with our wings,
Free to dream the big dreams.
Long live Oregonians,
We’re free to be healthy stupid.

Everybody sing along, you know you want to.

abobo on January 10, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Fixed..

Electrongod on January 10, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Kitzhaber told KATU on Thursday that the allegations never made it to his desk.

And we are only hearing about Christy’s bridgegate. Here we know that the Governor actually was informed of malfeasance, and crickets from the LSM. Not that I am surprised.

Patriot Vet on January 10, 2014 at 10:24 AM

We’ll see what that means when HHS starts releasing the demographic data on actual enrollments, which the White House keeps claiming is unavailable.

Honestly, I’m prepared to disbelieve nearly any “data” that comes from HHS or the White House that isn’t independently audited and verified by the Republicans. My confidence in the numbers have been zero since they lied about first day signups and then later said they were labelling people who had put plans into shopping carts as having completed enrollment.

Doomberg on January 10, 2014 at 10:26 AM

climbnjump on January 10, 2014 at 10:18 AM

The problem is that the main MnSure offices are located in the MOA and most people take the local choo-choo to get there, unfortunately they are either robbed on the train by urban-types or assaulted at the mall by pint-sized Hmong bangers and never actually reach MnSure.

Bishop on January 10, 2014 at 10:26 AM

“It takes a lot of work to FUBAR medical care in the country. Give it more time.”
nonpartisan on November 32, 2013

arnold ziffel on January 10, 2014 at 10:29 AM

canopfor on January 10, 2014 at 10:07 AM

roflmao..That is hilarious!..Good one..We all had better watch those bridges..:)

Dire Straits on January 10, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Dire Straits:Morning Dire, ya, like the Infamous Bridge to
NoWhere!:)

canopfor on January 10, 2014 at 10:29 AM

MeanWhile,………………………….

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 8m

WH opposes the bill on grounds :it would create unrealistic and costly paperwork requirements…” http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/113/saphr3811h20140109.pdf
Expand

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/113/saphr3811h20140109.pdf
===============================

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 9m

The bill requires HHS to notify individuals within 2 days of any security breach of patient information in any health exchange.
Expand
==========

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 11m

Senate not in session till Monday at 2p. House debating Health Exchange Security bill which the WH opposes.

canopfor on January 10, 2014 at 10:20 AM

For me, if there is any breach I want to know. Even with your personal info, Obozo thinks he knows best.

Unlike existing requirements, H.R. 3811 requires expensive and unnecessary notification for the compromise of publicly-available information, even if there is no reasonable risk that information could be used to cause harm.

What are the requirements now? To only inform if some runs up thousands in debt? The harm is in them taking my info, douche!

Patriot Vet on January 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM

The problem is that the main MnSure offices are located in the MOA and most people take the local choo-choo to get there, unfortunately they are either robbed on the train by urban-types or assaulted at the mall by pint-sized Hmong bangers and never actually reach MnSure.

Bishop on January 10, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Honestly, the only difference I see between being robbed on the train and in the mall vs signing up for MnSure-care seems to be the robbers take less.

Gatsu on January 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM

A typical response from a Democrat in Office. He didn’t know what was happening in his own administration. Sounds like he’s taking his q’s from that socialist in the White House. This guy wants to run again in this very blue state. Just to many low information voters in OR to change the crash that’s coming from the ineptness in this administration.

regmgr on January 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Video: Oregon governor bails out of interview after being asked about ObamaCare exchange

Profiles in Courage.

When the going gets tough, Democrats run away.

Compare that to how Christie (for all his faults) handled his press conference yesterday.

UltimateBob on January 10, 2014 at 10:31 AM

canopfor on January 10, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Good morning..:)

Dire Straits on January 10, 2014 at 10:32 AM

the aide cut off the interview because of a schedule conflict

Well duh. Governor Retread is often quite busy playing Dr. No when not governing “ungovernable”* Oregon.

* He actually said that at the end of his second term and was reelected 8 or so years later for a third term. He’s also spent more time in state politics than being a doctor but of course he’s quite the expert in this field if you listen to the media.

oryguncon on January 10, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Governor Blue Jeans is lying through is denim.

portlandon on January 10, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Remember when Hillary “never got the cables” urging more security at the Benghazi mission? I.e., the sender had covered his ass, but Hillary was given a pass by the MSM. Same situation here….the sender is covered but the recipient can simply say “I never got it”.

