Cover Oregon director still getting paid $14K a month after “resignation”

posted at 3:21 pm on May 22, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The lack of ObamaCare accountability extends farther than just the boundaries of the Beltway. In fact, as The Oregonian discovers, it goes from sea to shining sea. The reviled director of Cover Oregon, whose failed web portal has prompted a federal investigation into potential fraud, supposedly resigned his post and got kicked out of his government sinecure. It turns out that he’s just on an extended vacation (via Drudge Report):

Bruce Goldberg, the respected, long-time director of the Oregon Health Authority, offered to resign on March 18. Two days later, with the Cover Oregon tech mess going from bad to worse, Gov. John Kitzhaber announced that he’d shown Goldberg the door.

The resignation was “effective immediately,” said officials in the governor’s office.

Or so we thought.

It turns out, Goldberg never really left and is now drawing a full-time salary from the state. Oregon officials confirm Goldberg returned to full-time status at the Oregon Health Authority on May 15 and will use his accrued vacation pay until July 18.

He’s getting paid $14,425 a month.

Let’s not forget that Oregon taxpayers are footing that bill to pay for exactly zero enrollments through their $250 million web portal. Governor John Kitzhaber laid all of the blame for the failure at Goldberg’s feet over the past few weeks, no doubt hoping to escape culpability himself. Oregon taxpayers already on the hook for hundreds of millions of wasted dollars might have assumed at that point that at least they weren’t paying for Goldberg’s incompetent leadership any longer, and for very good reason.

What happened? Cover Oregon and Oregon Health Authority played a shell game with Goldberg. His resignation didn’t stop his paycheck at the latter until April 10, when Goldberg officially got paid $3600 a month to be a “consultant” to Cover Oregon. Why Cover Oregon needed to have the man Kitzhaber blamed for its utter failure on hand as a consultant is another question Oregon taxpayers should be asking themselves, but that arrangement only lasted five weeks. That’s when OHA brought Goldberg back on at full salary — and full health and pension benefits, which provides knife-twist irony to this story.

Last week, federal investigators issued subpoenas to Cover Oregon, OHA, and its officials in the criminal probe:

The federal criminal investigation of Oregon’s health insurance exchange took a step into public view Tuesday when the U.S. Attorney’s office issued broad subpoenas seeking information from Cover Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority.

While the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s interest in the exchange debacle had beenpreviously reported, the legal demands dated May 13 indicate things may have moved beyond a preliminary inquiry to a full-blown investigation.

The investigation, led by federal prosecutors and the FBI, is seeking documents, memos, and emails between the two state entities that oversaw the botched health exchange with U.S. authorities in charge of dispensing federal money for the project.

At least they’ll know where to find Goldberg. Maybe Kitzhaber can take a page from the Barack Obama playbook and put Goldberg in charge of the state’s investigation into Goldberg’s alleged failures.


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Does Goldberg have incriminating photos of Kitzhaber or something?

Bitter Clinger on May 22, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Well Obama’s still getting paid 300K a year to listen
to the News…

ToddPA on May 22, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Investigations, Inspectors General, subpoenas, Oversight Committees…

None of it will make any difference. I’m sadly convinced that we have reached critical mass in our nation’s collapse.

The slowest, nastiest train wreck in human history is coming. Will you still be on board?

EvilMonk on May 22, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Bruce Goldberg is a member in Good Standing of the Fascist-Democrat party. Therefore nothing will happen to him, it’s not like he made a film critical of Dear Liar or Islam.

rbj on May 22, 2014 at 3:36 PM

I need to get one of those government jobs.

You can never be fired or demoted, no matter how incompetent, corrupt, or downright criminal your conduct is. And if you want, you can watch porn on government computers all day!

AZCoyote on May 22, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Well Obama’s still getting paid 300K a year to listen
to the News…

ToddPA on May 22, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Comment of the Year candidate right there, folks.

Bravo.

BobMbx on May 22, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Nobody does anything wrong anymore.If you are ever charged with a crime have the lawyer bring all of this up,IRS,VA,Bengazi,Obamacare,Solar Panels,etc,etc.It surely has to work for you.

docflash on May 22, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Investigations, Inspectors General, subpoenas, Oversight Committees…

None of it will make any difference. I’m sadly convinced that we have reached critical mass in our nation’s collapse.

The slowest, nastiest train wreck in human history is coming. Will you still be on board?

EvilMonk on May 22, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Unfortunately you are likely 100% correct. None of it make a damn bit of difference…where have I heard that before???…

PatriotRider on May 22, 2014 at 3:40 PM

There’s really no recourse to any of this now that it’s the government doing it. If it were private crooks, courts and regulatory agencies could be engaged, but its the State, so it’s tough beans. Probably the most overlooked argument against socializing anything. Oh well, people will learn that lesson the hard way, like the VA patients who couldn’t get medical services.

forest on May 22, 2014 at 3:42 PM

I need to get one of those government jobs.

You can never be fired or demoted, no matter how incompetent, corrupt, or downright criminal your conduct is. And if you want, you can watch porn on government computers all day!

AZCoyote on May 22, 2014 at 3:37 PM

You have no idea how accurate that statement is…

PatriotRider on May 22, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Does Goldberg have incriminating photos of Kitzhaber or something?

Bitter Clinger on May 22, 2014 at 3:30 PM

A stained dress too.

slickwillie2001 on May 22, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Ted Turner wants his face back.

People are just going to have to learn somehow that leftist policies engender corruption and failure everywhere they’re applied. However, I’m cynical enough to think that they’ll never learn, never see the light. The recent shining example of the USSR wasn’t lesson enough–what will it take?

