Video: CoverOregon has cost $200 million so far without any successful signups
posted at 3:21 pm on January 21, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
There still isn’t much in the way of good news for ObamaCare proponents coming out of Oregon, a state that was once so eagerly confident in their collective ability to deliver an exchange that was supposed to be a model of ease and efficiency for insurance-seeking Oregonians. Their exchange’s price tag upon the October launch date was sitting somewhere around $160 million, but the website has yet to successfully process a single customer, and the administration has since burned through another $40 million of their allotted $305 million from the federal government scrambling to fix it, according to one local news report. Last week, the program’s interim chief Bruce Goldberg even admitted that eventually scrapping the whole thing isn’t out of the question if things don’t start to drastically improve:
Amid the idealistic fervor of Oregon’s effort to build a game-changing health insurance exchange, Ying Kwong did not believe the hype.
In one of a series of revealing emails, the Cornell-educated technology analyst at Oregon’s Department of Administrative Services wrote last May that Cover Oregon‘s managers were being “intellectually dishonest” in claiming the project would be ready Oct. 1.
He likened it to the old sci-fi movie classic, “The Blob,” since their foe seemingly couldn’t be stopped due to its amorphous plans and political momentum. “You simply don’t know how to shoot this beast, because it does not have a known anatomy with the normal vital organs that make it tick.”
Kwong wasn’t alone. His concerns about Oregon’s exchange were echoed by the project’s quality assurance contractor as well as the man Kwong was writing to, the Legislature’s top IT oversight analyst.
Repeated warnings, however, even to senior officials in the governor’s office and elsewhere and multiple layers of intended oversight, went unheeded. Winning.