Good news: Oregon's exchange hopes to be functional by day after Dec. 15 deadline for 2014 coverage

No wonder the OFA conference call was moving goalposts all the way to March the other day:


We’ve been hearing since the great technological and policy meltdown that is Obamacare began Oct. 1 that it didn’t matter if exchanges didn’t work as planned right away because everyone anticipated a great ramp-up in enrollments during the last two weeks before the Dec. 15 deadline. That deadline is the one you have to hit if you’d like your coverage, bought through the exchange, to begin Jan. 1 of next year. That’s why the White House set itself a Nov. 30 deadline to fail to meet, to keep hope alive that there’d be two weeks to get young invincibles to do their marathon insurance-buying sessions in between rounds of GTA.

How’s it going in Oregon, perhaps Obamacare’s most complete exchange failure, which is really saying quite something:

SALEM, Ore. — The director of Oregon’s troubled health insurance exchange told state lawmakers Wednesday he hopes to have the online registration system fully functional for individuals by Dec. 16.

Rocky King made his first appearance before a legislative committee since the insurance exchange, known as Cover Oregon, missed the Oct. 1 deadline to allow people to enroll online. The exchange is intended to let people shop for coverage, compare plans and find out whether they qualify for tax credits under the federal health law.

Cover Oregon has resorted to processing applications by hand because the online portal didn’t work correctly.


Well, someone should have flagged the hiring of the Frankenfurter’s blonde body builder from “Rocky Horror” for the website build, but I digress.

Cover Oregon might be ready by the day after the day by which you’d need to sign up to have coverage starting at the beginning of the year. The state concedes it will miss any chance at a ramp-up in enrollments between Dec. 1 and Dec. 15.

As an aside, maybe Republicans in the state could find a better way to illuminate this failure than this:

King faced only Democrats in the morning hearing in a committee that oversees information technology projects, because the panel’s two Republicans were not there. He’s likely to face tough questions later Wednesday from the House and Senate health care committees.

Guys, this is a gimme.

Exit quotation: “We’re not broken. It’s just not done,” King told lawmakers.

But they spent millions on those commercials, so they got that goin’ for them. Which is nice.

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