MisterElephant on May 22, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Well Obama’s still getting paid 300K a year to listen
to the News…

ToddPA on May 22, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Comment of the Year candidate right there, folks.

Bravo.

BobMbx on May 22, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Not to interfere, but work harder taxpayers

President’s Salary
Effective January 1, 2001, the annual salary of the President of the United States was increased to $400,000 per year, including a $50,000 expense allowance.

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Bruce Goldberg is a member in Good Standing of the Fascist-Democrat party. Therefore nothing will happen to him, it’s not like he made a film critical of Dear Liar or Islam.

rbj on May 22, 2014 at 3:36 PM

the way you use that word, i think you don’t really know what it means.

oh, and BENGAZI!

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 22, 2014 at 3:45 PM

The investigation, led by federal prosecutors and the FBI, is seeking documents, memos, and emails between the two state entities that oversaw the botched health exchange with U.S. authorities in charge of dispensing federal money for the project.

Oregon most likely forgot to make the kickback payments to the WH, so….its just business, Fredo. Its not personal.

You can’t come out here and talk to me like that…I’m Bruce Goldberg.

BobMbx on May 22, 2014 at 3:48 PM

President’s Salary
Effective January 1, 2001, the annual salary of the President of the United States was increased to $400,000 per year, including a $50,000 expense allowance.

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 3:43 PM

If he’s allowed only 50K in expenses, how have the Obamas managed to spend over a billion dollars on Vacays?

ConstantineXI on May 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM

If he’s allowed only 50K in expenses, how have the Obamas managed to spend over a billion dollars on Vacays?

ConstantineXI on May 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM

They is black, you racist, you.

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Governor BlueJeans should be run out of town on a rail.

Of course he’ll just get reelected for a fourth term this November.

F Portland, Multnomah County, Eugene,Corvallis, & all the libs who live along the I-5 corridor. Your blue streak up the Red state is killing us like a Cancer.

portlandon on May 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

If he’s allowed only 50K in expenses, how have the Obamas managed to spend over a billion dollars on Vacays?

ConstantineXI on May 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Expenses he has to pay for are things like creases, and Michelles’ addiction to shrimp ice cream in a waffle cone (double scoop).

Things like parties every night, jet fuel, and vacays are on us.

BobMbx on May 22, 2014 at 3:55 PM

President’s Salary
Effective January 1, 2001, the annual salary of the President of the United States was increased to $400,000 per year, including a $50,000 expense allowance.

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Yeah schad, I do seem to recall that pay hike, now that you
post it. Oh well, just remember Golf can be expensive!!

ToddPA on May 22, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Well. You can’t just shut these kind of databases down by flipping a switch. There’s a lot of clean up. Server logs, paper trails, emails… geeesh, who better than Goldberg to oversee this shutdown.

Walter L. Newton on May 22, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Goldberg:

We’ve been takin’ care of business, every day,
Takin’ care of business, every way.
We’ve been takin’ care of business. It’s all right!
We love to work at nothin’ all day!

Steve Z on May 22, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Let’s not forget that Oregon taxpayers are footing that bill to pay for exactly zero enrollments through their $250 million web portal.

Yeah, but Oregonians got couple of super trippin, 1960s style, hippy-dippy, Cover Oregon video commercials….and you just can’t put a price on something like that.

AUINSC on May 22, 2014 at 4:02 PM

$173,100 a year in salary? I need to look at getting a job there.

Johnnyreb on May 22, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Here in Oregon we don’t have much outrage over this issue. Sadly, the majority is sympathetic to a certain ideology which, whether it works or not, is always considered the right course. Emotional appeal is more powerful than logic–especially when comes out of the mouth of that ‘down-to-earth-governor-guy’ wearing cowboy boots and blue jeans.

braden on May 22, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Does Goldberg have incriminating photos of Kitzhaber or something?

Bitter Clinger on May 22, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Anything is possible. Look up Neil Goldschmidt, 33rd Governor of Oregon. He had an “affair” with a teen girl while mayor of Portland and many kept it quiet for years.

oryguncon on May 22, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Emotional appeal is more powerful than logic–especially when comes out of the mouth of that ‘down-to-earth-governor-guy’ wearing cowboy boots and blue jeans.

braden on May 22, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Hey man, he once worked down there in the sticks of Roseburg as a doctor (for less time than he’s been a politician now)! He cares about the people! When he’s not getting cushy gov. jobs for his girlfriend anyway.

oryguncon on May 22, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Meanwhile, insurance agents in Oregon aren’t getting the promised commission payments for the applications they filled out for clients…

Marcola on May 22, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Keep Voting Democrat!

Murphy9 on May 22, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Not to sway too far OT, but in 1912 Teddy Roosevelt said the following:
There once was a time in history when the limitation of governmental power meant increasing liberty for the people. In the present day the limitation of governmental power, of governmental actions, means the enslavement of the people by the great corporations.

Now with the ACA, you do not have government taking over or running health care or health insurance. Not by a long shot.
What you have is the government taking on a role…a partial role.
And it has been done in such a way that private companies/corporations are still the primary engines and beneficiaries.

rogerb on May 22, 2014 at 5:46 PM

It turns out, Goldberg never really left and is now drawing a full-time salary from the state. Oregon officials confirm Goldberg returned to full-time status at the Oregon Health Authority on May 15 and will use his accrued vacation pay until July 18.

He’s getting paid $14,425 a month.

Money for Nothing. Are the chicks free?

hat tip: Dire Straits

rukiddingme on May 22, 2014 at 6:02 PM

…so that’s what jail is like when you work for the government?

KOOLAID2 on May 22, 2014 at 9:33 PM