In August 2013, only six weeks from the launch of Cover Oregon, King’s deputy Triz delaRosa assured state officials: “We will be ready to do business on everything, manual or automated.”
Kwong, the IT specialist, couldn’t believe the self-delusion. “If this were poker, Triz is describing an ‘all-in,’” Kwong wrote to Bob Cummings, the state legislature’s information-technology oversight analyst. “Sounds good to those of us standing around the card table observing . . . lots of resolve, focused, no-nonsense. To me, the hand has nothing — no flush, no straight, not even a pair. After all, there is no testable software release, no technical environment, and the paper forms are not even ready to go to the printer.”
Cummings replied to Kwong that they’d done all they could. “Your concerns are valid, but I think that all of this is out of (our) hands. . . . In this game of poker, if Cover Oregon doesn’t have a great hand, we all lose.”
Not surprisingly, Cover Oregon went bust after it launched on October 1.