Cover Oregon might finally be ready by December 16th, but probably not

As difficult as it might be to top the egregious level of bureaucratic incompetence that the Obama administration’s rollout of HealthCare.Gov is aptly demonstrating, Oregon seems to be having a good go at it — which makes it all the more bizarre that Oregon was one of the states that enthusiastically dove headfirst into the project.

Yesterday, I mentioned that Oregon has yet to enroll a single ObamaCare participant through their virtually inoperable website, which is definitely an even worse track record than the federal site; and in another headline bizarrely similar to those introducing the woes of HealthCare.Gov, OregonLive reported last night that CoverOregon officials knew that the site had “significant deficiencies” as early as last spring:

The Cover Oregon website hasn’t been able to enroll anybody since its scheduled Oct. 1 launch and won’t be ready to sign people up until Dec. 16 — one day after the deadline to enroll for benefits that go into effect Jan. 1.

Instead, Oregonians need to submit paper applications by Dec. 4, then choose a plan by Dec. 15 for coverage to continue uninterrupted next year. The form is available on the Cover Oregon website,

King acknowledged Wednesday that Cover Oregon officials knew for months that the site had significant problems that would put the project behind schedule, even though they gave public assurances leading up to the Oct. 1 launch.

Cover Oregon took over management of the site’s development from the Oregon Health Authority in May. A review of the coding soon after turned up “significant deficiencies,” King said. Despite contractors saying the site was 80 percent done, only 10 percent of it was done correctly, he said.

King blamed the site’s delays on technological problems that meant the agency and its contractor, Oracle, weren’t able to test the whole website until the fall. He likened the situation to being unable to test a model railroad because “a section of the track is missing.”

December 16th, as in, the day after people need to sign up for insurance in order to begin receiving benefits on January 1st, the date on which some people’s cancellation notices will go into effect (and I’m going to go ahead and suggest that even that is a wildly optimistic deadline), and Oregonians want answers. Slow clap?

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