In other words, they have discovered the perfect OUT in any scandal. Heck, next they’ll claim that a letter initiated by their office was simply written by an aide. “Do you honestly think I have time to read all the stuff they give me to sign??!!”.

And the end of accountability in government will be complete. I didn’t receive it. I heard about it on the news. I didn’t read it before signing it. In shoring up Obama/Hillary, the MSM has now justified all three of those ridiculous defenses.

Just imagine for a moment we were talking about a private company, it’s CEOs appearing before Congress. How long do you think it would be before the contempt citations were flying? One of government’s roles is oversight. But when they take over 1/6th of the economy, there no longer is any oversight. They will report the numbers as soon as they can figure out how to manipulate them like they do the labor and economy numbers.

jeanneb on January 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM

canopfor on January 10, 2014 at 10:20 AM

For me, if there is any breach I want to know. Even with your personal info, Obozo thinks he knows best.

Unlike existing requirements, H.R. 3811 requires expensive and unnecessary notification for the compromise of publicly-available information, even if there is no reasonable risk that information could be used to cause harm.

What are the requirements now? To only inform if some runs up thousands in debt? The harm is in them taking my info, douche!

Patriot Vet on January 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Patriot Vet:Obama is more worried about paperwork,
but gun Grabbing paperwork, is okie-dokie!:)

canopfor on January 10, 2014 at 10:37 AM

The Titanic already went under and we’re left with Democrats in freezing water fighting over life preservers.

My popcorn is going to need more butter.

Punchenko on January 10, 2014 at 10:49 AM

These people from the White House, throughout the entire Regime and down through their cronies all over the nation, have been proven time after time after time after time after time, that they can’t be trusted to even tell the truth, let alone that they AREN’T fraudulently cooking the numbers.

And this applies to more than just ObamaGlitch, it applies to jobs reports as well. Remember California “mysteriously” failing to submit their jobs report the month before the 2012 election in order to fraudulently boost the unemployment numbers going into the election?

They’ve been caught on multiple occasions falsifying reports of all kinds. Why are we still even listening to these frauds and crooks? Why are people in the Conservative media not pounding on these people DAILY about their blatant disregard for the truth on nearly every subject that matters?

Why do you sheeple, put up with constantly being lied to? These people that you’ve elected to govern and represent you are lying to you daily, about nearly everything they’re asked about. Does that not mean a damn thing to anyone in this cesspool of a country?

Meople on January 10, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Was that Ted Turner in the jeans and boots?

Sherman1864 on January 10, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Since the Sunday talk shows will be all about Christie this week, maybe this is a good Friday for an HHS data dump.

EricW on January 10, 2014 at 10:51 AM

John Kitzhaber’s night job.

22044 on January 10, 2014 at 10:53 AM

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.

…lying with this bunch…is mandatory!

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I blame moonbeam Californians moving to Oregon and ruining that state too!

Christian Conservative on January 10, 2014 at 10:54 AM

The Titanic already went under and we’re left with Democrats in freezing water fighting over life preservers.

My popcorn is going to need more butter.

Punchenko on January 10, 2014 at 10:49 AM

You can never use too much butter.

oldroy on January 10, 2014 at 10:54 AM

I’m missing some basic journalism info here. If the Oregon Governor a member of the Democrat or Republican party?

dominigan on January 10, 2014 at 11:01 AM

In other words, they have discovered the perfect OUT in any scandal. Heck, next they’ll claim that a letter initiated by their office was simply written by an aide. “Do you honestly think I have time to read all the stuff they give me to sign??!!”.

And the end of accountability in government will be complete. I didn’t receive it. I heard about it on the news. I didn’t read it before signing it. In shoring up Obama/Hillary, the MSM has now justified all three of those ridiculous defenses.

jeanneb on January 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM

It’s the Caligula defense. In the movie, there was a huge stack of bills piled up on his desk that the Senate had passed. To clear up the backlog, he was just rubber stamping every piece of paper without reading any of them.

We have become ancient Rome, on the verge of collapse thanks to incompetence and mismanagement.

UltimateBob on January 10, 2014 at 11:01 AM

The data exists in a database at HHS, and can be queried at any time.

Well, not necessarily. If you don’t know what’s in the database or the data is corrupted, it’s tough to query it.

BMF on January 10, 2014 at 11:12 AM

When the lights come on, there seems to be similar reactions for ObamaCare proponents and cockroaches.

