Oracle abandoning Cover Oregon. #obamacare

I dunno if ‘open question’ is the right term to use.

Oracle Corp., the giant technology company at the center of the Cover Oregon controversy, has significantly downsized its army of software developers trying to salvage Oregon’s health insurance exchange website.

What that means for the Oregon exchange — which has been plagued by bugs and remains largely unfinished — is an open question. Exchange acting director Bruce Goldberg did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.

I mean, it’s starting to look pretty obvious that the state of Oregon is going to have to abandon Cover Oregon and go to the federal exchanges. The only reason that they haven’t done it already is because doing so will be a huge PR knock for Obamacare. But they can’t ignore reality forever.

No, really, they can’t. There’s an election coming up.

Moe Lane



14 thoughts on “Oracle abandoning Cover Oregon. #obamacare”

  1. Let’s define the range of state exchanges. Oregon is the worst, Idaho is the “best”.
    Oregon’s already been covered.
    It’s the floor.
    Idaho’s exchange has signed up the second-most people of any exchange in the country, which on a per-capita basis puts them way out in front of everybody else.
    It’s the ceiling.
    The state started by finding someone with a background in creating large computer programs and insurance, then put him in charge of it, and let him do the job they’d hired him for. He farmed out work to companies that he knew could do it. The exchange was completed on-time and on-budget, with the only weak point is the federal site it was forced to connect with.
    Catch the problem? The contracts weren’t publicly bid, and the work didn’t go to the lowest bidder. This has caused some accusations of featherbedding, flouting the law, etc. They haven’t gained much traction because Idaho has what’s clearly the most functional exchange in the country, and spent significantly less than nearly all of the other states which set up exchanges.
    But what the accusations *have* done, is provide an excuse for the federal government to withhold it’s share of the expenses. Exactly when they’re going to pay up for work already performed is an open question. They sure don’t seem inclined to do so anytime in the near future. Which is putting the companies that were involved in building and maintaining the exchange in a very tight financial bind. The situation is rapidly reaching a point where “continuing to muddle along” isn’t really an option. This is the “best” exchange in the country. The one that could somewhat legitimately be held up as a model to emulate. And most of those involved with it are facing bankruptcy.

    1. Suits me. The fewer organizations with any ability who are willing to contract to be fellow travelers with idiots trying to destroy the health system of this country, the better. I’d say it serves them all right, but actually being turned into wraiths forced to forever do the bidding of the Dark Lord who ensnared them is more what would serve them right. This is just a bit of a down payment.

      1. There are all sorts of problems with Obamacare.
        My wife works in the healthcare field, and my oldest daughter is medically fragile. If I were to start ranting about the negative effects the law has already had on our lives, I would go on for quite some time.
        That said…
        The concept of an exchange, where the self-employed and small businesses can pool their risk and get the lower rates enjoyed by larger employers, is not a bad one. If the ACA had merely been about creating exchanges, it would have passed with bipartisan supermajorities in both houses of Congress.
        When criticizing the law, it’s a good idea to calm down a bit, and attack some of the many problems with it.
        At the very least, it’ll make you look more reasonable.
        It is more effective to say “Exchanges are good in concept, but the law is set up so that they cannot function efficiently. According to Senator X, one of the authors of the bill, and co-sponsors Senators Y and Z, this is deliberate.”
        For one thing, it happens to be true.
        On the other hand, damning people for building part of a database that was mandated by law? That’s not very effective or persuasive. Even if it makes you feel slightly better.

        1. The exchanges specified by the law that we have (as opposed to a law that “would have passed with bipartisan supermajorities”) are good neither in concept nor in execution. A firm who took government contracting dollars to implement them should be ashamed of itself. Would be, in more cases, if there weren’t so many federal and state contractors completely beyond the concept of shame.
          We can discuss the reasons that I hold the opinion that the ACA exchanges cannot function to the general benefit of society, no matter how well implemented. My career is in health care and health care IT, and I’m not actually ranting – I’m deadly serious. CGI Federal and Oracle deserve medals for their incompetence. It may be the only thing standing between us and a very unhappy place.

        2. See the discussion in the movie Clerks about whether the contractors that were building the second Death Star deserved to die when it was destroyed.

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