GAO to audit Oregon’s failed ObamaCare exchange site
posted at 10:01 pm on March 11, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham
The list of state ObamaCare exchange successes expands. Earlier today, word was the feds were looking into Maryland.
Also, Oregon is in even worse shape than Maryland, despite spending $300 million. THREE HUNDRED MILLION. The state had its chance to audit and apparently just pretended to. That staggering figure and correspondingly staggering failure has even the state’s ObamaCare-supporting senators asking for an investigation:
Congress’s investigative arm said Wednesday it will audit Oregon’s broken healthcare exchange site, which has yet to enroll even one person despite spending $304 million in federal funds.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a letter to Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) it would look into how the funds were spent, and whether that money could be recovered from third-party contractors, among other things.
The GAO letter was in response to a request sent last month by Merkley and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), both of whom are ObamaCare supporters. The senators noted their frustration with their home-state’s exchange in their request for a GAO investigation.
Four Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), sent a similar request to the agency last month.
“It is great news that the GAO has responded to our request to carefully examine what has gone wrong with the Cover Oregon website,” Merkley told The Hill in a statement. “I look forward to reading their recommendations about how to fix the system and avoid this happening in the future.”
The state has been relying on paper applications and gotten a fair number of them, but uh oh:
The Cover Oregon health insurance exchange is one of the worst in the country at attracting younger enrollees, according to a new federal report.
Only 18 percent of those who’ve enrolled through the Oregon exchange fall between the ages of 18-34, a healthier age bracket considered crucial to keeping future premiums down. The age-related data for Oregon is available for the first time.
The Oregon number, which ties with West Virginia as the nation’s worst, falls well below the national average of 25 percent. Exchange officials and insurers had expected a higher portion of enrollees would be young, and premiums were set accordingly.
Cover Oregon had gone out of its way to attract the young, spending millions on television and radio ads that featured Oregon musicians such as Laura Gibson and the hip hop band Lifesavas. A Washington Post reporter observed that the ads “seriously could have been pulled straight out of Portlandia.”