WestTexasBirdDog on January 10, 2014 at 11:14 AM

I’m missing some basic journalism info here. If the Oregon Governor a member of the Democrat or Republican party?

dominigan on January 10, 2014 at 11:01 AM

He would of course be a DimocRat.

Meople on January 10, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Oregon used to be a great state until the potheads to north met the potheads to the south in the middle.
.
.
.
.
And that Governor is one child molestery-looking son of gun.

M240H on January 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM

I think the problem with that interview is that it has held in such a large room.

Perhaps it would have been much better in a smaller room, like a closet, so that their
knees would touch and we could really feel the human spirit and see how much these
democratic leaders love the people.

redguy on January 10, 2014 at 11:36 AM

When the lights come on, there seems to be similar reactions for ObamaCare proponents and cockroaches.

WestTexasBirdDog on January 10, 2014 at 11:14 AM

heh, you thought the jobs number for December was lousy…..

We will get NO job growth in 2014…..

Negative numbers will be in the millions.

And those left with a job will see severe salary cuts to pay for ObamaCare.

This will devastate the retail sector.

We will have a full-blown depression by 2015 and calls for Obama’s head will increase.

When you start seeing rings of Obama supporters around the White House……

redguy on January 10, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Humana’s news about the enrollees is ‘unexpected.’ Now, where have we heard that before, for month after month after year after year…

I’m telling you, the insurance firms bailout will be counted in the trillions of dollars, and the fed gummint response will be…”Only single payer can rescue us from this debacle!”

Obamacare is working just as hoped, changing everything about ‘Murica.

DublOh7 on January 10, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Can you say “Death Spiral” boys and girls?

GarandFan on January 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM

So much for having to answer to the people. These liberals are so arrogant, they just walk out on the people when the tough question come up. Hunt them down, make their lives miserable.

F_This on January 10, 2014 at 12:45 PM

So despite the problems with the website, you’re saying that more people enrolled than expected?

Great question.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 10, 2014 at 12:51 PM

What’s sad is that all this mismanagement, dishonesty and incompetence won’t make any difference in the next election. Oregon is a lost cause.

MisterElephant on January 10, 2014 at 1:00 PM

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.

Liberal politicians are accustomed to saying anything to their constituents who are usually stupid enough to believe every thing they say. I can’t say that I’m disappointed every time a liberal policy predictably collapses. It’s too bad all liberal mistakes can’t be self-inflicted like in the case or Oregon.

cajunpatriot on January 10, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Is Larson another lefty/Democrat/feminist who got promoted on “equality” to a position she had no business trying to do?

Just wondering.

MN J on January 10, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Nothing will be solved until the violence in the streets starts……

williamg on January 10, 2014 at 2:36 PM

“Observer” status seems to be di-rigueur for Government Executives these days.

Another Drew on January 10, 2014 at 2:58 PM

interview was swiftly brought to a close

well someone needs to give the hamster in the wheel powering the healthcare computer a break…. or… maybe…. a punch card got stuck again

roflmmfao

donabernathy on January 10, 2014 at 3:19 PM

The Gov of Oregon has his own Bridgegate. He is trying to shove a 3.8billion dollar light rail Boondoggle up WA a$$ after WA State Legislature said No Way and after the peeps in that state have said no three different ways. If built the Bridge will cost SW WA residents over $200 per month just to work in OR, never mind the fact they already pay income tax. A bridge without “crime rail” would cost 1/3 the cost. This guy is suffering from Short Man’s Disease.

Whiterock on January 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM

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…

Who’s kidding who? It’s much more likely that the Democrat media would NOT ask about anything embarrassing to Democrats.

RJL on January 10, 2014 at 4:22 PM

The fact KATU actually committed journalism by asking about Lawson both shocked and angered Kitzhaber, and that’s why he ended the interview.

jon1979 on January 10, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Absolutely correct. Nothing pisses off a Democrat more than an act of journalism. Rest assured that this is the last interview that KATU will conduct with ANY Democrat in Oregon until this woman is fired from her job.

Mahdi on January 10, 2014 at 7:38 PM

Rodman jokes aside, perhaps the worm is turning.

Freelancer on January 11, 2014 at 2:10 AM

again, these are progressives. the end result is gov’t like north korea.

tm11999 on January 11, 2014 at 7:19 AM